A "peak" in programming or other abilities caused by alcohol. The theory is that computer programmers obtain quasi-magical, superhuman coding ability when they have a blood alcohol concentration percentage between 0.129% and 0.138%. Recent study's indicate that the effect may also spread to other skills; this has only been proven in the essay writing abilities of computer scientists.
After having one glass of wassail, Haley's code suddenly improved due to the Ballmer Peak.
by mikefromcanmore December 16, 2009
A supposed "peak" in programming ability caused by alcohol. The term was coined by an XKCD web comic: http://xkcd.com/323/. The phrase is in reference to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who generally acts pretty crazy, much like an angry drunk, and hence the alcohol joke.

Somewhat ironically, Ballmer never wrote any production code while at Microsoft. His background is in business rather than engineering, though he is renowned for his ability to perform difficult mathematical calculations mentally.
I finished that programming assignment in one night thanks to the Ballmer Peak.

Man, they really must have overshot the Ballmer Peak when they wrote Vista.
by colonel forbin's ascent September 09, 2008
The theory that computer programmers obtain quasi-magical, superhuman coding ability when they have a blood alcohol concentration percentage between 0.129% and 0.138%. The discovery of this effect is attributed to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft - who probably "discovered" it by simply monitoring his own perpetually inebriated nervous system, and deducing that programming ability "peaks" after a few drinks and then dips dramatically after full-blown drunkenness ensues.

If you can convince your boss that this is all based on legitimate science, and that the effect is real (i.e. your drunkeness = better code = more money for the company), then you will have achieved perfection in this world. There will be no reason to ever come back sober from lunch again.

Also known as "The Ballmer Curve" and "The Ballmer Effect" this state has been observed by people who play darts... and musicians. Although, to be fair, musicians only notice the effect briefly (and totally by accident) as they transition from complete sobriety to absolute drunkeness - without ever even trying to moderate their alcohol intake in order to stay at the peak.
I had three more Long Island Teas after I had already hit the Ballmer Peak, so now none of my fucking code will compile.
by cathodeRay February 04, 2008
A "peak" in programming or other abilities caused by alcohol. The theory is that computer programmers obtain quasi-magical, superhuman coding ability when they have a blood alcohol concentration percentage between 0.129% and 0.138%.
I drank until I hit the Ballmer Peak
by vidivinchi October 31, 2010

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