What's your favourite quote about programming?
One quote per answer, and please check for duplicates before posting!
If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.
— Mark Twain
The shortest version:
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.
— Marcus T. Cicero
The near-perfectionist's version:
You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.
— Karl Friedrich Gauss
Several more discuss this concept from various angles.
A good algorithm is like a sharp knife - it does exactly what it is supposed to do with a minimum amount of applied effort. Using the wrong algorithm to solve a problem is trying to cut a steak with a screwdriver: you may eventually get a digestible result, but you will expend considerable more effort than necessary, and the result is unlikely to be aesthetically pleasing.
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one. - Bill Gates
The problem with quick and dirty...is that dirty remains long after quick has been forgotten. - Steve C McConnell
My site SoftwareQuotes.com is full of quotations about programming and software development.
Quoting Kent Beck:
Make It Work
Make It Right
Make It Fast
Real Programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
— Tom Van Vleck
How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarity—in short: what mathematicians call "elegance"—are not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure?
Every time I ask developers why their shiny new C# .NET version isn't nearly as fast and smooth as the old C/C++ version, I'm thinking of:
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
But they just tell me to shut up while they plaster on yet another level of abstraction...