Gotdotnet and the Pending or Stable Marriage Algorithm
Over the weekend I was chatting with a developer friend of mine who told me about an algorithm he examined in one of his Computer Science classes at college. To quote the link he later sent me from Wikipedia:
Given n men and n women, where each person has ranked all members of the opposite sex with a unique number between 1 and n in order of preference, marry the men and women off such that there are no two people of opposite sex who would both rather have each other than their current partners. If there are no such people, all the marriages are "stable".
The solution to this dilemma (as you can see from Wikipedia's entry) has the men proposing and working down the stack of women until everyone is paired off. The end result of this tends to be that the men are paired with the most desired female they can get while still preserving the ecosystem as stable, and the women get the least favorite of their choices. :P
Of course as soon as I heard about this proposal algorithm my reaction was not to examine the math or even figure out an example that would prove or disprove what he was saying. My analysis was: well girls, that's your motivation for taking the initiative. I mean, yucky. It doesn't matter in this algorithm which gender it is, just who does the proposing, so get on it. This no doubt shows why I will never be a dev and am doomed to stay a program manager - the math just isn't as interesting to me as the results.
And speaking of devs getting results, without naming names or getting anyone into trouble, I will say that of the last 9 vendors to work on Gotdotnet team around Whidbey and Whidbey bugfixes, 6 have gotten married in the last year.
Ladies and gentlemen, the lads are dropping like flies. I can't figure out if it's the uncanny sexiness of the Web site, parental pressure hitting everyone like a ton of bricks, or just that savage project milestones delayed enough early wedding dates that they all fell down at once, but, you don't stay single long if you dev for Gotdotnet. I have never had to adjust project workload and tasks for so many weddings before. :)
Live it vivid!