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Definition of Touille

Touille (pronounced \tuj\) or touiller (\tuje\, the verb form) is a Swiss French slang word meaning to cook or prepare a Fondue: turning in circle or in 8-shape with a wooden spoon (or reverse-spoon, see how to touille a Fondue) Gruyère and Vacherin cheese inside a caquelon or Fondue pot until it melted nicely.

A Touille in software engineering is similar to a hack or a kludge, i.e. a temporal workaround which become permanent after some time. Chain of reverse tunnels or a chain of containers are perfect examples of touille.

By extension, touiller also means scrambling code with shameless help of Stackoverflow until it works and without really understanding how it worked.

And when you’re working in a big corporation with heavy processes and regulations, touiller is the only way you can do your job in a resonable amount of time.

Touille Ecosystem

The Touille has a complete ecosystem, with a set of codes and titles representing the level of Touille a contributor put in his daily work.

The Touille Master, a.k.a CFO or Chief Fondue Officer, is usually the one with the dirtiest hands in the room, i.e. critical production systems do not run if he’s not around. Typical example of CFO at work:

Touille Master @Work

Others grades in the Touille Herarchy include (non-exhaustive list):

  • The Cheese Maker: his obsession is getting access to systems via a complex chain of tunnels and revese tunnels. He’s basically digging the holes in the cheese.
  • The Pot Cleaner: he’s the one trying to cleanup the Touille once no longer necessary. As important as rare role in the Touille Ecosystem, unfortunately.
  • The Padawan: he’s a wanna be Touiller, but doesn’t think out of box enough yet to put real Touille in place.