Al’s Guide to Regular Expressions

regexRegular expressions always came up for me when I was minoring in Computer Science in school and even still when I was a Program Manager at Microsoft. I always wished I had a “cheat sheet” as a reference, but I never found one that I liked, so I figured I’d write a post that was actually “useful” for a change.

Warning to all you computer-y people: this will probably just be review for you guys, so don’t expect to learn anything new.

Definition: regular expressions –n;

Things people say casually at work that sound pretty normal and don’t get you slapped, generally in the context of software engineers.


  1. “Ship it.” – This means that you agree or approve.
  2. “Your bug doesn’t meet the bar” – This means that the priority of something was not high enough to warrant action.
  3. “What’s the high order bit here?” —  You’re asking what the most important concept is.
  4. “I’m not sure that that’s right.” – This is what you say when you flat out disagree with someone and don’t want to hurt their feelings.
  5. “We can certainly consider it, but…” – See both 2 and 4.
  6. “I think we have to look back to our goals” – Your proposal sounds like you pulled it out of your ass.

Examples of expressions that are not regular:

  1. “Let’s go dancing after work.”
  2. “I really enjoyed the smell of the people around me on the bus during my commute.”
  3. “Nah, I can’t play StarCraft. I’ve got a date tonight.”

Next up: Big O-face notation: Surprised smile

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