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Welcome to our collection of quotes about software engineering or programming. We hope you mull over them and find them useful. Please share widely.

quote by Arthur Bloch: A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do. with background image: black laptop computer turned on showing blue screen
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do.

--Arthur Bloch
quote by Edward Tufte: There are only two industries that refer to their customers as 'users'. with background image: turned on gray laptop computer
Background Photo: Oskar Yildiz

There are only two industries that refer to their customers as 'users'.

--Edward Tufte
quote by Brian Kernighan: Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming. with background image: photo of author Brian Kernighan with quote

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.

--Brian Kernighan
quote by Alan Kay: Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible. with background image: photo of author Alan Kay with quote

Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible.

--Alan Kay
quote by Chris Pine: Programming isn't about what you know; it's about what you can figure out. with background image: photo of author Chris Pine with quote

Programming isn't about what you know; it's about what you can figure out.

--Chris Pine
quote by Alan Perlis: One man's constant is another man's variable. with background image: shallow focus photography of brown and black bird
Background Photo: Victor Sauca

One man's constant is another man's variable.

--Alan Perlis
quote by Edsger Dijkstra: Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. with background image: man and woman kissing
Background Photo: Filipe Almeida

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

--Edsger Dijkstra
quote by Brian Kernighan: Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one. with background image: photo of author Brian Kernighan with quote

Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one.

--Brian Kernighan
quote by Dennis Ritchie: The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it. with background image: man kissing woman forehead
Background Photo: Allef Vinicius

The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it.

--Dennis Ritchie
quote by Gabe Newell: The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. with background image: photo of author Gabe Newell with quote

The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future.

--Gabe Newell
quote by Marijn Haverbeke: You should imagine variables as tentacles, rather than boxes. They do not contain values; they grasp them—two variables can refer to the same value. with background image: red textile in close up photography
Background Photo: James Lee

You should imagine variables as tentacles, rather than boxes. They do not contain values; they grasp them—two variables can refer to the same value.

--Marijn Haverbeke
quote by Andy Harris: Code is there to explain the comments to the computer. with background image: black laptop computer turned on displaying blue screen
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

Code is there to explain the comments to the computer.

--Andy Harris

quote by Olawale Daniel: Web development is difficult, only then it is fun to do. You just have to set your standards. If it were to be easy, would anyone do it? with background image: photo of author Olawale Daniel with quote

Web development is difficult, only then it is fun to do. You just have to set your standards. If it were to be easy, would anyone do it?

--Olawale Daniel
quote by Donald Ervin Knuth: Programming is the art of telling another human being what one wants the computer to do. with background image: person typing on Apple Cordless Keyboard
Background Photo: Damian Zaleski

Programming is the art of telling another human being what one wants the computer to do.

--Donald Ervin Knuth
quote by Unknown Author: Weeks of coding can save you hours of planning. with background image: cute kitten in hammock
Background Photo: Kura Tregenza

Weeks of coding can save you hours of planning.

--Unknown Author


quote by David Levithan: When he really, really likes a girl, he creates a font and names it after her. with background image: turned on gray laptop computer
Background Photo: Oskar Yildiz

When he really, really likes a girl, he creates a font and names it after her.

--David Levithan
quote by Michael Crichton: At forty, I was too old to work as a programmer myself anymore; writing code is a young person’s job. with background image: band performing on stage in front of people
Background Photo: Vishnu R Nair

At forty, I was too old to work as a programmer myself anymore; writing code is a young person’s job.

--Michael Crichton

quote by Keith Bostic: Perl – The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption. with background image: black and white striped textile
Background Photo: Mitchell Luo

Perl – The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption.

--Keith Bostic
quote by Steve Jobs: You've baked a really lovely cake, but then you've used dog shit for frosting. with background image: black and white striped textile
Background Photo: Mitchell Luo

You've baked a really lovely cake, but then you've used dog shit for frosting.

--Steve Jobs
quote by John Woods: Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live. with background image: white-and-pink flowers
Background Photo: Masaaki Komori

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.

