It's hard to believe that this video has been on YouTube since 2006 and I hadn't seen it until yesterday, but the Internet has a lot of tubes. It's hard to watch 'em all.

Anyway, I suspect that most readers are familiar with expressions built around the phrase herding cats:

The phrase herding cats comes from the common saying that something involving coordination of many different groups or people is as difficult as herding cats. One of the commonly encountered uses of the term in technical fields is the phrase "Managing programmers is like herding cats" or "Managing engineers is like herding cats". In education it would be "Managing students is like herding cats". In reality, it would be "Managing cats is like herding cats." It refers to the individualism common in the stereotypical examples of programmers and domesticated cats. A similar phrase, allegedly of Irish origins, is "Minding mice at a crossroads".

Needless to say, it gets used all the time in software engineering groups. That's why this video is so damned funny.

Not only is it very well produced and conceived, it's incredibly funny in the way it takes an otherwise silly phrase and brings it to life in exactly the way you'd expect. Given that International Day of Awesomeness is just around the corder, I feel justified in saying... AWESOME!

Posted by jzawodn at March 06, 2008 07:36 AM

Reader Comments
# Michael said:

EDS has been showing that ad on television for a couple of years - I believe it premiered as a SuperBowl ad.

So does that make you part of the generation that now says "If it doesn't exist on the internet, it doesn't exist at all"? :-)

on March 6, 2008 08:11 AM
# j2theb said:

Michael is correct. This was Super Bowl ad in 2000 (I think).

But your assessment is very true, I hear that phrase all the time as a consultant (so much so that it has lost all meaning).

on March 6, 2008 08:23 AM
# Mike Amundsen said:

yep - i remember when this aired. cracked me up then and still does today.

like the man sez "i wouldn't do nuthin' else!"

on March 6, 2008 08:23 AM
# EDSer said:

Ahhh, we used to have some great advertising back in the day (of course Superbowl advertising was probably overkill for an IT consultancy, but whatever!)

Some other good ones we ran back in that era:

on March 6, 2008 08:38 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Nah, it just makes me part of the generation that doesn't watch TV...

on March 6, 2008 09:04 AM
# John said:

Yes, it was the 2000 Super Bowl when the ad premiered. I remember it vividly because I thought I was pretty funny, but had nothing to do with EDS!

on March 6, 2008 08:01 PM
# Nrwler said:

This video is so amazing!
The Catcowboys are great, too.

on March 7, 2008 04:22 PM
# ultimatum said:

Man, that is an old commercial I haven't seen it in 3 years or so. Good find.

on March 10, 2008 08:48 AM
# Catdancer said:

That is one of my all time favorite commercials! I had not heard the phrase before that aired, but as an elementary school teacher I could see that it described my job perfectly.

on March 11, 2008 07:37 PM
# marc said:

As the author of the part of the entry that stated:

"In reality, it would be "Managing cats is like herding cats.""

I was really happy to see that this piece of herding cat history was saved on the internet. I appreciate your documentation of this entry and applaud you in keeping the tradition alive.

I'm not sure if you know, but the herding cat entry was removed from wikipedia (I KNOW!).

Good day. Keep up the good work.

carrrrrry on my wayyyyword suuuuun.

on January 3, 2009 12:51 AM
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