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10 Programming Quotes and Lessons Learned

Here is a list of 10 programming quotes I picked from this longer list, and what I learned from each:

  1. It’s hard enough to find an error in your code when you’re looking for it; it’s even harder when you’ve assumed your code is error-free.
    Lesson: Always assume that your code is buggy and code accordingly.

  2. Be careful about using the following code — I’ve only proven that it works, I haven’t tested it.
    Lesson: Always test your code.

  3. 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?”.
    Lesson: Write clear maintainable code.

  4. Incorrect documentation is often worse than no documentation.
    Lesson: Make sure your documentation really reflects what your code is doing and vice verse.

  5. Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
    Lesson: The number of lines of code is irrelevant in measuring software development progress, measure by what the code does and how fast it does it.

  6. Just because the standard provides a cliff in front of you, you are not necessarily required to jump off it.
    Lesson: Do not blindly follow any standard, understand first.

  7. The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build.
    Lesson: Understand the problem first, then build the solution.

  8. Good programmers use their brains, but good guidelines save us having to think out every case.
    Lesson: Understand and use software design patterns whenever possible.

  9. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    Lesson: No comment.

  10. The primary duty of an exception handler is to get the error out of the lap of the programmer and into the surprised face of the user. Provided you keep this cardinal rule in mind, you can’t go far wrong.
    Lesson: Apply exception handling liberally across all your programs. 🙂

Filed in Interesting, Tips on 05 Sep 06 | Tags: ,

Reader's Comments

  1. |

    Hi Eddie, i always think i could add something to your points but the are complete 🙁 Karl

  2. |

    Ok, here’one for you….

    Don’t Repeat Yourself.

    You can apply this one all over the place. If you need the same bit of code in two places, make it a function. If you need a document that describes a bit of code, why not try generating one from the other. If you need a bit of data in two places have a simple way of getting that data.

  3. |

    Don’t Repeat Yourself Hi Rob, this is a sub rule of point 3 😉 Karl

  4. |

    And here is one quote from the list that falls into the same category as “Don’t Repeat Yourself.”:

    Copy and paste is a design error.

  5. |

    Personally, I think #3 and #4 are often used as cop-outs for lazy programmers who don’t want to properly document their code. That doesn’t make those points less valid, mind you.

    Point #9 reminds me of Ockham’s razor. To paraphrase, if you have two solutions for the same problem, is it most reasonable to take the simplest.

    By the way, having to create yet another account just to comment on here really sucks.

  6. |

    I love simplicity, and that’s also part of the reason why I turned comment login on. You register, you read and comment. You do not register, you read. Simple.

    Of course, the main reason is spam. I got tired of spam comments and trackbacks hitting my blog, and swiping the good comments along the way. Rob, I remember I had to rescue one of your comments out from a sea of spam.

    I know it sucks to add another username/password to your list, I know how it feels (YAUP) and I apologize for that. But, I enjoy your comments (and the comments of all my readers) so thank you for registering 🙂

  7. |

    Excellent article Sir.I hope you wont mind if I link to the same from my blog? With best regards Aman….