What's your favourite quote about programming?
One quote per answer, and please check for duplicates before posting!
Get into a rut early: Do the same process the same way. Accumulate idioms. Standardize. The only difference(!) between Shakespeare and you was the size of his idiom list - not the size of his vocabulary.
--Alan J. Perlis
Being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we've got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment.
— Guy Steele in Coders at Work
COBOL can be cured if caught early.
-- From Programming classes
In C++ it’s harder to shoot yourself in the foot, but when you do, you blow off your whole leg.
— Bjarne Stroustrup
Linux is only free if your time has no value.
Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it.
— Seymour Cray on virtual memory
What you are asking me to do is like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It doesn't work.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
proverb from japan
Knowledge is knowledge. And viceversa.
From a T-shirt.
A quote on recursion and programming in general I came up with today.
Only fools believe in foolproof systems.
I'm not sure if he's the originator of this quote, but I attended a session at a conference once where Alex Pukinskis said this and I love it!
Untested code has no business value - Alex Pukinskis
I'll call him Mel, because that was his name.
From The story of Mel
"Test what you fly, fly what you test."
The required techniques of effective reasoning are pretty formal, but as long as programming is done by people that don't master them, the software crisis will remain with us and will be considered an incurable disease. And you know what incurable diseases do: they invite the quacks and charlatans in, who in this case take the form of Software Engineering gurus.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
-- Edsger W. Dijkstra
This isn't strictly a programming quote and I don't recall where I first heard it, but I've repeated it plenty of times on the job:
If you don't test it, it doesn't work.
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
— Mark Twain
You should go home if you are thinking suicidal thoughts.
— Robert Read, "How to be a Programmer"
I had a teacher that would tell students who were getting ahead of themselves this:
You don't know what you don't know
I can't say for sure if it's his quote or something he picked up from somewhere else.
Just use string you G-- d---ed savages!
during debate about merits of
Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen.
Somehow, I missed the (paraphrased, shorter) duplicate of this one:
Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it."
Part of one quote; I split them to narrow down the topic.
"That's not the way I would have done it"
By Mike Williams, one of the creators of Erlang:
OOP to me means only messaging, local retention and protection and hiding of state-process, and extreme late-binding of all things. It can be done in Smalltalk and in LISP. There are possibly other systems in which this is possible, but I’m not aware of them.
-- Alan Kay
Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)
-- Linus Torvalds
You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.)
— Ken Thompson, "Reflections on Trusting Trust"
double value; /* or your money back! */ short changed; /* so triple your money back! */
cons.c on perl source tree
I wish I could make Lust and Gluttony helpful but Sloth, Pride and Envy are certainly great for programmers." ~ Kenneth Clowes
There is no object-oriented problem that cannot be solved by adding a layer of indirection, except, of course, too many layers of indirection.
-- From "The Art of Unit Testing" Roy Osherove (attributed to an unnamed source)
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
Don't code today what you can't debug tomorrow
from this blog's title