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20 Best Programmer Quotes [GOAT version 🐐]

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In this article, we have presented the top 20 Best Programmer Quotes of all time. Every GOAT 🐐 programmer needs to go through them and enjoy the excellence. This include quotes from significant figures like Donald Knuth, Edsger Dijkstra, Peter Norton and much more.

The Greatest of all Time Programming Quotes are as follows:

  1. Talk is cheap. Show me the code.
  2. Code teaches you how to face really big problems
  3. Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic Computer Programming is an essential skill to learn.
  4. The most damaging phrase in the language is "It's always been done this way".
  5. The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late.
  6. You might not think that programmers are artists, but programming is an extremely creative profession. It's logic based creativity.
  7. Programming is usually taught by examples.
  8. All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school - my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.
  9. The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.
  10. While there's code, there's bug.
  11. I'm not a great programmer; I'm just a good programmer with great habits.
  12. Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.
  13. Code never lies, comments sometimes do.
  14. If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.
  15. Computer viruses are an urban legend.
  16. You cannot avoid bugs. Write code that changes lane in face of bug.
  17. The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.
  18. In 1970s, Computing was not a science. Thanks to the legends who made it is as important as Physics & Mathematics.
  19. Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.
  20. Premature optimization is the root of all evil

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

Quote: "Talk is cheap. Show me the code."
Author: Linus Torvalds
About Author: Creator of Linux, World's biggest open-source Operating System

Understand the quote:

This is a brutal quote that tends to expose Programmers. Many developers talk a lot explaining different approaches to write code, challenges and much more. Linus Torvalds responds by demanding to show the code.

Any good code will speak for itself.

Talk-is-cheap.-Show-me-the-code.

Code teaches you how to face really big problems

Quote: "Code teaches you how to face really big problems."
Author: Jack Dorsey
About Author: Founder of Twitter

Understand the quote:

Many people want to solve big problems and make a huge impact in the World. This is not easy but Programming is the easiest path. There are several challenging problems that are frequently attempted by Programmers.

For example, Google approached the problem of search through trillions of data in matter of milli-seconds. This quotes show the interesting nature of Computer Science.

Code-teaches-you-how-to-face-really-big-problems

Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic Computer Programming is an essential skill to learn.

Quote: Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic Computer Programming is an essential skill to learn.
Author: Stephen Hawking
About Author: Greatest Physicist after Albert Einstein

Understand the quote:

Stephen Hawking was one of greatest minds in the 21st century. His theories on Black Hole had revolutionized Theoretical Physics. This quote shows that Computer Science is an universal skill.

The quote becomes much more true as Computers are becoming more efficient and powerful.

The most damaging phrase in the language is "It's always been done this way".

Quote: The most damaging phrase in the language is "It's always been done this way".
Author: Grace Hopper
About Author: One of the first Female Programmers; Developed Harvard Mark I computer

Understand the quote:

This quote brings up a genuine nature of Programmers. If there is a culture of programming in a specific way, everyone keeps on following it without questioning or thinking about alternative approaches.

This is the top reason why bugs are hard to detect and keep on passing through several releases of software.

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

Quote: The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late.
Author: Seymour Cray
About Author: Founder of Cray Research and developed several Supercomputers

Understand the quote:

Seymour Cray has the background of creating the World's fastest Sumpercomputers. It is true that in the initial stages of Programming, it is quite hard to predict what will be the outcome or the challenges.

In many cases, this is a major issue as major bugs pop up later in the development stage and entire projects are abandoned.

You might not think that programmers are artists, but programming is an extremely creative profession. It's logic based creativity.

Quote: You might not think that programmers are artists, but programming is an extremely creative profession. It's logic based creativity.
Author: John Romero
About Author: A popular Game Developer

Understand the quote:

John Romero is a Game Developer and developing games is a creative process. In general, this is true. Programming and developing algorithms is an art. Good programmers enjoy programming for this reason and because of this, many developers enjoy coding beyond work hours and have several side projects.

Programming is usually taught by examples.

Quote: Programming is usually taught by examples.
Author: Niklaus Wirth
About Author: Creator of Pascal Programming Language

Understand the quote:

Experienced Programmers can quickly learn a new Programming Language in a matter of days but rarely, go through documentation. There are dedicated employees who work on preparing documentation but rarely the majority of developers consult them.

Everyone learns through examples. This is true practical quote.

All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school - my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.

Quote: All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school - my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.
Author: Mark Zuckerberg
About Author: Founder of Facebook

Understand the quote:

Mark Zuckerberg is a self-taught programmer and have been a pillar to building the World's biggest social media. Like Stephen Hawking's quote, this quote by the Founder of Facebook stresses on the important of Computer Science and Programming in todays' world.

