101 Great Computer Programming Quotes

(Found via DotNetKicks — please kick it there, don’t kick this post)

Link: http://www.devtopics.com/101-great-computer-programming-quotes/

Some of my faves:

“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’.”
(Edward Tufte)

“Programmers are in a race with the Universe to create bigger and better idiot-proof programs, while the Universe is trying to create bigger and better idiots.  So far the Universe is winning.”
(Rich Cook)

“No matter how slick the demo is in rehearsal, when you do it in front of a live audience, the probability of a flawless presentation is inversely proportional to the number of people watching, raised to the power of the amount of money involved.”
(Mark Gibbs)

“The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.”
(Henry Petroski)

“I’ve noticed lately that the paranoid fear of computers becoming intelligent and taking over the world has almost entirely disappeared from the common culture.  Near as I can tell, this coincides with the release of MS-DOS.”
(Larry DeLuca)

“There’s an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone.  That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone.”
(Bjarne Stroustrup)

“Complexity kills.  It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security challenges, and it causes end-user and administrator frustration.”
(Ray Ozzie)

I never thought I’d quote ESR, but this captures a lot of the way I feel about the art and craft of software development:

“Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter.”
(Eric Raymond)

And I found this one particularly insightful. I have found, by experience (not by ivory tower!) that using Agile methodologies (in part or in whole), helps to solve or mitigate this issue:

“The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it’s too late.”
(Seymour Cray)

Man, these are just gold, I could go on and on, but instead I’ll leave you with this final thought:

“First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.”
(John Johnson)

About Chad Myers

Chad Myers is the Director of Development for Dovetail Software, in Austin, TX, where he leads a premiere software team building complex enterprise software products. Chad is a .NET software developer specializing in enterprise software designs and architectures. He has over 12 years of software development experience and a proven track record of Agile, test-driven project leadership using both Microsoft and open source tools. He is a community leader who speaks at the Austin .NET User's Group, the ADNUG Code Camp, and participates in various development communities and open source projects.
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  • “Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter.”

    As every year passes I find myself more and more flowing in this direction. While there is empirical evidence to support the science, the beauty and difficulty lye in the representation of the context on which the science is being applied. After all it is SOFTware and not HARDware we are creating. :-)

  • I couldn’t stop laughing about the first one.

  • Guest

    Great Quotes!  Thanks.

    Here’s more Inspiring Quotes submitted by developers @ http://froz.net16.net

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