Contents page

Index (83KB)

larval stage

larval stage: n. Describes a period of monomaniacal concentration
   on coding apparently passed through by all fledgling hackers.
   Common symptoms include the perpetration of more than one 36-hour
   hacking run in a given week; neglect of all other activities
   including usual basics like food, sleep, and personal hygiene; and
   a chronic case of advanced bleary-eye.  Can last from 6 months to 2
   years, the apparent median being around 18 months.  A few so
   afflicted never resume a more `normal' life, but the ordeal
   seems to be necessary to produce really wizardly (as opposed to
   merely competent) programmers.  See also wannabee.  A less
   protracted and intense version of larval stage (typically lasting
   about a month) may recur when one is learning a new OS or
   programming language.