The Programmer Who Wrote Golden Code

Once upon a time, in the land of Foo, there was a programmer who wrote awesome code: free of defects, easy to read and maintain and yet efficient beyond compare. Everyone admired him and his works.

The word spread and the emperor was excited when he heard about the skills of the programmer. The emperor ordered him to come to his palace to work for him as his chief court programmer. The programmer obeyed and continued to write outstanding software — much to the delight of the emperor.

After some months, however, the emperor wanted to find out what exactly made the programmer so great and whether it was possible to instill his spirit into the other court programmers. So he observed the programmer and collected countless metrics. He also had the programmer attend many meetings in order to define rules and procedures for all court programmers to follow.

One day, the emperor noticed with horror that the programmer didn’t write golden code anymore; and neither did the other court programmers.

(with apologies to Aesop.)