In an internal blogpost inside Atlassian, I described a certain problem as being ‘very hard’, to explain why our efforts were better spent elsewhere. Later, as I was walking across the bridge into work I had a moment to look at that statement through the eyes of a non-engineer. Atlassian prides itself on hiring really smart people. What use are they if they cant solve hard problems?
To that end, heres a quick lexicon of what computer programmers generally mean when theyre talking about how hard some problem is, starting with the most extreme: