Stevey's Drunken Blog Rants™

Steve Yegge's internal Amazon blog, 2004-2005

Last updated: September 12, 2006

News (3/15/06): I started a new blog. Like, a real one. Finally!

I started writing an internal blog at in summer 2004. It wasn't (and isn't) endorsed by Amazon; it's just my personal blog, where I wrote whatever was on my mind, usually at home late at night after a few glasses of wine. I did this for about a year, and wound up with about 50 articles, essays, and unstructured tirades. It was fun. People inside the company knew it was all in fun, and none of us took it very seriously.

I was at Amazon for just under seven years, incidentally. Great place to work. I recommend it.

After I left Amazon to pursue another opportunity, I dusted these old blog entries off, removing company-confidential information, changing most names to initials, and so on. Then I dumped them unceremoniously on my home page where I've been running the server for a game I wrote, and promptly forgot about them.

These rants started appearing six months later (in Dec 2005) on sites like and reddit. People have been debating and discussing them as if they're a set of papal bulls, and drawing all sorts of silly conclusions about me and the articles. This isn't their fault. I've provided no context for the articles, nothing indicating when they're meant to be serious or joking or satirical. And they run the whole gamut, sometimes within the same article.

So I need to go back and annotate them, edit them, clean them up, before too many more people start thinking I'm a complete circus sideshow. Well... that was sort of the original intent of the blog, but now that it's out in public, it seems to be getting blown way out of proportion.

Most of them are crap, or experimental at best. Some of them are pretty good -- at least I still laugh evilly at the mean jokes I made about Eclipse. Unfortunately, I haven't spent the time to put them in any order except chronological. Someday!

If you insist on peeking at one or two, the most popular ones (by percentage of page hits) seem to be Tour de Babel, Effective Emacs, Google's Secret Weapon, You Should Write Blogs, Is Weak Typing Strong Enough?, The Five Essential Phone-Screen Questions, The Emacs Problem, and Practicing Programming, — roughly in that order.

Important Disclaimer: I'm not speaking for Amazon or my current employer in any of these rants.