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.
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.
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.
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
Things Every Engineer Should
If something is worth doing once, it's worth building a tool to
Your problem is another person's solution; your solution will be
One test is worth a thousand opinions.
If you think good engineering is costly and time consuming, try
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
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."
Leopold, in A Sand
, "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."
Leopold, "The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all
Leonardo da Vinci, "The natural desire of good men is
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?"
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
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."
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."
Seeger: "We are born in simplicity but die of