The Shining Is a Film About Developer Madness

You don’t need to be mad to be a developer but it helps

Ben "The Hosk" Hosking


picture from here

Software development has merely provided us with more efficient means of going crazy

Many people think the shining is about angry telepathic hotel making a recovering alcoholic (with anger issues) go mad whilst trying to write a manuscript in a snow storm with a big maze thrown in.


It’s about the madness and pain felt by developers writing documentation no one will ever read and being forced to do other pointless tasks.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Einstein

Developers do that daily because we have to. Madness is knowing the faster you work, the more work you are given, but you work fast anyway.

What is the Shining

There are two versions of the Shining The Shining (novel) and the film The Shining (film).

Jack Torrance is a recovering alcoholic writer (with anger issues) who takes a job as a caretaker of the Colorado Overlook Hotel. The hotel is shut down for winter (trapped in a snow storm), perfect opportunity for Jack to focus on finishing his manuscript.

This is the equivalent of a developer shutting down teams, refusing meetings in a desperate attempt to shut down distractions and write code/documentation that must be done.

Locking yourself up in a deserted hotel with your family when you need to get some work done and you have anger issues seems like a recipe for disaster. I’m a couple of weeks into the summer holidays and I’m already looking at the calendar for when the mini Hosk’s go back to school.

Oh, I forgot to mention on his arrival, the manager tells Jack Torrance that the previous caretaker killed his wife and two young daughters. Like turning up to a new project and finding the person you are replacing has left the company because the project is so terrible (and the person before him).



Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

Technology philosopher | Software dev → Solution architect | Avid reader | Life long learner