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

A little bit of Google culture for you...

I created "Jeff Dean Facts" as a Google-internal April Fool's joke in 2007. Apparently, nearly five years later, it has leaked to the public!

It's basically just a web site (available only on the Google internal network) like those "Chuck Norris Facts" sites you used to see around the net, where people can submit "facts" about the person, rate other "facts", and see a list of the top-rated "facts". Except they're about Google engineer +Jeff Dean, not Chuck Norris.

I actually built the site on an early version of App Engine, which had not yet been announced to the public. Even back then, while they were still busily developing the thing, it was really easy! I even helped them find a couple bugs... :)

On April 1st, I sent out a company-wide announcement of the site as if it were a new Google project. I hid my identity by attributing the mail to a mailing list with private membership. April 1st was a Sunday that year, but the next morning, at 9:32 AM, I received an e-mail from Jeff detailing how he had hacked through my servers and discovered my identity. :)

The site has continued running ever since, and hundreds of Googlers have submitted "facts". At some point, +Ari Wilson took over maintainership and expanded the site to allow you to post "facts" about any employee, though Jeff remained the main focus.

No one ever had to approve any of this. I just did it, because I thought it would be funny, and people loved it. That's kind of how things work at Google. But my little creation is nowhere near the biggest or funniest of our internal prank sites... I'll let the creators of said sites decide if and when to talk about them. ;)

Here are some of my other favorite "facts" about Jeff (at least, of the ones that would make sense to people outside the company):

"Jeff Dean compiles and runs his code before submitting, but only to check for compiler and CPU bugs."

"Jeff Dean once failed a Turing test when he correctly identified the 203rd Fibonacci number in less than a second."

"The speed of light in a vacuum used to be about 35 mph. Then Jeff Dean spent a weekend optimizing physics."

"Jeff Dean was born on December 31, 1969 at 11:48 PM. It took him twelve minutes to implement his first time counter."

"Jeff Dean escews both Emacs and VI. He types his code into zcat, because it's faster that way."

"When Jeff Dean sends an ethernet frame there are no collisions because the competing frames retreat back up into the buffer memory on their source nic."

EDIT: Here's a few more (a couple are edited to make sense to non-Googlers)...

"Unsatisfied with constant time, Jeff Dean created the world's first O(1/n) algorithm."

"Once, in early 2002, when the search back-ends went down, Jeff Dean answered user queries manually for two hours. Result quality improved markedly during this time." (This was the very first "fact" submitted, by me. I'm not very funny, though, so my friends +Bartholomew Furrow and +Ambrose Feinstein wrote most of the initial "seed" jokes, so that there was content available when the site "launched".)

"When Jeff Dean goes on vacation, production services across Google mysteriously stop working within a few days. This is actually true." (Another one of my submissions, and yes it actually happened.)

"Jeff Dean was forced to invent asynchronous APIs one day when he optimized a function so that it returned before it was invoked."

"When Jeff Dean designs software, he first codes the binary and then writes the source as documentation."

"The rate at which Jeff Dean produces code jumped by a factor of 40 in late 2000 when he upgraded his keyboard to USB2.0."

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

"Jeff Dean wrote an O(n^2) algorithm once. It was for the Traveling Salesman Problem."

"Jeff Dean once implemented a web server in a single printf() call. Other engineers added thousands of lines of explanatory comments but still don't understand exactly how it works. Today that program is the front-end to Google Search."

"True: Jeff once simultaneously reduced all binary sizes by 3% AND raised the severity of a previously known low-priority python bug to critical-priority in a single change that contained no python code."

"Jeff Dean can beat you at connect four. In three moves."

"When your code has undefined behavior, you get a seg fault and corrupted data. When Jeff Dean's code has undefined behavior, a unicorn rides in on a rainbow and gives everybody free ice cream."

"When Jeff Dean fires up the profiler, loops unroll themselves in fear."

"Jeff Dean is still waiting for mathematicians to discover the joke he hid in the digits of PI."

