As a rule, software systems do not work well until they have been used, and have failed repeatedly, in real applications.
- Dave Parnas
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. The first method is far more difficult.
- C. A. R. Hoare
The software isn't finished until the last user is dead.
- Anonymous
It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a "DestroyBaghdad" procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a "DestroyCity" procedure, to which "Baghdad" could be given as a parameter.
- Nathaniel S. Borenstein
It's hard to read through a book on the principles of magic without glancing at the cover periodically to make sure it isn't a book on software design.
- Bruce Tognazzini
Software is written by humans and therefore has bugs.
- John Jacobs
A software mogul usually Bill Gates, but sometimes another makes a speech. If the automobile industry had developed like the software industry, the mogul proclaims, we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1,000 miles to the gallon. To which an automobile executive retorts, Yeah, and if cars were like software, they would crash twice a day for no reason, and when you called for service, they’d tell you to reinstall the engine.
The hardest part of the software task is arriving at a complete and consistent specification, and much of the essence of building a program is in fact the debugging of the specification.
- Frederick P. Brooks - No silver bullet, 1987
[The trick in software engineering is to find out] how to do intellectually-intensive work in teams.
- R. E. Fairley
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
Version 1 of any software is full of bugs. Version 2 fixes all the bugs and is great. Version 3 adds all the things users ask for, but hides all the great stuff in Version 2.
- Fred Blechman
At any particular point in time, the features provided by our programming languages reflect our understanding of software and programming.
- R. E. Fairley - Software Engineering Concepts 1985
Object Motto: Ask not first what the system does: As what it does it to!
- Bertrand Meyer, Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition) by Bertrand Meyer , ISBN: 0136291554
A software system should be like a Mozart symphony: Perfection at all levels.
- Bjarne Däcker
A little retrospection shows that although many fine, useful software systems have been designed by committees and built as part of multipart projects, those software systems that have excited passionate fans are those that are the products of one or a few designing minds, great designers.
- Frederick P. Brooks - No silver bullet, 1987
The complexity of software is an essential property, not an accidental one. Hence, descriptions of a software entity that abstract away its complexity often abstracts away its essence.
- Frederick P. Brooks - No silver bullet, 1987
In a very real sense, the software engineer creates models of physical situations in software. The mapping between the model and the reality being modeled has been called the intellectual distance between the problem and a computerized solution to the problem [ ]. A fundamental principle of software engineering is to design software products that minimize the intellectual distance between problem and solution; however, the variety of approaches to software development is limited only by the creativity and ingenuity of the programmer. Often it is not clear which approach will minimize the intellectual distance, and often different approaches will minimize different dimensions of the intellectual distance.
- R. E. Fairley - Software Engineering Concepts 1985
The principle objective of software testing is to give confidence in the software.
- P D Coward
Poor management can increase software costs more rapidly than any other factor.
- Barry Boehm
Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.
- Edward V. Berard
We are still in the infancy of naming what is really happening on software development projects.
- Alistair Cockburn - Agile Software Development
Two things that drive us, software development addicts: enthusiasm and laziness....
- Anonymous
The problem is not software "friendliness." It is conceptual clarity. A globe does not say "good morning." It is simple and clear, not friendly.
- Ted Nelson - From Dream Machines.
For now, we really need to learn to be like doctors. They are able to say, quite comfortably and confidently and with conviction, "These things are never certain." Doctors seldom if ever state with certainty what the outcome of any procedure might be. Yet software managers, operating in a far less disciplined and less data-driven environment... blithely promise features, dates, and outcomes not especially susceptible to prediction.
- Jim McCarthy, Dynamics of Software Development by Jim McCarthy, Denis Gilbert , ISBN: 1556158238
As Thomas Hobbes observed in the 17th century, life under mob rule is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Life on a poorly run software project is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and hardly ever short enough.
- Steve C McConnell, Software Project Survival Guide by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 1572316217 , Page: 7, Chapter 1
A final essential difficulty arises from software's inherent invisibility. Software can't be visualized with 2-D or 3-D geometric models. Attempts to visually represent even simple logic quickly becomes absurdly complicated, as anyone who has ever tried to draw a flow chart for even a simple program will attest.
- Steve C McConnell, After the Gold Rush : Creating a True Profession of Software Engineering (Best Practices) by Steve C McConnell , ISBN: 0735608776 , Page: 81
Changes in software design will eventually mean "one step forward, two steps back". It is inevitable.
- Salman Arshad
3 Biggest Software Lies:
- The program's fully tested and bug-free.
- We're working on the documentation.
- Of course we can modify it.

- Anonymous
I love software, because if you can imagine something, you can build it.
- Ray Ozzie
Bubbles don't crash.
- Bertrand Meyer
People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.
- Alan Kay