IT quotations

The Zen of Python

  • Beautiful is better than ugly.
  • Explicit is better than implicit.
  • Simple is better than complex.
  • Complex is better than complicated.
  • Flat is better than nested.
  • Sparse is better than dense.
  • Readability counts.
  • Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
  • Although practicality beats purity.
  • Errors should never pass silently.
  • Unless explicitly silenced.
  • In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
  • There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
  • Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
  • Now is better than never.
  • Although never is often better than right now.
  • If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
  • If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
  • Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

According to Sahlins, ethnographic data indicated that hunter-gatherers worked far fewer hours and enjoyed more leisure than typical members of industrial society, and they still ate well

Advanced Linux user write program for three hours which will do job for 5 seconds, but common user will do the same for one hour.

Even big companies are nothing more than an accumulation of individuals.

Linus Torvalds

Inheritance is a powerful way to achieve code reuse, but it is not always the best tool for the job. Used inappropriately, it leads to fragile software.

Joshua Bloch

If you are clever, you can get more done with less material or less action.

Michael Feathers

Deliver yesterday, code today, think tomorrow

Whatever the advantages of planning, they're often outweighed by the advantages of being able to keep a program in your head.

Paul Graham

Leadership is the reduction of uncertainty.


If the programmatic interface didn’t intrinsically match that concept, we’d surely need to write lots of brittle glue code to compensate.

Karl Fogel

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

A. de Saint-Exupéry

You don't have to have lots of money to be evil, but it sure helps.

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Isaac Asimov

Nevertheless I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and educated opinion will have altered so much that we will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.

© A.Turing

When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

…the creator of Rails in his flagship products could not keep them running for longer than 4 minutes on average.

Zed Shaw

All the troubles in this world come from the fact that things are not called by their names.


When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

© Friedrich Nietzsche

Obsessed by the idea of producing beautiful code or none at all, but yet unsuccessful in achieving this lifetime goal.

Scientific American is a low-tech version of Slashdot, and it even does not have comments

Roman Rolinsky

When I start seeing patterns in my code, it's time to refactor it.

Dmitry Kazimirov on Design Patterns

Too big security is wrecking.


Life is not only trip to work and back home. Also its shopping, traveling out of city, just traveling, at the end.

Programmer should have logical and abstraction thinking as first class mathematic. In addition must have Edison's talent to build anything from zero and one. Also he must be combined careful as accountant in conjunction with scout shrewdness, and fantasy as novel writer with an economist practicality.


First: «I have one rule on process: it isn't a substitute for talent.» Second: «I have one rule on talent: it isn't a substitute for process.»

Slashdot crowd

Learning a language is more about culture than syntax.

Popular wisdom

A great programmer adds function by deleting code.

Jon Bentley

Instead of building computers which were genuinely capable of understanding the world, his colleagues had simply redefined understanding and knowledge until they were things of which computers were, in principle, capable.

Andrew Brown on Joseph Weizenbaum and John McCarthy / Marvin Minsky

Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it 😉 >

Linus Torvalds

Premature optimisation is the root of all evil in programming.

Donald Knuth

As much as it pains me to say this, Java is the programming tool of choice for discriminating hackers».


Like designers, if you give a programmer a problem with parameters, they’ll apply every bit of genius they have to solve it in the best possible way. If you tell them how to do it, you’ll suffer the wrath of an angry God.

Derek Powazek

Society management system based on injection in public consciousness different myths is even worse than clean totalitarianism

Vitus Wagner

The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases.

McIlroy and Bentley

If you can't change your organization, change your organization.

Martin Fowler

A very senior Microsoft developer who moved to Google told me that Google works and thinks at a higher level of abstraction than Microsoft. “Google uses Bayesian filtering the way Microsoft uses the if statement,” he said.

Joel Spolsky

This is the same phenomenon you see with defense contractors or fashion brands. The dumber the customers, the more effort you expend on the process of selling things to them rather than making the things you sell

Paul Graham

The complexity of software is an essential property, not an accidental one. Hence, descriptions of a software entity that abstract away its complexity often abstract away its essence.

Fred Brooks

…flowchart is a very poor abstraction of software structure.

Fred Brooks

…the most important function that the software builder performs for the client is the iterative extraction and refinement of the product requirements. For the truth is, the client does not know what he wants.

Fred Brooks

it is really impossible for a client, even working with a software engineer, to specify completely, precisely, and correctly the exact requirements of a modern software product before trying some versions of the product.

Fred Brooks

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.

Fred Brooks

The only limiting factor of the Linux operating system, is his user.

Linus Torvalds

Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.

Linus Torvalds

…if you need to ask a lawyer whether what you do is «right» or not, you are morally corrupt. Let's not go there. We don't base our morality on law.

Linus Torvalds

95 percent of all software developers believe they are in the top 5 percent, when it comes to knowledge and skills.

Linux Torvalds

Software is like sex; it's better when it's free.

Linux Torvalds

If you need more than 3 levels of indentation, you're screwed anyway, and should fix your program.

Linux Torvalds

Portability is for people who cannot write new programs.

Linux Torvalds

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

Linus Torvalds

Those that can, do. Those that can't, complain.

Linus Torvalds

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

George Bernard Shaw

…the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code».

Linux Torvalds

In the consortium projects, there's always the handshake with one hand and a dagger in the other.

