The DEV Team

The Silly Joys of Coding

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

This tweet from @mary_grace made me smile

Mary is a real devrel whiz and was one of the first people to see some of the DEV magic before more folks in the industry did.

Because of that, she was the first to request a lot of features related to org accounts on DEV. And in order to appease Mary's needs we basically just coded stuff for her and hid it behind conditionals. Today @peter met up with her for lunch and told her the story of how we shipped this just for her.

I remember shipping this feature on the same day she asked about it, so I tossed in the "Hi Mary 👋" as a hard-coded flourish.

We've since evolved org features a lot. Our most active organization is Azure and we're having new folks come on all the time, like Angular the other day. We've always had the idea that organizations (essentially engineering blogs hosted right within the community) are a natural part of the ecosystem, but it takes folks like Mary to help pull it off.

We only recently removed Mary's name from the codebase alongside this shipment:

Letting Mary know that her name was hardcoded all along and that that historical factoid will live on in our open source git history for all time is just kind of fun.

Happy coding 😄

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ben profile

Ben Halpern


A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄


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I live for this stuff. Joke and inside jokes in code are some of the best perks of being a programmer.

If anyone ever finds “Marty McFly” or “Biff Tannen” as test users in unit tests... then I was probably the one who wrote it. No git-blame necessary. ;)


There may or may not be a live system out there, which I worked on, with test users who are called:

  • Luke Skywaller
  • Han Solo
  • Leia Organa

And they all have full addresses putting them at:

Secret Rebel Base (shh, don't tell The Empire)
In Hiding
A long time ago
Far, far away

If I'm writing some single use scripts I always name my variables cat and dog :)


Unashamed to admit that my go-to is always George Costanza


I do the same with my unit tests, except I typically go with characters from Harry Potter 😁


I love a good theme with testing or naming!