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Quotes


The following quotes are related to engineering and software development.  Most of them were found on various other websites:

Good code is its own best documentation. As you're about to add a comment, ask yourself, 'How can I improve the code so that this comment isn't needed?' Improve the code and then document it to make it even clearer.
            Steve McConnell - Code Complete

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
            Brian W. Kernighan

Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code.
            Eric S. Raymond

Complexity kills...It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build, and test, it introduces security challenges, and it causes end-user and administrator frustration.
             Ray Ozzie, Microsoft

Things Every Engineer Should Know

If something is worth doing once, it's worth building a tool to do it.

Your problem is another person's solution; your solution will be their problem.

One test is worth a thousand opinions.

If you think good engineering is costly and time consuming, try bad engineering.

A good scientist has original ideas. A good engineer makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible.

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.

The following are general quotes that I found interesting:

             Frederick Douglass, "There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong, for him."

             Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

             Aldo Leopold, "The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts."

             Leonardo da Vinci, "The natural desire of good men is knowledge."

            Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, quoted in Yes!, Winter 2002 - "If it were all so simple!  If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.  But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.  And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

             Thomas Friedman, in The World Is Flat, "When we got hit with 9/11, it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to summon the nation to sacrifice, to address some of its pressing fiscal, energy, science, and education shortfalls - all the things that we had let slide.  But our president did not summon us to sacrifice.  He summoned us to go shopping."

             Jean-Francois Eloy, in Laser Microanalysis, "Lasers were the product of fundamental research, their discovery was not the result of any direct practical motivation on the part of scientists, but rather the fruit of the natural curiosity of researchers."

             Victor Lebow, Journal fo Retailing, Spring 1955, Vol XXXI , "Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption.  The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumption patterns.  The very meaning and significance of our lives is totally expressed in consumptive terms.   ...we need things consumed, burned up, replaced, and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."

             Albert Einstien: "The development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit requires a freedom that consists in the independence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudice."

            Pete Seeger:  "We are born in simplicity but die of complications."

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