Coding Joke

“How do you comfort a JavaScript bug?………..You console it.”


My friend learned this piece from another computer science class. My friend is a computer science and business administration major with a cybersecurity minor. As part of the computer science community he collects and forwards a myriad of folklore specific to this unique group. Computer science folklore is unique and reflects the beliefs and the culture of the group. Per my informant, as well as personal experience, computer science majors have a unique sense of humor that develops from the difficult coursework, the long hours spent on the computer coding, and the group dynamic required to get through the major. This humor is often expressed through memes and jokes only members of this group can understand and appreciate.

He told the joke to me while we were working on an assignment together. We were writing JavaScript for our website project for a class that we are in together. We were trying to debug our JavaScript code. The bug was being particularly tricky to find and fix. Therefore, he remembered the joke. He then turned to me and told me the joke.

The humor of the joke comes from the wordplay on the words “bug” and “console”.  The normal use of the word bug refers to a small creature, usually an insect. However, in the computer science world it refers to a problem in the code that is often hard to find and sometimes hard to fix. In order to “comfort” or fix the bug, one must find it. Generally, in order to find the “bug” the programmer prints out statements to the console. This allows the programmer to find where the program is doing something incorrectly.

I found this joke particularly amusing because debugging programs is one of the main problems programmers face. The joke implies that it is easy to find the bug if you simply print it to the console. However, a majority of the time bugs are not that easy to find and fix. The irony as well as the word play make the joke.