Bruce Perens

if you are on same wave with a redneck, maybe you have many similarities with them than you're willing to admit it.


For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

Richard Feynman on Challenger disaster

In short, nobody violates the Busybox license (or indeed any Free Software license) for a smart reason.

Bruce Perens

Russian management is brutal and unmerciful.

Vitus Wagner

There are Christian, Pagan and Jewish screws. Christian's has cross at middle for Phillips screwdriver. Pagan's has slit, for old flat screwdriver. But Jewish has pit the six-pointed. They are artful. Means for Jewish screwdriver.

Sergei Lukyanenko

Marketing is multistage system which takes off responsibility form all members of process on all stages of killing thoughts.

A. Lebedev

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

Edsger W. Dijkstra

...because of writing becomes main way to earn money, quality of works is falling. There is no main activity, which gives a touch with world, new impressions which might be written in a book. Man is sitting in a tower of ivory and making up many new stories from the thin air, and they all become more dull and boring.

Vitus Wagner

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, heis probably wrong.

Arthur C. Clarke

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Arthur C. Clarke

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

USSR deserve what happened to it, only because of topographic maps was secret.

Vitus Wagner

Worst thing that can happen to a code base is size

Steve Yegge

The most dangerous way to lose time is not to spend it having fun, but to spend it doing fake work.

© Paul Graham

When worker doing nothing this is impossible to hide. This is much easier for scientist or sysadmin. For marketologist backwards, he must work hardly to somebody thought he is not working.

Lex KravetskI

Many readers are not aware that the the brain will automatically ignore a second instance of the word «the» when it starts a new line.

Matt Might

I'm always delighted by the light touch and stillness of early programming languages. Not much text; a lit gets done. Old programs read like quiet conversations between a well-spoken research worker and a well-studied mechanical colleague, not as a debate with a compiler. Who'd have guessed sophistication bought such noise.

Dick Gabriel

…the recent resurgence of evangelical Christianity in the US is partly a reaction to drugs.

Paul Graham

Old programmers never die. They just decompile

Stackoverflow crowd

HR is the most massive problem in the IT sector today.

Slashdot wisdom

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


To be good man is advantageous.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In business, innovation can be easily distinguished from invention. Invention is the conversion of cash into ideas. Innovation is the conversion of ideas into cash. This is best described by comparing Thomas Edison with Nikola Tesla. Thomas Edison was as innovator because he made money from his ideas. Nikola Tesla was an inventor. Tesla spent money to create his inventions but was unable to monetize them.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein

If you only have a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail.

Abraham Maslow

The amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change.

Poul-Henning Kamp

It’s easier to change your environment than to change your mind.

Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno


I take my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science

Randall Munroe

I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone.

Bjarne Stroustrup

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

Edward V Berard

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.

Bill Gates

The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it’s too late.

Seymour Cray

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

George Bernard Shaw

Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one.

Adam Savage

Specialization is for insects.


The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Charles de Gaulle

If you're typing, you're not working.

Crowd wisdom

In contrast to «normal» people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions: (1) Get it over with as soon as possible; (2) Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant; *(3) Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.

Scott Adams

Being a creator of software systems is like being a god. Only without the omnipotence, omnipresence or omniscience.

Brent Snook

If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours

John Maynard Keynes

Les bons artistes copient, les grands artistes volent

Pablo Picasso

Woman programmer is like guinea pig. She is not from Guinea and is not a pig.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.

George Orwell

…products are intimately constrained by what is technically and algorithmically feasible. In my experience, having a technical understanding of the range of related problems can inspire product ideas that might not occur to someone without this understanding

Aria Haghighi

OOP will die and be replaced by a "usable programming paradigm"

Zed Shaw

We have persistent objects, they're called files.

Kenneth Thompson

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell

Computers do not solve problems, they execute solutions.

[...], it is also sad to me that so many "programmers" and "software engineers" today don't treat our science like other sciences. Can you imagine a physicist who wouldn't study the works of Newton, Bohr, or Rutherford because they were "born before his time". In software today it seems like people just want to get into it fast, learn the latest 'in' language and start making money. Perhaps that is why there is so much bad software out there.

If a company chooses to write its software in a comparatively esoteric language, they'll be able to hire better programmers, because they'll attract only those who cared enough to learn it.

Paul Graham

If a programming language doesn't teach you a new way to think about problems, it's not worth learning.

things that don't have state can't be broken - they just exist.

The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.

Nikola Tesla

Simplicity is power. The power to do less of what doesn't matter and more of what does.

To simplify complications is the first essential of success.

George Earle Buckle

Simplicity plays a central role in all timeless designs. We appreciate solutions that - all other things being equal - solve problems in a clear, economical, fashion. The most powerful designs are always the result of a continuous process of simplification and refinement.

Kevin Mullet and Darrel Sano (1995) - Designing Visual Interfaces

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.

Charles Mingus

Simplicity is the outward sign and symbol of depth of thought.

Lin Yutang

Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things.

Constantin Brancusi

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hofmann

Keep it simple and good things will happen.

Jack Trout (1999) - The Power of Simplicity.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The "Fundamental Theorem of Software Engineering": All problems can be solved by introducing an extra level of indirection.

Testing can only prove the presence of bugs, not their absence.

Edsger Dijkstra

If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

Edsger Dijkstra

Writing it is easy, understanding it is hard.

There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from making bad programs.

Larry Flon

Collected by mikhailian