The Survey Says…

I was once a game show addict. I loved to give my final answer. I could name that tune in 4 notes. I was always willing to trade for what was behind the curtain.

But sadly, I watch game shows no more, for I work in IT. I work 7 days a week. I'm at a keyboard 16 hours a day. I have no time for quality TV… the worlds of high-tech and game shows simply don't mix.

Till now! Why should we IT folks be left out? We should have our own game shows - tests of skill specific to the computer crowd. This idea's a moneymaker, I tell you, and here are a few of my can't-miss suggestions:

Who wants to be an e-mail-ionaire?

Stress! Tension! Watch as contestants try to handle 1,000,000 e-mails in a 24-hour period. Come to think of it, this would be a heck of a lot better than what I got bombarded with the first day back from vacation.

Wheel of Fortran

Legacy programmers spin the wheel, and then try to build executable commands in dying languages. First one with a clean compile gets the jackpot; winners return for the "Assembler Tourney of Champions" (care to buy a mnemonic?)

The $100,000 Dis-a-Pyramid

Newly hired RPG programmers watch the promises of perks and six-figure salaries disappear, and wind-up with a lousy $38,500, one week's vacation, and a cubicle away from the windows.

Whose Line is it Anyway?

What happens when the worlds of phone, fax and cyberspace collide? Find out when a happy, innocent, Internet-loving family of 4 is placed in a sunny, suburban 3-bedroom home - and then realize there's only 1 phone jack.

The Price is Right

Non-stop excitement as a studio full of day-traders haplessly try to buy, sell, and value Internet IPO's that show no profits, have balance sheets worse than coyote-ugly, yet trade at P/E ratios of 3000.

The Dating Game

Huge cash prizes to the contestant who can find the two remaining unexpanded MMDDYY's hidden in your 4-million-lines-of-code Payroll system, causing it to still be on its back since January 4th, 2000.

My Favorite Motion

A panel of Microsoft attorneys desperately tries to find creative ways to delay final action by the Justice Department.

Three Men and a B2B

Watch as three e-marketplace entrepreneurs battle it out for VC funding. Cheer as they make countless presentations, drown in worthless stock options, lose headcount right and left, and beg impatient landlords to let them keep going "just for another week or two".

The Newlyweb Game

"Just married's" discuss their romantic preferences and peeves, eventually coming to blows because one of them spends every night incessantly surfing the 'Net.


Take a handful of slimy hardware vendors, stick them in a room, throw in a 240-page RFP and see who gets the server business. Warning: content may be too violent for children under 13.

Mike Cohn lives in Atlanta, and always makes sure his answer is in the form of a question.