The "Works on My Machine" Certification Program


This is funny as hell. I actually just had a developer vigorously argue that she did not miss a deadline since the program worked on her PC and it wasn’t her fault that it didn’t run in the QA machine (or her test PC).

I’m definitely awarding her a laminated copy of this logo. g


The real joke is on the people who think that writing and automating tests is anything but a ritualized version of the “Works on My Machine” certification.

“Program testing can be a very effective way to show the presence of bugs, but is hopelessly inadequate for showing their absence.”
– Edsger Wybe Dijkstra


beatsock: The problem I mentioned is just one example, but it did happen recently for a couple of users through Patriot Media’s network. In this case the fix (iirc) was to change the behavior of our F5 BigIP so that the packets were assembled a little differently. I’m not the networking guy, so I can’t be more specific, but I think it had to do with responses being exact multiples of packet sizes, and changing the way that packet cookies were generated caused the response to change in size so it no longer coincided with the packet boundary.

I don’t much care if the people in your office have so little experience that they’ve never seen off-the-shelf hardware and software having glitches. But if you’ve never dug deep enough into a problem to find such things, I wonder what kind of quality YOUR team is providing.


As a developer working in a company with a notoriously bad network/support group, I frequently hear the opposite-“It must be an application problem”-when the network disappears, or they randomly revoke permissions/turn off core services/disable service accounts/forget to backup filesystems and databases/etc.

Oh, and my development and test systems look nothing like the final production systems (try testing a multi-threaded distributed system when all of your components are running on the same underpowered server that is randomly rebooted by testers).

All that being said, I just forwarded the image to a group of friends as part of a new CMM/3-Sigma/SarbOx quality initiative. It’ll be interesting to see who takes it seriously…


What is it about this blog that I cannot simply select/highlight a section of it? It wigs out and selects half the page.

IE6 issue. No idea why. The markup looks fine. I know this isn’t helpful advice, but… er… switch away from the five year old browser if you can.

Thanks for the insight Jeff. If only my company would allow us to run non-standard software such as firefox. But alas, we use browser based applications that use Active X controls. I guess my copy and pasting will have to wait until I get home.


I always felt that the most effective way to test product was to give it to real users and let them smash it to bits. I was always surprised at what hare-brained things my father would do to the applications I’d have him test. Stuff that even a group of good testers would never come up with. Eventually, a tester is no good because they, too, are too familiar with how it should work, thereby ruining their effectiveness in surprising the programmer with doing something completely out of the blue.


Ah, my life writ large on the Internet.

buys a shirt


Any chance of getting a shirt with a small logo over the left breast instead of the full middle?


I would like a “Does not work on my machine” certification to debunk the “Works on my machine” badge that any of my dependancies may try to pass off to me.


Thank you! Thank you!!! I communicate with a couple of developers from my last company whose team lead used that as his stock answer to QA type questions.

Not that we actually HAD a QA department, that was the first department to go when things started getting a little lean for our parent company. It’s amusing to watch a manufacturing company buy a successful software company and then gut it because they have no idea what it takes to create semi useful software. Then bemoan the subsequent failure of said software company.


I must pass this on to a Help Desk friend of mine.
So far, their stock standard answer to problems has been:
Just reboot … and call me … in the morning.
But this is much better :slight_smile:


I can’t provide the vector version-- you’ll have to ask Jon Galloway for that-- but here’s an extra large 1600 x 1548 PNG render of the “works on my machine” starburst.


It would be great to have stickers with that logo. I’ve got a testing document due soon for a design project, and I’d love to be able to paste one of those on the front cover. Not sure the prof would see the humor in it though…


Tim: Works on my machine…


does your own site implements it?


I certified mine…

This certification level is perfect for me…


stickers would be good!

Works On My Machine*

*have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?


Relevant to your interests? and are much more interesting.


For every possible application crash there should be a pop-up like that:

“Application crashed. But it worked on my machine. Developer J.Smith”


I like the idea of “works on my machine” certification. I designed a t-shirt some time ago with this code snippet on it:

catch ( exception e )
cerr “Thats weird\n”;
cerr “It works on my machine\n”;