Tuesday, May 24, 2011

8 Hygiene Tips for Programmers

Being around programmers for a long time has shown me that some don’t smell so good.

Remember – by the time you can smell yourself, it’s already way too late for those around you.

I invite you to check your habits against my minimum hygiene requirements:
  • Shower daily. Use soap or body wash.
      • Make sure your feet, pits, groin and ass get the brunt of the soap offensive.
      • Wash your hair too. At least every other day.
  • Socks, Underpants and T-Shirt – Change daily. (And by change, I mean do not wear again until washed.)
  • Jeans and Sweater are a bit tricky, but change a bare minimum of once a week. Twice would be ideal, or three times if you're the queen of England.
  • Coats can need washing too sometimes. It really depends on your relationship with your coat. If it gets sweaty when you do, then eye it with suspicion and wash it from time to time.
  • If you don’t wear socks or change them daily, your shoes smell. If they smell, give them the Viking burial, buy some new ones and wear socks this time.
  • If your finger or toe nails get 2..3mm long, cut them.
  • Brush your teeth well in the morning and night. Use floss to avoid losing teeth. Brush your tongue too, as this reduces bad breath. If you like coffee, then may I recommend adding some breath mints to this.
  • Put deodorant on each morning. If this is new to you, go and buy a can of Axe (or Lynx for UK folks). How do you pick the right one? What if the one you get doesn’t smell good?
      • Remember that even the worst smelling can of Lynx smells ten times better than you do.
      • You can use the normal person approach of spraying each on a new body part, sniffing and choosing the right one. Though the reality is that this approach is frustrating and doesn’t work.
      • Instead either pick the left-most one, the one with the coolest name, the one with your favorite color, or buy one of each to save yourself from coming back (and also injecting some much needed variety into your life).
Bonus stylin’ tip – Hair styles:
  • Side partings don’t look good and never did. Your mum likes them, and that’s it.
  • If you’ve had the same hair style since you were 15, it’s time to review it.
  • Girls like pony tails and mullets. Oh wait, no, nobody likes them. Time to change.
  • If you are going bald, do not hide it, and get your hair cut short.
  • If you think your hairstyle may not be contemporary / cool:
      • Strike up a conversation with a female in the office who dresses fashionably.
      • Repeat after me “I’ve been thinking about changing how I get my hair cut. How do you think I should get it done?”.
      • And if that doesn’t work out, just sit down in the chair at Super Cuts or Fantastic Sam's and say that you want a new hair style that’s short, looks OK and requires zero maintenance. The hair dresser might as you a couple of questions, to which you answer “I have no idea. Just do what you think will look good.”. When they’re done, ask “So what do I ask for to get that hairstyle again?”, and give them a $10 tip because you feel giddy. (I say Super Cuts or Fantastic Sam's for American programmers – if not in America, just make sure your hairdresser is female or ‘rather flamboyant’)
There now. If you implement all of the above, you can hold your head and arms up high, with little fear of stinking up the place.

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