A selection of our favourite, classic programming quotes from the some of the industries biggest names.
We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil
- C. A. R. Hoare
Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen
- Edward V Berard
It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
- Hofstadter’s Law
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems
- Jamie Zawinski
Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
- Brian Kernighan
Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
- Bill Gates
PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.
- Jon Ribbens
On two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
- Charles Babbage
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
- Rick Osborne
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
- Rich Cook
I don’t care if it works on your machine! We are not shipping your machine!
- Ovidiu Platon
I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone.
- Bjarne Stroustrup
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
- Mitch Ratcliffe
If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.
- E. W. Dijkstra
It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC. As potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.
- E. W. Dijkstra
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not.
- Yoggi Berra
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
- Albert Einstein
Perl – The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption.
- Keith Bostic
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
- Douglas Adams
Saying that Java is good because it works on all platforms is like saying anal sex is good because it works on all genders
XML is like violence – if it doesn’t solve your problems, you are not using enough of it.
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
- Fred Brooks