I don’t remember the exact date but it was some time in the 1990’s. By then I had achieved my 10,000 hours and it was time for me to work for someone else. At the time I had worked on every conceivable layer of the software development stack:
- PLA - programmable logic arrays
- QA automation
- TSR - terminate stay resident
- device simulation
- GUI applications including object oriented design predating C++ for OS/2
- database applications
- disk device drivers
- video device drivers
- AIX kernel design for the mach kernel
- OS/2 internals and complete retrofit of presentation manager
- communications programs
- software copy protection removal
- other communication protocols
- x86, x386, x960 assembler projects
And so I decided to interview with Intel in Portland and I was granted an interview. During the interview I was asked the question “how many lines of code did I write in the last year”? While I had particularly prepared for that question it was something I had the answer for.
While working on ValueLink and related tools I had written about 52,000 lines of code.
Seeing the smirk on the interviewer’s face and thinking I was estimating too high I qualified it by saying that some percentage of that was probably headers and some comments. And then he proceeded to question the veracity of my claim and it’s probably the one reason why I was not offered the job.
So to the unnamed drone I can now tell you to piss off. (i) because I recall the story almost 20 years later (ii) because working part time on a project over the last 7 months I have written over 35,000 lines of code completely without crazy whitespace or comments. That averages to 60K per year. And likely closer to 100K if I count all of my full time work.
Just for good measure… piss off, again!