If you are not a serious programmer, now is a good time to start Programming full-time.

The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.

Quote: The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.
Author: Joseph Weizenbaum
About Author: German American computer scientist and a professor at MIT, one of the fathers of modern artificial intelligence

Understand the quote:

This quote shows why Programming is interesting. A developer creates his or her own Universe and World and keeps on working on developing it.

While there's code, there's bug.

Quote: While there's code, there's bug.
Author: Anonymous

Understand the quote:

This quote is not credited to anyone but this is a true statement. It is practically impossible to write a code free from bugs. A bug for one developer is a feature for another.

I'm not a great programmer; I'm just a good programmer with great habits.

Quote: I'm not a great programmer; I'm just a good programmer with great habits.
Author: Kent Beck
About Author: Creator of Extreme Programming methodology

Understand the quote:

The statement is an understatement. Not everyone is a great developer but one can easily become a good developer if one follows good coding practices and set paths religiously.

Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.

Quote: Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.
Author: Donald Knuth
About Author: Father of Analysis of Algorithms

Understand the quote:

The quote is twisted. It suggests that you should tell the Computer everything you want it to do and that also in clear cut instructions. If there is a loophole in your instructions, it is the responsibility of the Programmer to address it as the Computer will only blindly follow instructions.

Code never lies, comments sometimes do.

Quote: Code never lies, comments sometimes do.
Author: Ron Jeffries
About Author: Founder of Extreme Programming

Understand the quote:

The quote suggests you should always read the code and not rely on the comment. Comment when written seriously will capture the thinking process of the original developer and not the unknown bugs.

Read the code and be a Super Developer.

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

Quote: If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.
Author: Edsger Dijkstra
About Author: Known for Dijkstra's Shortest Path algorithm

Understand the quote:

It is practically impossible to write a code without bugs. Many Developers spend 10% of time coding while the rest of the 90% time is debugging.

Computer viruses are an urban legend.

Quote: Computer viruses are an urban legend.
Author: Peter Norton
About Author: Developed the famous Norton Utilities (anit-virus)

Understand the quote:

This quote came up in 1988. Computer Viruses are evil but it closely reflects real life. It replicates itself, infects new computer and spreads at unbelievable speed.

You cannot avoid bugs. Write code that changes lane in face of bug.

Quote: You cannot avoid bugs. Write code that changes lane in face of bug.
Author: Aditya Chatterjee
About Author: Founder of OpenGenus

Understand the quote:

There are several quotes on Programming Bugs. We cannot avoid it but a good program should not terminate abruptly in face of a bug.

Real life programs are critical and if in case of an unexpected bug, the program should not stop as it can bring the entire system to a halt. Think of a spaceship. Error handling is important.

You-cannot-avoid-bugs.-Write-code-that-changes-lane-in-face-of-bug.

The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.

Quote: The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.
Author: Bill Gates
About Author: Founder of Microsoft

Understand the quote:

This is a true statement. The mind to formulate the problem statement is different from the problem statement to solve the problem.

In 1970s, Computing was not a science. Thanks to the legends who made it is as important as Physics & Mathematics.

Quote: In 1970s, Computing was not a science. Thanks to the legends who made it is as important as Physics & Mathematics.
Author: Aditya Chatterjee
About Author: Founder of OpenGenus

In fact, Computing was not even a Science in early years. It was the joint effort by several scientists who demonstrated the technicality of Computing that Computing was granted the status of Science officially in early 1980s and we know it as Computer Science.

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

Quote: Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.
Author: Martin Fowler
About Author: Popularized Code Refactoring

Understand the quote:

In line with a previous quote on bugs and comments, one should not rely on comments. Code should be so well written that any reasonable developer can understand it.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil

Quote: Premature optimization is the root of all evil
Author: Donald Knuth
About Author: Father of Analysis of Algorithms

Understand the quote:

The quote says you can only think about optimization or improving the codebase after a certain point. If you try to optimize an immature code, then you are simply increasing the bugs and taking the code to a point of no return.

Understanding how to navigate a Software project from start to end and make it production ready is a skill that comes with experience.

With this article at OpenGenus, you must have a strong idea of the legendary Programming quotes. Remember and use them in your daily programming life.

Ue Kiao, PhD

Ue Kiao, PhD

Ue Kiao is a Technical Author and Software Developer with B. Sc in Computer Science at National Taiwan University and PhD in Algorithms at Tokyo Institute of Technology | Researcher at TaoBao

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OpenGenus Foundation OpenGenus Foundation
20 Best Programmer Quotes [GOAT version 🐐]
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