Iterations of an Iteration

My ex-partner and I have a running joke about being trapped in a simulation.

Or is it a joke? Hard to say.

That conversation thread inspired me to watch “Hang the DJ” from Black Mirror a second time. I think after “San Junipero,” it is probably my second favorite episode. Picked up a few things I hadn’t noticed on the first viewing… like the way in which the script calls attention to the number “44” (also the season and episode number, and the number that in Chinese tradition signifies death).

It does seem to me that “The System” worked pretty much the way that a dating simulation of the interaction of two personalities actually would work. So much so that I actually had to try a variant with ChatGPT.

Turned out to be sexist drivel, but something I could certainly see a pr agency serving up to a client. What else could I do but iterate further? On the second prompt, I specifically requested non-sexist dialogue. And what I got was a brand new conversation about iteration in software development… this time between two men.


PROMPT #1: Generate sample dialogue for a screenplay about iteration.




The office is buzzing with energy as JASON, a young and ambitious software developer, sits at his desk, typing furiously on his laptop. His colleague, LISA, approaches with a cup of coffee.

LISA (leaning over) Hey, Jason, what’s got you so focused?

JASON (grinning) I’m working on the latest iteration of our app. It’s going to be a game-changer.

LISA (excited) Really? What’s new this time?

JASON (looking at his screen) We’ve revamped the user interface, made it more intuitive. And check this out – we’ve added a feature that allows users to customize their profiles in ways we never thought of before.

LISA (impressed) Nice! But didn’t we just release an update last month?

JASON (nodding) Yeah, but that’s the thing about iteration. It never stops. We learn from each release, gather feedback, and keep improving.

LISA (smiling) So, it’s like a never-ending cycle of upgrades?

JASON Exactly! Each iteration takes us a step closer to perfection. It’s all about refining, optimizing, and giving our users the best experience possible.

LISA (sipping her coffee) I love it. But how do you handle the pressure? The constant need to improve?

JASON (grinning) Pressure is part of the game. It’s what keeps us on our toes. Plus, seeing the impact of our work and making something better each time? That’s the real reward.

LISA (looking around the office) Well, everyone seems pretty engaged in their work. I guess iteration is the heartbeat of this place.

JASON (nodding) Absolutely. It’s not just about the product; it’s about the journey of making it better every single day. And hey, speaking of which, I’ve got to get back to this iteration. The code won’t write itself.

LISA (laughing) Alright, go work your magic. Can’t wait to see what this version brings.

Jason gets back to typing, and Lisa walks away, inspired by the constant pursuit of improvement in the world of iteration.


PROMPT #2: Generate non-sexist dialogue for a screenplay about iteration.


The development team is busy at work, typing away on their keyboards. ALEX, a seasoned programmer, is sitting at a desk reviewing code. JORDAN, a junior developer, approaches with a notebook in hand.

JORDAN Hey, Alex, mind if I bounce some ideas off you for the next iteration?

ALEX Sure, Jordan, shoot. What are you thinking?

JORDAN (smiling) I was thinking about streamlining the onboarding process for new users. The feedback from our last release pointed out some confusion.

ALEX (nodding) That’s a great focus. Simplifying onboarding is always a win. What’s your plan?

JORDAN I thought about breaking it down into smaller steps and adding tooltips for guidance. It might make the whole process more user-friendly.

ALEX (leaning back) Nice approach. It aligns with our user-centric philosophy. Have you considered how it might affect the overall user experience?

JORDAN I did. I think it will make the initial interaction smoother without overwhelming users with information.

ALEX Good thinking. And how do you plan to gather feedback during this iteration?

JORDAN I was thinking of setting up a quick survey for users who go through the onboarding. Something short and focused on their experience.

ALEX Smart move. Continuous feedback is key to refining our work. Remember, iteration isn’t just about the code; it’s about understanding the user journey.

JORDAN Absolutely. I appreciate your input, Alex.

ALEX No problem, Jordan. It’s all about collaboration. If you need any help with implementation, feel free to reach out.

JORDAN Thanks, Alex. I’ll definitely take you up on that. Let’s make this iteration our best one yet.

They both get back to work, each motivated to contribute to the success of the next iteration.

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