Astounding 'Facts' About Google's Most Badass Engineer, Jeff Dean

Google engineer Jeff Dean

Photo: Niall Kennedy

Forget Larry and Sergey: At the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, the real celebrity engineer is Jeff Dean.Consider this story Googler Heej Jones told on Quora: 

“Before my first day at Google, a mutual friend introduced [me to Jeff] over email. So during my first week, I pinged him to grab lunch.

At the time, I had no idea who he was or anything about his stature at Google. I did notice during that first lunch, however, that people were staring at him from several tables over, while others would whisper something as they passed by our table.

As I began to cultivate more engineer friends, I came to know more about his “legend”; one such friend once exclaimed, “You had lunch with Jeff Dean?!” 

Dean is such a star because Googlers widely credit his code for the blazing speed of Google search.

How deep does this adoration go?

You know those Chuck Norris jokes called “Chuck Norris Facts“? 

Like: “Chuck Norris doesn’t wash dishes, they wet themselves out of fear” or “Chuck Norris is not allowed on commercial flights because his fists are considered deadly weapons“?

Well, over on Quora, there’s a bunch of “Jeff Dean Facts,” written by Googlers and ex-Googlers who love their hero.

They’re pretty funny – if you understand software engineers and their sense of humour.

Because we don’t always, we asked Business Insider chief architect, Pax Dickinson, to help translate the jokes for the rest of us.

Compilers don't warn Jeff Dean. Jeff Dean warns compilers.

Joke by: Christopher Lin

Jeff Dean builds his code before committing it, but only to check for compiler and linker bugs.

Joke by: Christopher Lin

Jeff Dean puts his pants on one leg at a time, but if he had more legs, you would see that his approach is O(log n).

Joke by: Josh Wills

When he heard that Jeff Dean's autobiography would be exclusive to the platform, Richard Stallman bought a Kindle.

Jeff Dean writes directly in binary. He then writes the source code as a documentation for other developers.

Joke by: Kevin Goslar

Joke by: Christopher Lin

The x86-64 spec includes several undocumented instructions marked 'private use.' They are actually for Jeff Dean's use.

When Jeff Dean has an ergonomic evaluation, it is for the protection of his keyboard.

Joke by: Christopher Lin

All pointers point to Jeff Dean.

The rate at which Jeff Dean produces code jumped by a factor of 40 in late 2000 when he upgraded his keyboard to USB 2.0

Joke by: Christopher Lin

Pax: Dean's coding was slowed down by the speed of the interface between his keyboard and his computer.

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