curl ‘techJobs’ SanFran

billboard on the US101, near SFO July 2012

I got this awesome curl sighting from the US101, near SFO posted to me (click for a slightly larger version) a few days ago – showing curl on a very large billboard in an ad for Dice.

It is clearly meant to look like a unix style command line that invokes curl. The command line would only be syntactically correct if the user truly has two host names named “techJobs” and “SanFran” and curl would attempt to get their root HTTP document off them on port 80.

It gets followed by that C++/C99 comment that really is an odd added context.

To me, all the sign shows is a company that desperately tries to look techy but in trying too hard it fails really miserably. I’m really honored my work found its way to such a high profile spot though!

Follow-up, September 11th:

Much to my surprise, today I received an email from Dice responding to my “critique” above. I have to say that this response was much more than I expected and I tip my hat to them for this response:

Hi Daniel,

I’m the marketing director for Dice.com and I wanted to reach out to you to thank you for spotting our billboard error on the 101. We are deeply embarrassed by this mistake to say the least. In a classic coding scenario, our QA failed us. Unfortunately for us, we bought this spot long-term and we are trying to figure out how quickly we can replace the content.

We’ve been working this year to do a better job communicating in a more authentic way in our marketing efforts. Obviously, making a mistake like this makes it look pathetically inauthentic. At the end of the day, getting it wrong is inexcusable, particularly in such a visible way.

(photo by Stan van de Burgt)

4 Responses to “curl ‘techJobs’ SanFran”

  1. Chris Says:

    Every time I see this sign, I wince a little… not only do they try too hard and look pathetic on the technical side, but the fact they call SF “San Fran” also shows that they know very little about the metro area.

    The comment is just icing on the cake because of the unspoken agreement among everyone in IT in the Bay that you’re *always* looking.

  2. Manas Says:

    It only works if you assume that the first backtick doesn’t mess up the rest of the command.

  3. daniel Says:

    @Manas: true, I don’t think of that as a backtick. If it is, the command line is even more screwed :-)

  4. Brian Says:

    I found this post through google, and I feel the exact same way! Not using a monospaced font really reeks of someone who has never written a line of code or ran a unix command in their lives.