I don’t speak Russian, but I do speak code

time to read 2 min | 211 words

Here is a snippet from a blog post describing a lecture I gave yesterday in the Ural University:

Imagine him [Ayende] giving a public lecture at the Ural State University and demonstrating one of the numerous code snippets he prepared. Suddenly a guy (I think his name is Alex) interrupts him and tries to point out an error in the code. Unfortunately, Alex fails to express himself in English, and instead just mumbles incomprehensibly. After two more attempts, he gives up and explains the bug to the audience — in Russian. But before anyone has a chance to translate it, Oren smiles and says: “Oh right! You are absolutely correct, I have to insert a break statement here!”. Now, granted, Oren is a great talker and has no problem understanding people; but that was unbelievable even for him, because I can swear that: 1) he doesn't know a single word of Russian, 2) the guy who spotted the problem didn't use a single word of English (like break or foreach). Truth to be told, the whole situation was even scary a bit.

There was a roar of laugher in the audience when I did that, and it took me a while to understand why.