--John Woods

quote by Doug Linder: A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street. with background image: blue and black ball on blue and white checkered textile
Background Photo: Michael Dziedzic

A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.

--Doug Linder
quote by Roman Harper: Programming is an explanatory activity. with background image: computer screen showing code
Background Photo: Gabriel Heinzer

Programming is an explanatory activity.

--Roman Harper
quote by William Wulf: More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason -- including blind stupidity. with background image: backdrop solid
Background Photo: Annie Spratt

More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason -- including blind stupidity.

--William Wulf
quote by Edward V. Berard: Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen. with background image: black and white striped textile
Background Photo: Mitchell Luo

Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.

--Edward V. Berard

quote by Ram Ray: No matter which field of work you want to go in, it is of great importance to learn at least one programming language. with background image: yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime
Background Photo: Michelle Francisca Lee

No matter which field of work you want to go in, it is of great importance to learn at least one programming language.

--Ram Ray
quote by Max Kanat-Alexander: Some of the best programming is done on paper, really. Putting it into the computer is just a minor detail. with background image: white and black cat on green grass field
Background Photo: Kanashi

Some of the best programming is done on paper, really. Putting it into the computer is just a minor detail.

--Max Kanat-Alexander
quote by Andrew Hunt: But while you can always write 'spaghetti code' in a procedural language, object-oriented languages used poorly can add meatballs to your spaghetti. with background image: person in black shoes standing on gray concrete floor
Background Photo: Belinda Fewings

But while you can always write 'spaghetti code' in a procedural language, object-oriented languages used poorly can add meatballs to your spaghetti.

--Andrew Hunt

quote by David Thomas: Delivering good software today is often better than perfect software tomorrow, so finish things and ship. with background image: island during daytime
Background Photo: Dave Hoefler

Delivering good software today is often better than perfect software tomorrow, so finish things and ship.

--David Thomas

quote by Pranshu Midha: Happiness should be a function without any parameters. with background image: boy in front of computer monitor
Background Photo: Arif Riyanto

Happiness should be a function without any parameters.

--Pranshu Midha
quote by Akshat Paul: User interface is the process of shifting from chaotic complexity to elegant simplicity. with background image: black laptop computer turned on displaying blue screen
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

User interface is the process of shifting from chaotic complexity to elegant simplicity.

--Akshat Paul

quote by James Hague: When it comes to writing code, the number one most important skill is how to keep a tangle of features from collapsing under the weight of its own complexity. with background image: solid background
Background Photo: Annie Spratt

When it comes to writing code, the number one most important skill is how to keep a tangle of features from collapsing under the weight of its own complexity.

--James Hague

quote by Jinvirle: Not all roots are buried down in the ground, some are at the top of a tree. with background image: black and white computer keyboard
Background Photo: Quinton Coetzee

Not all roots are buried down in the ground, some are at the top of a tree.

--Jinvirle
quote by Alan Dipert: This approach is refreshing because most of the programming books I've read are drier than a camel's fart. with background image: woman in black jacket sitting on green grass field near body of water during daytime
Background Photo: Cathy Mü

This approach is refreshing because most of the programming books I've read are drier than a camel's fart.

--Alan Dipert
quote by Louis Srygley: Without requirements and design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file. with background image: turned on gray laptop computer
Background Photo: Oskar Yildiz

Without requirements and design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file.

--Louis Srygley
quote by Roy Osherove: Tests are stories we tell the next generation of programmers on a project. with background image: black computer keyboard on black surface
Background Photo: Quinton Coetzee

Tests are stories we tell the next generation of programmers on a project.

--Roy Osherove


quote by Keith Braithwaite: It's a curious thing about our industry: not only do we not learn from our mistakes, we also don't learn from our successes. with background image: couple standing on grass field mountain
Background Photo: Casey Horner

It's a curious thing about our industry: not only do we not learn from our mistakes, we also don't learn from our successes.

--Keith Braithwaite
quote by Robert Coveyou: The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance. with background image: MacBook Pro inside gray room
Background Photo: Blake Connally

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

--Robert Coveyou

quote by Dick Brandon: Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing. with background image: grayscale photo of 2 men jumping on water
Background Photo: Jo Leonhardt

Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing.