"Jeff Dean's keyboard has two keys: 1 and 0."

"gcc -O4 sends your code to Jeff Dean for a complete rewrite."

"When Jeff has trouble sleeping, he Mapreduces sheep."

"When Jeff Dean listens to mp3s, he just cats them to /dev/dsp and does the decoding in his head."

"When Graham Bell invented the telephone, he saw a missed call from Jeff Dean."

"Jeff Dean's watch displays seconds since January 1st, 1970. He is never late."

"Jeff starts his programming sessions with 'cat > /dev/mem'."

"One day Jeff Dean grabbed his Etch-a-Sketch instead of his laptop on his way out the door. On his way back home to get his real laptop, he programmed the Etch-a-Sketch to play Tetris."

There are many, many more where these came from... but if you want to see the rest you'll just have to come work for us. ;)
"Compilers don’t warn Jeff Dean. Jeff Dean warns compilers."
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Саша Харабара's profile photoChris Olivier's profile photoKenton Varda's profile photoАнтон Куроедов's profile photo
78 comments
 
"Jeff Dean escews both Emacs and VI. He types his code into zcat, because it's faster that way."

I think that is my favorite of the ones you posted. Has he graduated to xzcat nowadays?

But this... this one is hilarious:

When he heard that Jeff Dean's autobiography would be exclusive to the platform, Richard Stallman bought a Kindle.
Kenton Varda
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Here's a few more (a couple are edited to make sense to non-Googlers)...

"Unsatisfied with constant time, Jeff Dean created the world's first O(1/n) algorithm."

"Once, in early 2002, when the search back-ends went down, Jeff Dean answered user queries manually for two hours. Result quality improved markedly during this time." (This was the very first "fact" submitted, by me. I'm not very funny, though, so my friends +Bartholomew Furrow and +Ambrose Feinstein wrote most of the initial "seed" jokes, so that there was content available when the site "launched".)

"When Jeff Dean goes on vacation, production services across Google mysteriously stop working within a few days. This is actually true." (Another one of my submissions, and yes it actually happened.)

"Jeff Dean was forced to invent asynchronous APIs one day when he optimized a function so that it returned before it was invoked."

"When Jeff Dean designs software, he first codes the binary and then writes the source as documentation."

"The rate at which Jeff Dean produces code jumped by a factor of 40 in late 2000 when he upgraded his keyboard to USB2.0."

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

"Jeff Dean wrote an O(n^2) algorithm once. It was for the Traveling Salesman Problem."

"Jeff Dean once implemented a web server in a single printf() call. Other engineers added thousands of lines of explanatory comments but still don't understand exactly how it works. Today that program is the front-end to Google Search."

"True: Jeff once simultaneously reduced all binary sizes by 3% AND raised the severity of a previously known low-priority python bug to critical-priority in a single change that contained no python code."

"Jeff Dean can beat you at connect four. In three moves."

"When your code has undefined behavior, you get a seg fault and corrupted data. When Jeff Dean's code has undefined behavior, a unicorn rides in on a rainbow and gives everybody free ice cream."

"When Jeff Dean fires up the profiler, loops unroll themselves in fear."

"Jeff Dean is still waiting for mathematicians to discover the joke he hid in the digits of PI."

"Jeff Dean's keyboard has two keys: 1 and 0."

"gcc -O4 sends your code to Jeff Dean for a complete rewrite."

"When Jeff has trouble sleeping, he Mapreduces sheep."

"When Jeff Dean listens to mp3s, he just cats them to /dev/dsp and does the decoding in his head."

"When Graham Bell invented the telephone, he saw a missed call from Jeff Dean."

"Jeff Dean's watch displays seconds since January 1st, 1970. He is never late."

"Jeff starts his programming sessions with 'cat > /dev/mem'."

"One day Jeff Dean grabbed his Etch-a-Sketch instead of his laptop on his way out the door. On his way back home to get his real laptop, he programmed the Etch-a-Sketch to play Tetris."

