Cover image for post Qafoo - The PHP quality ninjas

Qafoo - The PHP quality ninjas

As announced earlier in this blog, Manuel, Kore and me are in the process of founding our own company. Now it's time to present the name we have thought out for this operation. We are Qafoo - The PHP quality ninjas. Isn't that cool? :) So, let me try to explain the origin of this name here. Feel invited to comment on our idea and to give us some inspiration.

As last, we founded Qafoo - passion for software quality. Please refer to our company site, if you want to hire me, especially for services around high quality PHP code.


If you ever needed to devise a name for something, you know how hard this process can be. Several, often contrary, constraints need to be satisfied. All involved people need to like the name, but also external people, if you want to go public with it. So, here we go:

The name should be short. Nobody likes long names. Especially since they are hard to remember. We wanted something catchy, zippy, cool. Old fashioned, extremely serious names simply do not match our attitude.

The company we are founding will provide services around the PHP quality life cycle. So, a name that contains something with quality would be nice. But names with the term "quality" tend to become long. And again, nobody likes long names.

Finally, the name should be unique. No one will find us, with a name that is not unique. A free .com domain and very few hits on Google are usually a good indicator for such a name, if you want to use it on the internet.

So, we started thinking, discussing, banging our heads together and …

Making a decision

We had a really hard time, finding the name Qafoo. Many cool ideas turned out to violate at least one of our constraints in the end. Many people helped by inspiring us. Well, the final inspiration for the choice of Qafoo resulted from a discussion with my good friend Sandro, who owns a very cool open source marketing company. Thanks a lot for your help, Sandro!

So, what led us to Qafoo? First of all, it contains QA, which satisfied the constraint of being somehow related to quality. Next, it is really short, but the .com domain was still available. Don't even try, it is registered now. ;) Hits on Google were very few and mostly consisted of sites offering the domain for sale.

Qafoo is hopefully easy to pronounce. We tried encoding the pronunciation into IPA code, which should look like this:


We are not that experienced with IPA, so please correct us, if we are wrong. For that case, I also recorded Jenny saying Qafoo, so you can listen to it, if you're unsure how to talk about us. She has a much more pleasant voice than me. And I hate hearing my own voice recorded.

Qafoo sounds somewhat like a shout of joy. Just imagine, there is a word that you can use for expressing your pleasure about fixing the latest CI build finally. Just shout Qafooooooo!

Some interpretation

The foo in Qafoo can be interpreted quite differently. You can think about your own interpretation of it and share it here, if you want. We had basically two things in mind:

Everybody knows foo and bar from writing test cases and example code. It's a placeholder for many different things. Similarly, our company Qafoo will provide various services around high-quality PHP.

On the other hand, foo is sometimes referred to as a mystical power in the geek world. If your foo is strong, you managed to create something amazing. We want to help PHP people all over the world to raise their foo, especially in terms of PHP code quality.

Leaves the ninjas at last. If you pronounce Qafoo often enough, you will notice its sound is similar to Kung Fu. While not really related, this easily leads to Ninjas. Ninjas are commonly known to be experienced in different styles of fighting, as we fight quality issues on many different levels. Ninjas are strong fighters and are well known for their art of survival, as we will help you to survive problems in code and train your developers to become as strong as Ninjas. Finally, everybody knows that Ninjas are much better than Pirates. ;)

I'm really amazed about the name Qafoo. So, what is your impression? Please feel invited to leave a comment here and tell us what you think about Qafoo - The PHP quality ninjas.



Arne at 2010-05-05

Ich finde den Namen recht geekig. Ich weiß nicht, was eure Zielgruppe ist, aber eventuell können eure potentiellen Kunden damit nicht sooo viel anfangen. Ok, der Name ist kurz, es ist QA drin. Das verstehe ich alles und es leuchtet auch ein, aber foo ist ja doch schon eher Geek-Sprache.

Ich finde kwuafuh auch nicht einfach auszusprechen. Das erinnert mich an Nissan Quashkai. Außerdem ist KaFu die Kurzform für Katzenfutter. Da wird man dann vom Ninja zur LOLCat. :)

Aber sympathisch ist der Name allemal, also macht ruhig mal.

Peter at 2010-05-05

The name make made (until corrected) most sense pronounced as "ka-foo"; it feels like there needs to be a letter u after the q.

That said, it's a great, short and very catchy name! If I ever have a face-to-face conversation with you guys, and you mention the name... please don't be upset if I "bless you". :-)

Peter C. at 2010-05-05

Das mit den Quality Ninjas verstehe ich, da habe ich gleich ein Michael-Dudikoff-Bild im Kopf;-) Aber was Peter (<a href="">Kommentar #2</a>) schon angesprochen hat - wenn du in fast 30 Zeilen den Namen erst erklären musst, dann spricht Quafoo offensichtlich nicht für sich selbst. Als Motto ("Quafoooo!!") könnte es passen.

Warum nicht KoToMa/MaKoTo/ToMaKo (für ein leckeres, hochwertiges, frisches PHP-Sushi;) - zu asiatisch?

Robert at 2010-05-05

Ich bin mal offen und ehrlich: Der Name "Q(u)afoo" ist klasse, aber versuch nicht , ihn zu erklären! Damit entzauberst du ihn. Den Claim - von wegen "quality ninjas" - finde ich albern und schuljungenhaft. Das hört sich mehr nach Script kiddies an als nach PHP Profis.

Andy at 2010-05-05

Warum als Claim nicht einfah: "The PHP Quality Guys".

Andy at 2010-05-05

Komm Toby was hat euch denn da geritten? Also - falls ihr irgendwelche "normalen" Firmen als Kunden haben wollt dann muss der Name weg - das geht mal gar nicht. Startups etc. geht aber Mittelstand - sicher nicht.

dodger at 2010-05-05

Qacool would be better.

BooBoo at 2010-05-05

just another pointless, meaningless, made-up word following a bad trend. sorry.

noone at 2010-05-05

mit dem namen kann man immerhin nen coole pokemon tauschplattform aufbauen

Martin at 2010-05-05

I like the name - it's short, brandable and made of consonant + vowel syllables that are easy to parse.

I don't think you'll end up pronouncing it with the kwa- sound. At least to an american english speaker it looks a lot more like ka-foo, following the Q sound in qat or qatar when the U is absent. I don't think that detracts from the name at all though.

Lance at 2010-05-05

I like the name. It sounds similar to Yahoo! and I make the same jingle in my head when saying Qafooooo and Yahoooo.

Herman Radtke at 2010-05-05


and a great name indeed :)

Jonas King Foo - PHP web development. We build, deploy and maintain web applications

King Foo at 2010-05-06

Yeah, I agree. Qacool would be better.

Hyh at 2010-05-09

so und jetzt schreibst du 100 mal an die Tafel: "Ich soll betrunken keine Firmennamen erfinden..." ;-)

sonotos at 2010-05-10