110
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What's your favourite quote about programming?

One quote per answer, and please check for duplicates before posting!

166 Answers 166

1
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The best indication of software quality is consistent indentation

I read this when I was following up footnotes in SICP once but I've not been able to find it since, so a) I can't attribute it and b) I am writing from memory, and more than likely paraphrasing. I have, however, found it to be true.

  • ironic that people don't use IDEs with automatic indentation, then. – Dan Rosenstark Mar 5 '11 at 8:19
1
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Release early. Release often. -- Eric S. Raymond

1
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Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

-Robert Heinlein

0
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Minimal Functionality to the desktop as soon as possible.

0
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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.
  — Benjamin Disraeli

0
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The whole history of this invention has been a struggle against time.
  — Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine, 1837

0
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Skill Appreciates Skill

(Or, It Takes One to Know One)

I have often felt that programming is an art form,
whose real value can only be appreciated
by another versed in the same arcane art;
there are lovely gems and brilliant coups
hidden from human view and admiration, sometimes forever,
by the very nature of the process.
You can learn a lot about an individual
just by reading through his code, even in hexadecimal.

From The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer (free verse version)

I had no idea there was actually a short Wikipedia article with links to both prose and verse versions of the story, along with other information.

0
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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

(Keep it simple, stupid)

Years ago I ran across a poster that had the Latin expression with the English translation under it.

  • 2
    I don't think it's ironic, because the latin is "Occam's Razor" and most people, myself included, won't understand the Latin. – Mark C Oct 21 '10 at 19:10
  • @Mark - Ah, thanks. I didn't realize it was Occam's Razor. "Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor). – Paperjam Oct 23 '10 at 17:27
  • I generally prefer h2g2 to Wikipedia: the writing's better quality. bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A21648783 – TRiG Dec 1 '10 at 19:09
0
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Keep it Simple!

0
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"Real programmers don't see code, they see trees."

0
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Programmers don't quit, they just go offline. :)
0
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XML is like violence - if it doesn’t solve your problems, you are not using enough of it.

  • Children, please don't forget that violence is no solution...it's an instrument to accomplish a solution. – Bobby Dec 28 '10 at 11:06
0
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Programming is an art form that fights back

-- Unknown

Note: especially when you're oncall...

0
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True story:

I was doing a project for school in c++ and needless to say there was some compiler wrestling. As I got more pissed of I started naming my test functions shit with fuck variants for variables. At some point to every-bodies amusement I yelled "Why isn't this fuck pointing to shit?!?!?"

-1
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Impossible is Nothing

Although belongs to Adidas, but fits Software development well.

  • This is especially priceless when your boss comes armed with that, and a change request which is essentially the halting problem. "I don't care about your fancy-schmancy CS theory; you will make it work, to be delivered next week, because I already billed the client for it. Impossible is nothing, right? RIGHT!?" (not surprisingly, that person is no longer my boss) – Piskvor Feb 8 '11 at 9:54
  • Yes right, and really impossible is nothing. Why should one posses a CS Degree if he isn't capable to make things work the way they should. – Aman Alam Feb 8 '11 at 9:58
-1
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Comments in code are like sex. When they are good -- it's very, very good. But when they are bad, they are better than nothing.

-- Anonymous

  • 4
    "Out of date and now just misleading" falls under "bad" and that's even worse than nothing. – doppelgreener Jan 20 '11 at 23:26

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