There are many, many more where these came from... but if you want to see the rest you'll just have to come work for us. ;)
 
I should note that part of the reason we targeted +Jeff Dean is because despite his numerous accomplishments, he's a really nice, humble, down-to-earth guy who never would have seen this coming. Just made it all the more amusing... :)
 
How is it that I never saw this! It "exceeds expectations", as they say.
Greg Miller
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My favorite: Jeff Dean once shifted a bit so hard it ended up on another computer.
 
A company outside colleges & academia where Time Complexity is everyday jargon... I love you people...
 
This is brilliant. I was quite literally laughing out loud while reading down this list.

Sidenote, +Abhimanyu Mongandh Ambalath, I'm on my third "real" programming job now, and at all of them big-O notation was used, and understood, basically every time we discussed an algorithm it applies to. And none of those jobs have been at Google. I don't think it's that rare. :-)
 
This has now been reshared more than my LAN-party-optimized house post...
 
The joke explanation given in BusinessInsider for the following fact seems to miss the joke.


During his own Google interview, Jeff Dean was asked the implications if P=NP were true. He said, "P = 0 or N = 1." Then, before the interviewer had even finished laughing, Jeff examined Google’s public certificate and wrote the private key on the whiteboard.
 
+Radu Grigore - To be honest, I feel like I'm missing the joke in that one too. I've never found it very funny, but lots of other people say it's one of their favorites. BI's explanation of the joke seems to match my understanding... what am I missing?
 
My assumption was that the P=NP problem was somehow related to the algorithm for public key encryption, but I know basically nothing about how that algorithm works, so that's just a guess.
 
+Kenton Varda it's never a good idea to explain jokes ... but here I try. :) In the first half JD gives an answer that suggests he (1) either does not understand the question or (2) does understand it but tries to ditch the question because (2a) he doesn't remember his complexity classes or (2b) doesn't think it's an important enough question (which would run counter many people's opinion). Then, while the interviewer laughs, he does something that is only possible if he knows a proof of P=NP, thus saying that he knows something a lot more important than the consequences of P=NP: he actually knows why P=NP is true. That kind of hits you (and the interviewer) as a big surprise, especially after the "smartass" answer in the first half.
 
This is the best such list I've seen.
 
+Radu Grigore - In particular, integer factorization is polynomial-time on a quantum computer, whereas NP-complete algorithms are probably not. That said, I guess it's true that if P = NP, that would still have implications for integer factorization, since it is known to be in NP and not known to be in P currently. But it's not a problem normally associated with P = NP since it's not know to be NP-complete... hence why the joke never clicked with me. (But I guess saying it's based on "false pretenses" is not right either.)
 
+Kenton Varda P=NP would imply that integer factorization is in P (since it is in NP, since it's easy to multiply numbers). But, yes, you are right that current public-key cryptosystems use stronger assumptions than P!=NP, so I was wrong earlier. Though not all are based on integer factoring: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_function
 
I just assumed JD was throwing a red herring at the interviewer, forcing the interviewer to underestimate him and buying time to bring the hammer down. Very clever showmanship, Mr. Dean.
 
Thank you for sharing it - made me smile!
 
$ alias jeffdean="sudo"
$ jeffdean apt-get install <xyz>

:)
 
+Elazar Leibovich Are you talking about it asking for password? Coz it does on my box! I don't know why its not asking you! :-/
I think you must have recently given your password so it didn't ask you again. Open a new prompt. set the alias for jeffdean but dont run it. directly do the sudo, it'll ask you for password. For sometime it doesnt ask password even in sudo's, i don't know how it works, but i just checked it happens like this. Try again
 
(Just to clarify, I was indeed joking. I wasn't sure whether or not +Mayank Jain took me too seriously).
 
awesome...

In India, you can surely say that Jeff Dean is Rajnikant of tech world at Google.
 
