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"A good threat is worth a thousand tests."
- Boris Beizer - [1990] about publicizing test cases to programmers , Software testing techniques by Boris Beizer , ISBN: 0442206720
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"Testing proves a programmer’s failure. Debugging is the programmer’s vindication."
- Boris Beizer, Software testing techniques by Boris Beizer , ISBN: 0442206720
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"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand."
- Martin Fowler, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler, Kent Beck (Contributor), John Brant (Contributor), William Opdyke, don Roberts , ISBN: 0201485672
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"The best programmers write only easy programs."
- Michael A. Jackson
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"The best way to prepare [to be a programmer] is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems."
- Bill Gates - OS/2 Notebook, 1990, p. 614

"Real programmers ...
Don’t write specs. Users should be grateful for whatever they get. The are lucky to get any program at all.
Don’t comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand and even harder to modify.
Don’t read manuals. Reliance on a reference is a hallmark of the novice and the coward."

- Anonymous

"The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late."
- Seymour Cray
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"Fast, fat computers breed slow, lazy programmers."
- Robert Hummel

"For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading edge, could be so useless, and then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match."
- Bill Bryson

"The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures."
- Frederick P. Brooks
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"A programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite series of incomprehensive answers calculated with micrometric precisions from vague assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive documents and carried out on instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of dubious reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of annoying and confounding a hopelessly defenseless department that was unfortunate enough to ask for the information in the first place."
- Anonymous - IEEE Grid newsmagazine

"Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter."
- Eric Raymond

"The programmer's primary weapon in the never-ending battle against slow system is to change the intramodular structure. Our first response should be to reorganize the modules' data structures."
- Frederick P. Brooks, Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1556154844 , Page: 38
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"Managing senior programmers is like herding cats. "
- Dave Platt
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"The psychological profile [of a programmer] is mostly the ability to shift levels of abstraction, from low level to high level. To see something in the small and to see something in the large. When you're writing a program, you're saying, "Add one to the counter," but you know why you're adding one to the counter. You can step back and see a picture of the way a process is moving. Computer scientists see things simultaneously at the low level and the high level. "
- Donald E. Knuth - From an interview in Dr. Dobb's Journal, April 1996.

"My message to the serious programmer is this: spend a part of your working day examining and refining your own methods. Even though programmers are always struggling to meet some future or past deadline, methodological abstraction is a wise long term investment. "
- Robert W. Floyd, Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1556154844
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"It's better to wait for a productive programmer to become available than it is to wait for the first available programmer to become productive."
- Steve C McConnell, Software Project Survival Guide by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1572316217 , Page: 103, Chapter 7
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"Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you will find the programmers cannot write in English. "
- Anonymous - Programming Proverb
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"Real programmers don't comment their code. It was hard to write, it should be hard to understand. "
- Anonymous

"C++ is a horrible language. It’s made more horrible by the fact that a lot of substandard programmers use it, to the point where it’s much much easier to generate total and utter crap with it. Quite frankly, even if the choice of C were to do *nothing* but keep the C++ programmers out, that in itself would be a huge reason to use C."
- Linus Torvalds

"Programmers are tools for converting caffeine into code."
- Anonymous
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"The beginning of wisdom for a programmer is to recognize the difference between getting his program to work and getting it right. A program which does not work is undoubtedly wrong; but a program which does work is not necessarily right. It may still be wrong because it is hard to understand; or because it is hard to maintain as the problem requirements change; or because its structure is different from the structure of the problem; or because we cannot be sure that it does indeed work"
- Michael A. Jackson - Principles of Program Design", Academic Press, 1975

"The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it’s not whether they prefer Python or Java. It’s whether they can communicate their ideas. By persuading other people, they get leverage. By writing clear comments and technical specs, they let other programmers understand their code, which means other programmers can use and work with their code instead of rewriting it. Absent this, their code is worthless. By writing clear technical documentation for end users, they allow people to figure out what their code is supposed to do, which is the only way those users can see the value in their code. There’s a lot of wonderful, useful code buried on sourceforge somewhere that nobody uses because it was created by programmers who don’t write very well (or don’t write at all), and so nobody knows what they’ve done and their brilliant code languishes.

I won’t hire a programmer unless they can write, and write well, in English. If you can write, wherever you get hired, you’ll soon find that you’re getting asked to write the specifications and that means you’re already leveraging your influence and getting noticed by management."

- Joel Spolsky

 
  
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