by Donnie Briggs and Derek Slater

The Programmer’s Prenup

Feb 04, 20083 mins

Are wedding bells in your future? If you or your betrothed happens to be a programmer, it pays to know that special marriage conditions apply. Our handy programmer's prenup helps spell out the details.

So you’re a programmer and planning on getting hitched? Make sure your intended really understands what he or she is getting into–require a signature from your future spouse on the following handy prenuptial agreement! (If you’re already married, attempts to garner signatures after the ceremony have met with mixed success, but it’s still worth a try.)

1. I, the programmer’s intended, recognize that our wedding may be quick, cheap and/or fancy, but not all at the same time.

2. I certify that my future spouse’s old Turbo Pascal text is an appropriate coffee table book now and for the foreseeable future. I will not sell it back to the university bookstore while my future spouse is at work.

3. I understand that my future spouse’s profession requires constant learning, that this process will demand certain sacrifices of time and attention, and that these sacrifices will be exponentially larger in years during which he or she decides to switch from ASP.NET to, say, PHP and Ruby on Rails.

4. I assert my willingness to forgo making the same tired nonprogrammer jokes again and again, including but not limited to having a LISP or leaving the dinner table due to buffer overflow from drinking too much Java.

5. I will refrain from asking my future spouse to provide technical and engineering support for all his or her future in-laws. This agreement includes but is not limited to software installation, Vista downgrades, TiVo programming, and troubleshooting for toasters, espresso makers and other household appliances.

6. I acknowledge that my future spouse likes to compile and intends to continue compiling throughout our marriage, even after we have an argument. Or children.

7. I understand that my future spouse’s time spent reading thedailywtf, gizmodo and is totally work-related and should not be interrupted. Use of, reference to, or pillow talk about is not now, and shall never be, grounds for termination of this marriage contract.

8. REM Begin marital code snippet #1 10 INPUT "How many days will your mother be staying with us?", U$ 20 For U$=1 30 PRINT U$"? Okay - but tell her the Xbox is totally off-limits." 50 FOR U$ = 2 TO 13 60 PRINT U$"? I don't think so." 70 For U$= 14 to N 80 GOTO FRIEND'S HOUSE 90 END

9. # Begin marital code snippet #2 startofmarriage: MOVE #0 ,D0 ; store chance for divorce in D0 register checkbudget: MOVE $004008, D1 ; weekly budget for clothing in D1 register MOVE $004012, D2 ; weekly budget for tech stuff in D2 register CMP.W D1, D2 ; compare the budgets BGT moretech ADD.W #1, D0 ; did not spend more on tech this week SLEEP 604800000 ; wait a week before checking budget again BRA checkbudget moretech: SUB.W #1, D0 ; tech budget greater; relax SLEEP 604800000 ; wait a week before checking budget again BRA checkbudget

___________________________________[signature of programmer’s intended spouse]


___________________________________[attestation of third-party witness]

Printable Version (Remember: It’s only a joke!)

Donnie Briggs is a programmer. He blogs (mostly not about programming) at Liquid Egg Product.

Derek Slater is the editor of CIO‘s sister publication, CSO. He can’t program his own wristwatch. But he’s married.