--Dick Brandon

quote by Richard P. Gabriel: Programmers are not mathematicians, no matter how much we wish and wish for it. with background image: black laptop computer turned on displaying blue screen
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

Programmers are not mathematicians, no matter how much we wish and wish for it.

--Richard P. Gabriel


quote by James Moen: Strings are the favorite data structure of bad programmers. with background image: black laptop computer turned on displaying blue screen
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

Strings are the favorite data structure of bad programmers.

--James Moen
quote by Robert Sewell: If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution. with background image: turned on gray laptop computer
Background Photo: Oskar Yildiz

If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution.

--Robert Sewell

quote by Dave Cutler: Unix is a junk OS designed by a committee of PhDs. with background image: computer screen showing code
Background Photo: Gabriel Heinzer

Unix is a junk OS designed by a committee of PhDs.

--Dave Cutler
quote by Tom Van Vleck: Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand. with background image: brown and black butterfly on person index finger
Background Photo: Amy Humphries

Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

--Tom Van Vleck
quote by Bill Gosper: A data structure is just a stupid programming language. with background image: black and white computer keyboard
Background Photo: Muhannad Ajjan

A data structure is just a stupid programming language.

--Bill Gosper
quote by John Ousterhout: The best performance improvement is the transition from the nonworking state to the working state. with background image: turned on gray laptop computer
Background Photo: Oskar Yildiz

The best performance improvement is the transition from the nonworking state to the working state.

--John Ousterhout
quote by John Ousterhout: A program that produces incorrect results twice as fast is infinitely slower. with background image: computer coding screengrab
Background Photo: Markus Spiske

A program that produces incorrect results twice as fast is infinitely slower.

--John Ousterhout
quote by Joshua Bloch: When in doubt, leave it out. with background image: white and tan dog laying on floor
Background Photo: Anna Dudkova

When in doubt, leave it out.

--Joshua Bloch
quote by Stan Kelly-Bootle: Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration. with background image: brown long coated small dog lying on white textile
Background Photo: Connor Home

Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.

--Stan Kelly-Bootle
quote by C. A. R. Hoare: The most important property of a program is whether it accomplishes the intention of its user. with background image: Arizona landscape
Background Photo: DiscoverQuotes Staff

The most important property of a program is whether it accomplishes the intention of its user.

--C.A.R. Hoare

quote by Dr. Hazem Ali: The happiest moment I felt is that moment when I realized my ability to create. with background image: person reaching black heart cutout paper
Background Photo: Kelly Sikkema

The happiest moment I felt is that moment when I realized my ability to create.

--Dr. Hazem Ali
quote by Benjamin H Bratton: Platforms don't look like how they work and don't work like how they look. with background image: MacBook Pro inside gray room
Background Photo: Blake Connally

Platforms don't look like how they work and don't work like how they look.

--Benjamin H Bratton
quote by Deh Saaduddin: Developer refracts. Hacker does. Programmer solves. with background image: computer screen showing code
Background Photo: Gabriel Heinzer

Developer refracts. Hacker does. Programmer solves.

--Deh Saaduddin

quote by Leslie Lamport: A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable. with background image: silhouette of two person standing near seashore
Background Photo: Tim Mossholder

A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable.

--Leslie Lamport
quote by Steve Lohr: Chefs work with food, artists with oil paint, programmers with code. with background image: black computer keyboard on black surface
Background Photo: Quinton Coetzee

Chefs work with food, artists with oil paint, programmers with code.

--Steve Lohr

quote by Harold Morowitz: Computer science is to biology what calculus is to physics. It's the natural mathematical technique that best maps the character of the subject. with background image: green textile in close up image
Background Photo: engin akyurt

Computer science is to biology what calculus is to physics. It's the natural mathematical technique that best maps the character of the subject.

--Harold Morowitz
quote by Abhijit Naskar: No technology that's connected to the internet is unhackable. with background image: blue and black ball on blue and white checkered textile
Background Photo: Michael Dziedzic

No technology that's connected to the internet is unhackable.

