Programming Wisdom Quotes

“A program is like a poem: you cannot write a program without writing it.” – Edsger W. Dijkstra


“Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.” – Linus Torvalds

“The cheapest, fastest and most reliable components of a computer system are those that aren’t there.” – Gordon Bell

“Steering productivity with deadlines is like steering a car with the gearshift” – Kent Beck

“What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months.” – Fred Brooks

“As a software developer, you are your own worst enemy. The sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.” – Jeff Atwood

“A program is never less than 90% complete, and never more than 95% complete.” – Terry Baker

“One of the best programming skills you can have is knowing when to walk away for a while.” – Oscar Godson

“One of my most productive days was throwing away 1,000 lines of code.” – Ken Thompson

“The mark of a mature programmer is willingness to throw out code you spent time on when you realize it’s pointless.” – Bram Cohen


“The first step of any project is to grossly underestimate its complexity and difficulty.” – Nicoll Hunt

“What I cannot create, I do not understand.” – Richard Feynman

“Unix is simple. It just takes a genius to understand its simplicity.” – Dennis M. Ritchie

“The function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple.” – Grady Booch

“The unavoidable price of reliability is simplicity.” – Tony Hoare

“The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases.” – Jon Bentley and Doug McIlroy

“Quotes on simplicity are shorter” – Tamás T. Dezső


“No one in the brief history of computing has ever written a piece of perfect software. It’s unlikely that you’ll be the first.” – Andy Hunt

“If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.” – Edsger W. Dijkstra

“Deleted code is debugged code.” – Jeff Sickel

“Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?” – Brian W. Kernighan

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford


“Documentation is a love letter that you write to your future self.” – Damian Conway

“Code never lies, comments sometimes do.” – Ron Jeffries

“Don’t comment bad code — rewrite it.” – Brian W. Kernighan

“Ink is better than the best memory.” – Chinese proverb


“A language that doesn’t have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do.” – Dennis M. Ritchie

“Computer languages differ not so much in what they make possible, but in what they make easy.” – Larry Wall

“There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses.” – Bjarne Stroustrup

“Java is to JavaScript as ham is to hamster.” – Jeremy Keith


“You might not think that programmers are artists, but programming is an extremely creative profession. It’s logic-based creativity.” – John Romero

“Obviously we want to succeed. But on some level, success is irrelevant, because the process is inherently satisfying.” – Jeff Atwood

“A successful software tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author.” – Stephen Johnson