The best programmers write only easy programs.
- Michael A. Jackson
Mathematical equivalence is not a substitute for clarity and directness: we must say exactly what we mean, not something else that can be shown to have the same effect.
- Michael A. Jackson - Contribution to Software Process Workshop, 1984
Rules of Optimization:

Rule 1: Don't do it.

Rule 2 (for experts only): Don't do it yet.
- Michael A. Jackson

Jackson's Rules of Optimization: Rule 1. Don't do it. Rule 2 (for experts only). Don't do it yet - that is, not until you have a perfectly clear and unoptimized solution.
- Michael A. Jackson - From Code Complete, Chapter 28: Code-Tuning Strategies.
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
Software is only one interpretation of the reality of the problem it is solving.
- Michael A. Jackson