Programming and software development quotes

By David Pratt / Tags: / 11 Comments / Published: 28-12-09

If you’ve not had a read through the stack overflow thread on great programming quotes I thoroughly recommend doing so – some good stuff in there! Here are some of my favourite quotes from the thread that I thought I might share here (not all of the quotes were referring to programming when they were made, but they seem very applicable nonetheless!):

  • “Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.”

    – Edward V Berard

  • “The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it’s too late.”

    – Seymour Cray

  • With regard to adding more programmers to get a project done faster…

    “Nine people can’t make a baby in a month.”

    – Fred Brooks

  • “Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.”

    – Bill Gates

  • “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”

    – Hofstadter’s Law

  • “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.”

    – Unknown

  • “Good design adds value faster than it adds cost.”

    – Thomas C. Gale

  • “Linux is only free if your time has no value.”

    – Jamie Zawinski

  • Something David Parnas said in an interview:

    Q: What is the most often-overlooked risk in software engineering?

    A: Incompetent programmers. There are estimates that the number of programmers needed in the U.S. exceeds 200,000. This is entirely misleading. It is not a quantity problem; we have a quality problem. One bad programmer can easily create two new jobs a year. Hiring more bad programmers will just increase our perceived need for them. If we had more good programmers, and could easily identify them, we would need fewer, not more.

  • On programmers of dubious ability:

    “Better train people and risk they leave – than do nothing and risk they stay.”

    – Unknown

  • “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

    – Douglas Adams

  • “Think twice before you start programming or you will program twice before you start thinking.”

    – Unknown

  • “Debugging is like farting – it’s not so bad when it’s your own code.”

    – Unknown

  • “Confidence, n.: The feeling you have before you understand the situation”

    – Unknown

  • “Good judgement is the result of experience … Experience is the result of bad judgement.”

    – Fred Brooks

  • “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

    – James Goldsmith

  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    – Thomas A. Edison

  • “When debugging, novices insert corrective code; experts remove defective code.”

    – Richard Pattis

  • “Your code is both good and original. Unfortunately the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.”

    – Unknown

  • “In my experience, one of the most significant problems in software development is assuming. If you assume a method will passed the right parameter value, the method will fail.”

    – Paul M. Duvall

  • “First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.”

    – John Johnson

  • “Now I’m a pretty lazy person and am prepared to work quite hard in order to avoid work.”

    – Martin Fowler

  • “Get it right. Then get it fast.”

    – Steve McConnell

  • “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 W. Kernighan

Category: Tech


Posted: on December 28th, 2009 at 9:12 pm.

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11 Responses to “Programming and software development quotes”

Citatos | December 30th, 2009 at 10:12 am

[…] Šventėmis! Mėgstu protingų žmonių protingas mintis. Šiandien radau kelias, kurios patiko: “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account […]

SMiGL December 30th, 2009 at 10:52 am

Great speech, which you should pay attention. Good collection!

Senthil Kumar December 30th, 2009 at 11:57 am

Nice One .
I liked this one .
“Good judgement is the result of experience … Experience is the result of bad judgement.”

Prabir Shrestha December 30th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Great quotes. Can we have more of them…

fsilber December 30th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

A programmer with a poor short-term memory but who reads rapidly and touch-types — will probably produce well-organized and readable code, but slowly. A programmer who reads slowly and types poorly, but who has a large short-term memory — will rapidly turn out a program that usually works (but it will be a cryptic mess).

Weekly Link Post 126 « Rhonda Tipton’s WebLog January 4th, 2010 at 3:48 am

[…] Programming and software development quotes – Awesome quotes! […]

Chris Conrey January 4th, 2010 at 8:04 am

I’ve seen most of these before, but they continue to be awesome.

Cody Burleson January 4th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Nice choices for this compilation. A good read. Thanks.

Silas Nyundu September 11th, 2012 at 2:58 am

This quotes are awesome and makes me c through the wall!!!!

Captain November 19th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Very nice…
I like the first one, Frozen water :)

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