What were they thinking?

I just spotted the following advert on StackOverflow:

Final Builder advert

I have to say that I really don’t know what they were thinking when they thought up that advert. I especially wouldn’t know how to interpret this advert if I was a developer working at VSoft Technologies (the company that make FinalBuilder) and I’d just been described as a “chimp”!

It is also generally disparaging towards the people that are actually employed to write build scripts. I’ve had to write build scripts and while it isn’t exactly at the most glamorous end of software development it isn’t necessarily something you could hand over to a random person to do which is surely the implication if you believe that a trained chimp could do it.

If VSoft are hiring people that are at the level of trained chimps then I really don’t want to go anywhere near their products. I have enough trouble dealing with flaky software without adding more uncertainty to the mix.

Obviously the advert was meant to be amusing and funny. The only people I would expect to be genuinely amused by it are dimwits who are dismissive towards those that actually get stuff done by making flippant comments that trivialise the hard work needed to make the software that drives much of the devices used in the modern world.


  1. Craig Murphy says:

    Indeed, the ad is meant to be amusing. However it does have other meaning that is not intended to be derogatory to anybody. Building scripts is a mundane and irksome job that many folks will avoid like the plague. I don’t think that’s an understatement.There is no implication that VSoft actually hire folks at the level of trained chimps (far from it). Their products have a stable heritage reaching back into the days when Delphi was a big player – the products have moved with the times and now take advantage of today’s ever-evolving .NET platform. These are products that are built to exacting standards using popular development and testing methodologies.FinalBuilder takes away that irksomeness and mundane triviality – it makes automating the build far easier and something that folks don’t shy away from. Plus, automated build scripts created using FinalBuilder are far more transferable than a folder full of batch files and .exe files!

  2. Colin Mackay says:

    @Craig I’m sure they never meant to be derogatory. I just felt they were. I’m also sure their product is very useful as you are quite right in saying that writing build scripts are irksome and mundane.

  3. Hi ColinWe’re certainly not poking fun at developers who write build scripts. The ad is meant as a tongue in cheek way of pointing out that developer’s time could better be used elsewhere. Creating build scripts is to put it bluntly, boring and time consuming. Our developers here are certainly not offended by ad, they all had input into it, and they all work on build scripts themselves! We don’t hire chimps to create our products, our developers are all top notch (which is why I take so long to fill vacancies, I’m fussy!). When I started work on FinalBuilder (in 1999, long before automated builds were the norm) it was because I was bored doing the same thing over and over on each project I worked on, and I was having a hard time maintaining complex batch files! I wanted something that made builds simple for any developer on a team (even newbies) to maintain. I didn’t find anything that suited so wrote my own build tool. RegardsVincent ParrettCEO (and chief build script developer)VSoft Technologies.

  4. Colin,I think you are missing the real problem with this advert. It is clearly chimpist. It is so blatant. I have contacted APE (the Association of Primate Evangelists) and they say the matter is now in the hands of their legal department. You’re right to bring this kind of thing to peoples attention.BTW can I tell APE that DDD Scotland 3 will be accepting session proposals from chimps and humans alike ?Guy

  5. Colin Mackay says:

    Note to self: Stop taking myself way to seriously! (And as I was told at the weekend [In the voice of Kryton from Red Dwarf] Engaging Humour Mode)

  6. Gerald says:

    Sir,I write to demand an apology on behalf of UGOCAPP (The union of gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and associated primate programmers)The level of vitriol displayed against primate programmers is distressing. I acknowledge that some of your correspondents are more enlightened than others, but even they are only extending their invitations to our Chimp brothers and sisters. Where is the representation of the other higher primates?You might as well just hire a flange of baboons. Splitters.G

  7. Listen, Gerald, just because you’ve been on TV it doesn’t give you the right to stir up pseudo anarchic geo-politcal movements just to vent your rage. So what if David Attenborough is your president!And anyway it’s a troop of baboons not a flange.Professor Timothy Fielding

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