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The Clean Coder

Cover of The Clean Coder by Robert C. Martin Published by Prentice Hall
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3. Saying Yes


Did you know that I invented voice mail? It’s true. Actually there were three of us who held the patent for voice mail. Ken Finder, Jerry Fitzpatrick, and I. It was in the very early 80s, and we worked for a company named Teradyne. Our CEO had commissioned us to come up with a new kind of product, and we invented “The Electronic Receptionist,” or ER for short.

You all know what ER is. ER is one of those horrible machines that answers the phone at companies and asks you all kinds of brain-dead questions that you need to answer by pressing buttons. (“For English, press 1.”)

Our ER would answer the phone for a company and ask you to ...

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