# su - jeff
Password: 
su: Authentication failure
 
some more... *nix flavoured.

- Jeff Dean traps the KILL signal

- Jeff Dean programs don't SEGFAULT. The memory rearranges itself in order to put data and code where it belongs.

# ls /..
jeff

# ps -p 0
  PID TTY          TIME  CMD
    0 -1          00:00:00  jeff
 
This post is getting a lot of attention all of the sudden.  Where is it coming from?
 
Reddit.com posted the quora link, which links to here.

 
(very late to the party, but...)

For the businessInsider joke, just think of the math: given P=NP, meaning P=N*P, if P==0 then both sides become zero. if N==1 then both sides become P. 
 
Hi.  I just linked from Slate and thought of a couple:

"HAL opened the pod bay doors when he saw Jeff Dean coming."

"After meeting Jeff Dean, the Borg changed their catchphrase to Resistance is Possible."
 
"Jeff Dean's keyboard has two keys: 1 and 0."
I would say: "Jeff Dean's keyboard has one key: 1 and 0." ;-)
 
This post is getting attention again.  Where are people coming from this time?  :)
 
Hacker News re-submitted the Slate article.
 
Gah, I wish G+ would tell me "Hey, you were just posted to Hacker News" so I could go interact while the story is still fresh...
 
Good job guys! I'm chuckling in front of my keyboard instead of working! 
"When Graham Bell invented the telephone, he saw a missed call from Jeff Dean." < this one nearly killed me
 
- jeff dean writes C code....with dynamic typing
- jeff dean doesn't write code, he just google glass the screen, than the code appears...
 
Лайк, если с Хабра.
Translate
 
The "jeffdean" alias for sudo makes it don't ask your password, but know it. 

Also, there's another level of code execution below even hypervisor one, reserved for Jeff Dean. Intel and AMD once tried to produce the CPUs without it, but it appears on already produced CPUs anyway.
 
Jeff Dean mines Bitcoin in his mind, just for fun.
 
Jeff Dean is so fast that he can browse internet sites at 1 GBit/s speed using 56k modem.
(c) me.
 
Jeff Dean is so cool that he cools his laptop by breathing.
(c) me.
 
Jeff Dean is so smart that he doesn't use unit tests while programming.
(c) me.
 
Jeff Dean is so fast that he reached 85lvl in World of Warcraft in 0,085 seconds.
 
google search uses jeff dean as its database.
 
google search and jeff dean retire the same day..:)
 
+Yohanes Nugroho - That's awesome!

Would you consider changing the "Jeff Dean Facts" link in your post to point to this post, rather than to the Quora thread most of whose content is simply copy/pasted from this post?  (Just a suggestion; entirely up to you.)
 
P=NP is true as an algebraic statement if and only if p is 0 or n is 1. 0=N0 and P=1P. 
 
Jeff Dean does not test his code because no test runner dares to fail his tests.
 
Jeff Dean does not test his code since it is the answer to the meaning of life. So far, there is no test runner that can assert that.
 
Jeff Dean code maintains itself.
 
I like this meme. Here goes nothing:

Every code Jeff Dean writes notifies him when it will halt.
 
"Jeff Dean is compiling his code in his mind and after that  he is writing the .exe file using only his 0-1 keyboard " 
 
I didn't read all of the comments, but the ability to glean the source key from the result of a one-way hashing problem seems like it would be NP-Hard, and Jeff Dean seems to do this in O(1) time or something close to it, which would mean that (at least for this case), P does, in fact, equal NP since the alternative would be some crazy large O for this feat (depending upon the hash function and constraints known of the source key, of which I am not an expert in, but probably someone here knows)
 
+Chris Olivier​​ - As mentioned in the comments you didn't read, solving discrete logarithms (on which public key crypto is based -- not hashes) is not NP hard.
 
When Jeff Dean was a kid, he didn't play Lego. He wrote the 'lake' program, which parses Lego instructions and assembles the construction toy.
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