‘Twas the night before crisis, and all through the house,
Not a program was working, not even a browse.
The programmers were wrung out, too mindless to care,
Knowing chances of shipping hadn’t a prayer.
The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of inquiries danced in their heads.
When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my cube to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a SUPER PROGRAMMER, oblivious to fear.
More rapid than eagles, his programs they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
On Update! On Add! On Inquiry! On Delete!
On Batch Jobs! On Closing! On Functions Complete!
His eyes were glazed over, his fingers were lean,
From weekends and nights in front of the screen.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Turning specs into code, then he turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger on the ENTER key,
The system came up, and worked perfectly.
The updates, updated; the deletes, they deleted;
The inquiries, inquired; and the closing completed.
He tested each whistle, he tested each bell,
With nary an abend, and all had gone well.
The system was finished, the tests were concluded,
The client’s last changes were even included!
And the client exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt,
“It’s just what I asked for, but NOT what I want…”
(attributed variously, my copy came from here)