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Not Invented Here is a webcomic by Bill Barnes and illustrated by Jeff Zugale[1]. It's about Desmond and Owen, respectively a developer and a program manager, working at a company. They deal with things like other developers trying to steal their ideas, other developers being condescending, and Owen's hilarious incompetence.

Tropes used in Not Invented Here include:

  • Becoming the Mask: "The Protocol" involves assuming the identity of a past programmer in order to better understand really old code and update it. This is one of the risks.
  • Broken Pedestal: When Desmond meets Emerson Ali, one of the industry's best programmers, he's disappointed to find he's a buff Jerk Jock who gives him a humiliating nickname[2].
  • Chekhov's Gun: Owen once acquired a worthless company through horrible investments. Later, Desmond's incredibly rare keyboard breaks. Guess what company made it?
  • Hypocritical Humour: This exchange;

 Owen: You're both abrasive, know-it all loudmouths who like yelling and making people wrong.

Fang: *yelling* You're wrong and I'll prove it!

  • I Can Explain: Desmond and Owen are caught in the middle of a wooded area, in a motor home, wearing hazard suits, surrounded by empty cough medicine containers. Fortunately, the guy who sees them believes Desmond when he explains they are not making drugs.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Umesh.

 Desmond: How come you and Fang aren't fighting anymore?

Umesh: What? No! I've never even had sex! How dare you sir!

  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Fang's name is pronounced "Fong".
  • Jerkass:
    • Umesh believes "niceness" has no place in a work environment. He enjoys mocking Desmond at any opportunity.
    • Fang comes off as this sometimes, but Word of God says she has nothing against Desmond (who she most regularly antagonizes), she's just doing her job as a tester. Frustratingly well.
  • Klatchian Coffee: Desmond's "Coder's Sunrise" breakfast recipe. It's cheese balls floating in Red Bull.

 Desmond: It's like there's a hornet party in my ribcage, and everyone's on fire!

  • Logical Fallacies:
    • False Cause: Desmond believes that since bugs started being reported when the company first hired testers, testers must cause bugs.

 Desmond: The more we hire, the more they "find". Q.E.D.

  • Nostalgia Filter: Desmond feels like a kid again when his first computer is mailed to him by his uncle. He snaps out of it when it's pointed out that it would take every remaining computer of that model to match the processing power of one iPhone, and use way more electricity.
  • Not Me This Time: Someone "forked" Desmond's pet project. Whoever it was included petty insults towards Desmond in the Manifesto. So it has to be Umesh, right? Wrong.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Fang and Umesh, to both of their considerable shock.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Owen.


  1. Formerly by Paul Southworth, who left at the end of 2011
  2. Michelin Tan
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