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1

I've always thought this is something that's done mostly because it amuses people. People are conditioned by the media to attach value to skulking around in the dark vs. operating in the light of day. At age 5 we have "Special Agent Oso"; at age 15 it's James Bond. Secrecy lends an air of importance to people's otherwise mundane activities (e.g. programming ...


1

The first reason is that it can be short and memorable. If you think about how many times you are going to say or write the name of the project, you save a substantial amount of time if there is a brief name that everyone knows and understands. The second reason is that it builds camaraderie. If the team gets to pick the name, that can pick one that they ...


3

This may be related to high context or low context culture. Every company, organization, or team has its own culture. High or low context culture means how much information a culture likes to relate explicitly, and how much people are expected to take from context. Naming all the services with names from cultural references does provide some flexibility, ...


1

One reason for codenames is obfuscation. If you make the name of a project meaningless, then you can talk about it in public without anyone else understanding what you are discussing. Similarly, if you give your servers meaningless names, then nobody except the authorised users will have any idea what's on them.


1

there may well be a system you just don't know. One company I worked for used names of Nobel prize winners for all their servers. Different Nobel prizes indicated different categories of servers. Test servers might be named after mathematics winners, database servers after literature winners, mail servers after medicine winners, etc. etc. To someone not ...


2

The important question is: what is descriptive? The other answers have done a great job illustrating what is not descriptive. Let's establish that descriptiveness comes from calling things by their role, their purpose. By what they do. For example, it's pretty clear, what a "cutter" does. Now it could be an ax, a laser or a knife. It doesn't matter so much. ...


8

There are 3 reasons, in my experience: When you have to name lots of similar things it can be hard to find unique descriptive names for all of them. People need a short unique way of referring to it, and we're better at using names than we are at using numbers (unless the number is very short). When you give it a name, it tends to take on a personality ...


8

Naming things by their properties is a fundamentally bad idea. The reason is that properties are, by definition, changeable phenomena, while the identity of a thing stays the same even if properties are changed. Someone decides that the file server should be migrated to Linux? If its name is "Apollo", that's not a problem. If the name referenced "windows", ...


22

We don't reference people by their characteristics as it takes all day to list them in enough detail to be unambiguous and the characteristics can change. What if they get a haircut? Instead we give them names. Also, people are better at remembering words than streams of random symbols. Disclaimer: This is going to contain some opinion and anecdotal ...


5

Descriptive naming is hardâ„¢, it's much easier if you already have a theme which automatically comes with a list of words you can use. When you have multiple of the same object naming them foo1.6, foo1.2, etc. quickly gets confusing/prone to mistakes. For example when you need to run your test on Virgo then you will quickly notice the mistake if you are ...



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