Software Engineer Sentenced To Prison For Instigating Suicide Of Coworkers Due To Disturbing Use of ‘If’ Statements

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a high-profile case which has created controversy across the tech industry, 28-years old software engineer Kevin O’Neill was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of instigating the suicide of 4 coworkers by purposely inverting the order of ‘if’ statements in his code. The victims, all employees from the same company, were in charge of reviewing O’Neill’s code. During the trial, Mr O’Neill defense alleged he did so “to avoid variable assignment in an if statement, throwing an lvalue error and improving overall code quality”. Mr O’Neill method consisted of switching the order of the usual if statement:






Despite the strategy of the defense to portrait Mr O’Neill as a “code quality champion” and insisting that “it is a legal use of syntax”, prosecutors were adamant, reportedly stating that “Mr O’Neill’s method was intentionally targeted to push already-depressed, underpaid engineers to their psychological limit”.