My 10 favourite Programming Quotes

For this post , i decided to collect some of my favourite quotes related to the programming .

These programming quotes  were made by some of the famous personalities in the IT industry .

So , without wasting any time , here are my 10 favourite programming quotes .

    1. If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. –  Edsger Dijkstra
    1. The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.  – Tom Cargill
    1. “There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.”-  C.A.R. Hoare
    1. Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight. – Bill Gates
    1. “Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” – Martin Golding
    1. “The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it’s too late.” – Seymour Cray
    1. Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. – Rick Cook
    1. “Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris.” – Larry Wall
    1. “Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code.” – Christopher Thompson

 

  1. Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen. – Edward V Berard

 

What is your favourite or interesting programming quote ?

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62 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Javin @ Tibco RV Tutorial February 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Interesting quotes buddy :) by the way this one is my favorite
    “Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen”

    • Senthil Kumar February 16, 2011 at 12:05 am - Reply

      Thanks Javin…

    • Micke February 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      My favourite: Assumptions is the mother of all f*** ups. Sad to say it usually is the reason to many faults that are not just simple mistakes.

  2. Steve February 14, 2011 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Love the Larry Wall one. Here’s some more: http://stateofidleness.com/2010/05/latest-favorite-quote/

    • Senthil Kumar February 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Larry’s one is my personal favourite too , but somehow Edward V Berard’s quote impressed me more :)

  3. SEO services February 14, 2011 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Great set of quotes, keep them coming, thanks for sharing!!..

  4. Olaf Thormählen February 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    “People might look at a problem and think: ‘I am going to solve that with regular expressions.’ Then they have two problems.” (Jamie Zawinski)

  5. John | Retro Programming February 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Great top ten, you listed quite a few of my favourites :-)

    Knuth ought to be mentioned somewhere though, how about:

    “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.”

    • Senthil Kumar February 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Hey John , Nice to hear that .
      Thats an interesting quote too . :)

  6. yachris February 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    No Alan Perlis!?!?! Shocking!

    Check out http://www.cs.yale.edu/quotes.html for lots of examples. Possibly my favorite of his:

    “Dealing with failure is easy: Work hard to improve. Success is also easy to handle: You’ve solved the wrong problem. Work hard to improve.”

    • Senthil Kumar February 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks yachris . Well , these are just my favourites . probably will update my next set of favourites 11-20 in the coming posts …

  7. Mitesh Chohan February 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    I’m relating to No2 right now! :(

    • Senthil Kumar February 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      ahahah , Mitesh you told the truth . Everyone faces the similar situation at some point of time .

  8. Marc Hedlund February 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    “Did you hear the one about the programmer’s wife? She is still a virgin. Every night he sits at the end of the bed and tells her how great it’s going to be.”

    (From _Interface_ by Neal Stephenson under pen name “Stephen Bury,” with a co-author I forget.)

  9. Mohammad February 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    My favorite is:

    The definition of a programmer: A machine that converts coffee into code.

  10. Kalyan Akella February 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Your 9th quote reads, “The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.”. But shouldn’t it be, “The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 10% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.”

    • IMW February 16, 2011 at 6:13 am - Reply

      2 words, scope creep.

  11. JB February 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who do not.

  12. Peter Laman February 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    #10 is nice. It reminds me of my days at Digital, when DEC held a wishlist survey among customers. One of the requests was: ‘add a REMOVE BUG’ command, with the option ‘REMOVE BUG /RANDOM’ to randomly select a bug to be removed… The response was to take it very seriously: ok, but if we add this command, then – for the sake of symmetry – we should also add ‘INSERT BUG’ and ‘INSERT BUG /RANDOM’ to insert a bug at a randomly selected location. And, of course, only bugs previously inserted with INSERT BUG can be removed with REMOVE BUG…

  13. Gareth Pitt-Nash February 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I quite like:

    “The function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple.” – Grady Booch (One of the Guys who developed UML, worked for IBM).

  14. Ken February 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I like Gate’s comment about line code as a productivity measure. I heard about that process just after I had deleted 500 lines, added 100, increased performance, added new functionallity and no loss of original functionallity.

  15. Tiernan OToole February 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Not sure who wrote it first, but i like this one:

    XML is like Violence: if its not solving your problem, your not using Enough…

  16. Howard February 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Old Playboy cartoon:

    You know it’s amazing to think it would have taken 5,000 mathematicians 20 years, working 7 days a week with hand calculators to make a mistake like this.

  17. Eric Nelson February 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Actually spoken to me by one of the folks whose unix 3D graphics code I was about to port.

    “Unfortunately, the comments are all in French, but happily there aren’t many of them.”

    They were right…

  18. Kelly Balthrop February 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Just tell me where you want to go and I’ll show you how to get there. However, if you dictate how you want to get there, then I’ll tell you where to go.

