I always liked to ask myself "what's the first principle(s) of this?" after I learned the basic stuff of something (e.g. programming). It's an inspiring question, IMO, that can force you to think about the most important principle(s) behind something, especially a skill such as programming.

So, what do you think is the first principle(s) of programming? I'll give my answer below a little later.

locked by maple_shaft May 15 '13 at 16:40

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. See the help center for guidance on writing a good question.

Read more about locked posts here.

  • We do not talk about fight club. – Job Jul 10 '11 at 14:25

93 Answers 93


Ask Questions first.


The Binary System

0 + 1 = 1
1 + 1 = 10
10 + 1 = 11
11 + 1 = 100
100 + 1 = 101
101 + 1 = 110

Get it?

  • 1
    Can't vote down right now. But will do :D – pongba Oct 1 '08 at 19:19
  • Don't like my humor? Ok, but it is a real answer. The "founding fathers" of programming coded in binary. The first principle of programming is binary. Its all based on binary. Get it? – dacracot Oct 1 '08 at 19:24
  • We don't need to get it anymore. That's why they invented assembly, C, C++ and all the other high level languages. Binary can take a hike. ;) – Jeff Yates Oct 1 '08 at 19:27
  • There's no practical gain in knowing that, because it's too basic and simple to be constructive in any scenario. And because everybody knows it. – pongba Oct 1 '08 at 19:27
  • Oh really! Tell that to the engineers at Intel who created a math error... query.nytimes.com/gst/… – dacracot Oct 1 '08 at 19:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.