How I taught a hobo to program in 7 days.

And so can you!

Dec 3, 2013 · 2 min read

You can call me crazy, but I decided to teach a Hobo programming. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Hobos, or more politely, Hobbits, are whimsical, fairy tale creatures that live in burrows, read books and use dialup internet. They would not be interested in programming. But you’re wrong. All you need is the right approach, and I have found it.

I’m not saying my method is the best one, but it actually is.

Typical “Hobo” (aka Hobbit)

You see, to teach a hobbit programming you need a language as magical and whimsical as they are. What better language to use than LISP? It’s cool, mysterious, powerful and that one XKCD comic said it’s actually like spiritual or something. In other words, it is perfect for our purpose.

As to the method of teaching a Hobo to LISP, here is how you do it:

First, you purchase this book:

Lisp Book. You know it’s good because it has an animal sketch on the cover. Those are the good ones. Don’t buy the books with photos of animals. It has to be drawn.

The second step is super easy, because it’s right there on the cover.Where do you put the book? You put it outside the box.

If you’re unclear which box to use, I recommend picking the one in which your chosen Hobbit stores the pipe weed for his pipe. That’s the best way to ensure the Hobbit will find it.

Once this is done, you sit back and enjoy. Your part of the job is done. The programming knowledge is then imparted upon the Hobbit via the magic of the written word. Pat yourself on the back.

Note: you get bonus points if you pick a Hobbit with an actual lisp.

This post was sponsored by the letter Z and this tweet:

There, I am now legit.

Medium pays me per click on posts, right? I’ll be waiting for my check to arrive in the mail.

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually test this method on a real Hobbit. Your results may vary, but I proved it via logic in my head, so it should be rock solid.


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    I do things on the internet sometimes. @LukeMaciak terminally-incoherent.com