Coding Horror

programming and human factors

Rube Goldberg Software Devices

Rube Goldberg software design is the meme of the month, after being parodied by Rory Blyth and Scott Hanselman in this brilliant short video, and oddly enough, also currently appearing in Microsoft advertisements:

Microsoft Rube Goldberg style ad

Now compare that to an actual Rube Goldberg device:

Rube Goldberg device

You can't talk about Rube Goldberg these days without mentioning Honda's amazing 2003 'Cog' advertisement for the Honda Accord. If you're curious, snopes has more detail on how the commercial was filmed.

Incidentally, one of my favorite old PC games is The Incredible Machine circa 1993, although newer versions are available (and still just as fun):

The Incredible Machine

Any resemblance between any of the above and actual software development is, of course, completely coincidental. We're professionals, dammit!

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: