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GERALD M. WEINBERG

 
"Although the average programming manager would say that intelligence is more important than personality in programming success, very few could cite cases of people who turned out not to be intelligent enough to program, but everyone knows of cases of people who were not temperamentally suited to the programmer's job. It is in this sense that we can assert that personality is more important than intelligence in programming. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 148, Chapter 8
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"Programming a computer does require intelligence. Indeed, it requires so much intelligence that nobody really does it very well. Sure, some programmers are better than others, but we all bump and crash around like overgrown infants. Why? Because programming is by far the hardest intellectual task that human beings have ever tried to do. Ever. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 11
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"If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization."
- Gerald M. Weinberg - Weinberg's Second Law
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"Having a high IQ is like a CPU's having a terrific computing speed. It's a great asset in problem solving - as long as the problem doesn't involve a lot of input or output."
- Gerald M. Weinberg - Overrunning the Output Recipient, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 125
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"In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg - Donald Gause and Gerald Weinberg, Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really Is by Donald C. Gause (Author), Gerald M. Weinberg (Author) , ISBN: 0932633161 , Page: 143
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"Not too many people, in the final analysis, really want their problems solved."
- Gerald M. Weinberg - Donald Gause and Gerald Weinberg, Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really Is by Donald C. Gause (Author), Gerald M. Weinberg (Author) , ISBN: 0932633161 , Page: 149
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"Experience doesn't necessarily teach anything. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 51
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"If a manager wants to run a stable project, he would do well to follow this simple maxim: If a programmer is indispensable, get rid of him as quickly as possible. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 100, Chapter 6
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"No matter what the problem is, it's always a people problem."
- Gerald M. Weinberg
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"A number of people, some as authoritative as Edsger Dijkstra, have claimed that ability in native language - reading and writing - is the single most important asset a programmer can have. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 128
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"Perhaps we expect too much from schools. The education process is still essentially medieval in its practices, so why should schools for programmers be different? Typically, where there is a carefully worked-out educational program, it is to train future professionals with amateur habits, so perhaps it is better that they don't do much of a job. At least there's less to unlearn once you get into a real programming environment. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 198, Chapter 10
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"Some years ago, when Cobol was the great white programming hope, one heard much talk of the possibility of executives being able to read programs. With the perspective of time, we can see that this claim was merely intended to attract the funds of executives who hoped to free themselves from bondage to their programmers. Nobody can seriously have believed that executives could read programs. Why should they? Even programmers do not read programs. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 5, Chapter 1
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"The job of system design calls for an eye that never loses sight of the forest, whereas the job of debugging requires that every tree - even every branch or leaf - be seen with utmost clarity. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 132, Chapter 7
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"The ultimate act of a professional is a gracious retirement. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 212
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"An amateur programmer is looking for a way to get the job done. If he runs into a difficulty, all he wants to do is surmount it - the manner of doing so is of little consequence. Not so, however, for the professional. He may be well aware of numerous ways of circumnavigating the problem at hand. He may even employ one for the immediate purpose of getting the job done. But his work does not stop there; it begins there. It begins because he must understand why he did not understand, in order that he may better prepare himself for the programs he may someday write which will require that understanding. The amateur, then, is learning about his problem... the professional, conversely, is learning about his profession, and the problem being programmed is only an incidental step in his process of development. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg - The text has been tightened a bit to adapt it to this bumper-sticker format., The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 125, Chapter 7
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"It is an occupational disease of programmers to spend more time on those program parts that present, for some reason, the most intellectual challenge rather than on those that require the most work. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 126, Chapter 7
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"With a little artistic license and stretching of the imagination, we could imagine computer programmers as having a culture - a shared set of beliefs and activities which shape their day-to-day activities."
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420
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"There is no code so big, twisted, or complex that maintenance can't make it worse."
- Gerald M. Weinberg
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"The greatest danger is the manager who has come up through the programming ranks and wants to define every bit and byte before the team even sees the problem... When a team does work from this sort of 'bit-picking' specification, other troubles arise simply because what the group is trying to accomplish is not clear. Precision and clarity are not the same. To be clear, the task outlined must be placed in a framework of the meaning of what is being done. The programmer wants to know why, not just what. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 76, Chapter 5
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"We frequently see a team leader removed from his post for refusing to promise achievements which his team believes are impossible. The process of replacement then goes on until management comes up with a candidate with more desire to advance himself than brains to assess the true chances of success. Unfortunately, if the project is a long one, this candidate may be promoted for his cooperativeness before the project fails... This game, played over and over, has put more than one programming manager in the position he has today. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 83, Chapter 5
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"Documentation is the castor oil of programming."
- Gerald M. Weinberg
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"Lacking any objective measure, we often judge how difficult a program is by how hard a programmer works on it. Using this sort of measure, we can easily fall into believing that the worst programmers are the best - because they work so hard at it. A case in point was a programmer who work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, for eight weeks to get a small program running in a new installation. For his efforts, his company gave him an award for exceptional service. Shortly thereafter, another programmer was given the job of making some additions to this program. He found that the program was such a confusing mess that it was easier to rewrite it that to try and modify it. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 165, Chapter 9
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"Writing in English and writing in Cobol are similar activities, but not because Cobol is "like English." The secret key to all good writing is re-writing. It's true in English and it's true in Cobol. It's even true in APL. Nobody but a genius is capable of writing perfect prose on the first draft. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 128
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"If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilisation."
- Gerald M. Weinberg
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"There is no code so big, twisted, or complex that maintenance can't make it worse. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1556154844
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"The poor workman hates his tools, the good workman hates poor tools. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 203, Chapter 11
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"If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1556154844
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"Opening up a working system is more like opening up a human brain and replacing a nerve than opening up a sink and replacing a washer. Would maintenance be easier if it was called 'Software Brain Surgery?' "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1556154844
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"Every tenth year ends in a zero, and the next-to-last digit changes. This change seems to have caught some system designers by surprise, and several of my clients were caught short when 1979 turned to 1980. Many more, I suppose, will go down the tubes when 1999 turns to 2000. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg - 1982 , Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 138
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"Naturally we feel that mentally ill people are not what we are looking for when we hire programmers - although there is no empirical data to support or contradict that view...... Is it appropriate to give tests for mental illness to anyone applying for any kind of job?"
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420
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"No programmer who continues to grow need fear the future."
- Gerald M. Weinberg
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"I've learned over two decades that the number-one problem of both analysts and programmers - as well as their managers - is that they assume too much. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 103
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"Brains require stimulation. If you're locked into a pattern of work, work, and more work, your brain soon habituates - the same way that it lets you stop hearing a clock ticking. So, if you want to be more effective at work, you must, paradoxically, be less single-minded in your devotion to work. Anything you do - anything - that stimulates new segments of your brain will make you a more effective programmer or analyst. I promise, with a money-back guarantee. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 112
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"Maxwell, the great physicist, once said, "To measure is to know," and his words are often taken as a motto by other sciences. What Maxwell probably meant was "To know how to measure is to know," or even better, "To know what to measure is to know"... Knowing what is worth measuring, the physicist can narrow his experimental field to those matters. In a sense, physics is the science of those things a physicist can measure. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 36, Chapter 3
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"In September of 1962, a news item was released stating that an $18 million rocket had been destroyed in early flight because "a single hyphen was left out of an instruction tape."... The nature of programming being what it is, there is no relationship between the "size" of the error and the problem it causes. Thus, it is difficult to formulate any objective for program testing, short of "the elimination of all errors" - an impossible job. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 247, Chapter 13
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"Managers often form a [programming] team which by any reasonable judgment cannot perform the designated task in the allotted time. Inevitably the team is given an extension when the time limit is reached and the reality must be faced. Had it been faced earlier, the work could probably have been organized differently - in recognition of the longer schedule - and thus produced, in the end, more quickly. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633420 , Page: 68, Chapter 5
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"Every four years, along with county elections, the local computer science professors raise the question of the correct teaching language for programming. There's a lot of brave talk about throwing the rascals out, many lunches devoted to campaigning, a wave of confidence just before the election, and then the ultimate defeat for the upstart. In the end, both Fortran and the sheriff are reelected. They may be corrupt; they may be incompetent; they may be creaking with age; but at least they're familiar. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 29
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"When you find yourself perpetually angered by little questions in your professional life, perhaps the problem is some bigger question you answered wrong earlier. "
- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer by Gerald M. Weinberg , ISBN: 0932633099 , Page: 26
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