--Abhijit Naskar
quote by Abhijit Naskar: If a machine ever gains awareness, it will be not due to our careful programming, but due to an unforeseeable anomaly. with background image: silhouette of trees during nighttime
Background Photo: Nathan Anderson

If a machine ever gains awareness, it will be not due to our careful programming, but due to an unforeseeable anomaly.

--Abhijit Naskar
quote by Andy Weir: Computer programming is pretty much guaranteed income. I'm good at it, and I like it. with background image: pink and white tulips on white surface
Background Photo: Larisa Birta

Computer programming is pretty much guaranteed income. I'm good at it, and I like it.

--Andy Weir
quote by Anonymous: It's not a bug; it's an undocumented feature. with background image: grayscale photo of elephant on grass field
Background Photo: Keyur Nandaniya

It's not a bug; it's an undocumented feature.

--Anonymous
quote by Arthur C. Clarke: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. with background image: photo of author Arthur C. Clarke with quote

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

--Arthur C. Clarke
quote by Chris Sacca: Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for. Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for. with background image: orange rose in bloom close up photo
Background Photo: Hà Nguyễn

Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for. Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.

--Chris Sacca
quote by Craig Bruce: 'Programming' is a four-letter word. with background image: black and white computer keyboard
Background Photo: Muhannad Ajjan

'Programming' is a four-letter word.

--Craig Bruce
quote by Frank Herbert: A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. with background image: photo of author Frank Herbert with quote

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.

--Frank Herbert

quote by Fred Brooks: Adjusting to the requirement for perfection is, I think, the most difficult part of learning to program. with background image: closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers
Background Photo: Ray Hennessy

Adjusting to the requirement for perfection is, I think, the most difficult part of learning to program.

--Fred Brooks
quote by Fred Brooks: Einstein repeatedly argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer. with background image: photo of author Fred Brooks with quote

Einstein repeatedly argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.

--Fred Brooks
quote by Fred Brooks: Successful software always gets changed. with background image: black flat screen computer monitor
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

Successful software always gets changed.

--Fred Brooks

quote by Henry Brooks Adams: They know enough who know how to learn. with background image: photo of author Henry Brooks Adams with quote

They know enough who know how to learn.

--Henry Brooks Adams
quote by Laurence J. Peter: Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. with background image: black and white bird on seashore
Background Photo: Albert Amor

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.

--Laurence J. Peter
quote by Linus Torvalds: Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships. with background image: photo of author Linus Torvalds with quote

Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.

--Linus Torvalds
quote by Linus Torvalds: Talk is cheap. Show me the code. with background image: photo of author Linus Torvalds with quote

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

--Linus Torvalds
quote by Linus Torvalds: If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it. with background image: black flat screen computer monitor
Background Photo: Mohammad Rahmani

If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.

--Linus Torvalds
quote by Linus Torvalds: Software is like sex: It's better when it's free. with background image: photo of author Linus Torvalds with quote

Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.

--Linus Torvalds
quote by Linus Torvalds: Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. with background image: photo of author Linus Torvalds with quote

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

--Linus Torvalds
quote by Linus Torvalds: Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program. with background image: photo of author Linus Torvalds with quote

Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.

--Linus Torvalds

quote by Marissa Mayer: Beyond basic mathematical aptitude, the difference between good programmers and great programmers is verbal ability. with background image: photo of author Marissa Mayer with quote

Beyond basic mathematical aptitude, the difference between good programmers and great programmers is verbal ability.

--Marissa Mayer
quote by Martha Stewart: Whether you're a programmer or a seamstress, it's all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster -- but not worse. with background image: photo of author Martha Stewart with quote

Whether you're a programmer or a seamstress, it's all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster -- but not worse.

--Martha Stewart
quote by Norman Ralph Augustine: Software is like entropy. It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the second law of thermodynamics; i.e. it always increases. with background image: woman holding her hair near on trees
Background Photo: Matheus Ferrero

Software is like entropy. It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the second law of thermodynamics; i.e. it always increases.

--Norman Ralph Augustine
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