What if Mario Characters Were Software Engineers?

Welcome to Mushroom Kingdom, Inc. Why don’t I introduce you to some of our software engineers?

Mario is a full stack developer. He has the talent of a rock star, but he’s humble. Everyone turns to him when the project runs into trouble, and Mario always saves the day. He has good relationships with his teammates, doesn’t slack off, follows all of the company’s best practices, and somehow still has good work life balance. His favorite programming language is Java.

Luigi sits next to Mario, his brother. He suffers from severe impostor syndrome despite being a solid developer. Luigi is always second in line when it comes to picking features, and he secretly resents Mario for hogging the spotlight. Luigi only writes tests because his TL told him to, not because he wants to write quality code.

Peach is the team’s manager. She had a great career as a software engineer and has since graduated to become a professional meeting attender. Every once in awhile, she gets to write some code and everyone agrees that it’s top-notch. Peach is a very empathetic leader and she always acts in the best interest of the team. Her one fatal flaw is that she often gets dragged into conflict with her rival, Bowser.

Bowser is a mean manager. He demands perfection, starting yesterday. He hides bugs and sets unreasonable expectations. If a test gets in the way of a new feature, Bowser deletes it without question. He has a backlog of 37 different design documents that will never be reviewed. He hates Peach and Mario–since they always do good work together, Bowser looks bad.

Wario is a maverick. No one is sure why he was hired. Everyone knows he arrives at the office late because he annoyingly revs his motorcycle in the parking lot. Wario regularly insults his teammates, misses deadlines, and delivers buggy code. He refuses to write comments. He claims his “my code is correct without a test” even when it’s demonstrably false. One time, he broke the office toilet and refused to admit it was his fault.

Waluigi is an interesting character. Everyone admits that he’s competent and important, but no one knows exactly what he works on these days. He’s a gregarious guy who likes to party, submits code at odd hours, and somehow hits every deadline that falls on a prime number. His favorite programming language is Haskell. Each of Waluigi’s features has exactly two bugs at any given time. Waluigi thinks that he’s Luigi’s biggest rival, but Luigi doesn’t seem to notice him. Strangely, Waluigi refuses to write unit tests, yet he single-handedly rewrote the company’s integration test framework last year, and will brag about it to anyone who asks.

Daisy is the tech lead of a forgotten internal infrastructure team. Her favorite programming language is Python. She quietly sits in the background and keeps the show running. Every year, she has to remind management why her team exists and they shouldn’t fire her. They look at the flashy numbers from Peach’s team and order Daisy to report the same metrics, even though it doesn’t make sense for an internal service. No one realizes that development would grind to a halt without Daisy and her team.

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