    Kelly Balthrop

  19. Stuart B. February 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Ones I found in CodeProject:
    “The first new language any beginning programmer masters is profanity” – Dan Neely

    “My programs never have bugs, they just develop random features” – S. Lloyd

    “Don’t tell my folks I’m a computer programmer – they think I’m a piano player in a cat house…” (I don’t know who said this)

  20. PKSpence February 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I don’t know where it came from, but my favorite is… “If it compiles, ship it”

  21. Federico Jacobi February 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    #8 is missing “The first one is far more difficult” (or somewhere along those lines.)

    “There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.”

  22. Ian February 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. – Rick Cook

  23. Pam February 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    #6 is my new motto!!!

    Here are a few I’ve found through the years:

    “If you lie to the computer, it will get you.”

    “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. *Good* programmers write code that humans can understand.”

    “Inside of every large program is a small program struggling to get out.”

    “If you have too many special cases, you are doing it wrong.”

    “Good judgment omes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”

  24. Stuart B. February 16, 2011 at 12:11 am - Reply

    “We code until it is designed, test until it is coded, and install until it is tested”

    “You start coding. I’ll go see what they want.”

    “There is no code so big, twisted, or complex that maintenance can’t make it worse” – Anthony Testi

    “Never time to do it right, always time to do it over”

    “BTW, in software, hope and pray is not a viable strategy” – Luc Pattyn

    “Apathy Error” Don’t bother striking any key.

  25. Stuart B. February 16, 2011 at 12:17 am - Reply

    “Consulting = if you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem”

  26. Mortaza Doulaty February 16, 2011 at 12:43 am - Reply

    This is my favorite quote:
    “Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code.” – Christopher Thompson

  27. Felix Collins February 16, 2011 at 1:37 am - Reply

    “Good, fast, cheap – pick any one.” – Felix Collins

  28. Sterling (Chip) Camden February 16, 2011 at 1:50 am - Reply

    You said 10, but you gave us 1010.

  29. Nick Maroulis February 16, 2011 at 2:10 am - Reply

    They’re all pretty good. I also like three weeks of coding can save one hour of planning.

  30. Pam February 16, 2011 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Here’s one I made up:

    “If it works right the first time – you left something out.”

  31. Robert Towers February 16, 2011 at 4:40 am - Reply

    “You are always one edit away from perfection.”

  32. Oharab February 16, 2011 at 4:44 am - Reply

    Quote (David W. Fenton):
    We could be confused in exactly the same way, but confusion might be like Nulls, and not comparable.

  33. gkakas February 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Let me add one of my own…

    The developer should mind about the size of the code that he writes, as it is probable that he will have to stick it in his @$$, at some point…

    gkakas 2008

  34. Andy February 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    “Any fool can make it more complicated”

  35. 101 Great Computer Programming Quotes February 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    “No matter how slick the demo is in rehearsal, when you do it in front of a live audience, the probability of a flawless presentation is inversely proportional to the number of people watching, raised to the power of the amount of money involved.” ~~Mark Gibbs

  36. Fred February 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    1) If all else fails – RTFM.
    2) It is a manditory default.

  37. Rob February 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Good stuff, I think for #9 you mean:
    The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 10% of the development time.

  38. Philbo February 16, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    In regards to the inital HTML spec: “Why an element? Quite simply, because Marc Andreessen shipped one, and shipping code wins.”

    • Philbo February 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      That should have been “Why an <img> element…”

  39. Pam February 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Actually, the 90% quote is written correctly… I’ve heard it that way for a looong time. It makes it more of a zinger because everyone expects linear, and it just hits home that the time involved for the last 10% is never properly planned by saying it takes “the *other* 90%”.

  40. Joe February 17, 2011 at 4:41 am - Reply

    For every programming problem, no matter how simple, there is a programmer who is simpler.

  41. Jeff February 17, 2011 at 8:44 am - Reply

    one of my favs: 32. For any problem, there will be exactly two possible routes to a solution, each the antithesis of the other. Unfortunately, only the third one will work.

  42. Chris February 20, 2011 at 2:01 am - Reply

    It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. (Hofstadter’s Law)

  43. Omri Dayan March 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Here’s my favorite:
    Q: What is the difference between a Software Architect and a Terrorist?
    A: You can negotiate with the terrorist.

  44. Omri Dayan March 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    And another:

    Q: Would you dare sitting in an airplane controlled by S/W written by your own team?
    A: Of course. If my team wrote the S/W, the plane will never take off.

  45. Omri Dayan March 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    And another:

    Inline commnets in code are like sex: when it’s good, it’s excellent. When it’s bad, it’s still better than nothing.

  46. Kent Beck June 11, 2011 at 5:37 am - Reply

    Thanks, these are good!

    more inspiring quotes here: http://froz.net16.net/Quotes/Display

  47. Senthil Kumar June 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks :)

  48. rbgiantfan February 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Features, quality, budget… Pick any 2

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