Last updated: 2002.09.02

Some excerpts from More Programming Pearls, chapter 6, by John Bentley:

on Coding

  • The sooner you start to code, the longer the program will take.
    -- Roy Carlson, University of Wisconsin
  • If you can't write it in English, you can't code it.
    -- Peter Halpern, Brooklyn, New York
  • If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong.
    -- Norm Schryer, Bell Labs

On Debugging

  • Testing can show the presence of bugs, but not their absence.
    -- Edsger W. Dikjstra, University of Taxas
  • The first step in fixing a broken program is getting it to fail repeatably.
    -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs

On Performance

  • The fastest Algorithm can frequently be replaced on one that is almost as fast and much easier to understand.
    -- Douglas W. Jones, University of Iowa

On Managing Software

  • The structure of a system reflects the structure of the organization that built it.
    -- Richard E. Fairley, Wang Institute
  • Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.
    -- H.H. Williams, Oakland, California.
  • Always do the hard part first. If the hard part is imposible, why waste time on the easy part? Once the hard part is done, you're home free.
    Always do the easy part first. What you think at first is the easy part often turns out to be the hard part. Once the easy part is done, you can concentrate all your efforts on the hard part.
    -- Al Schapira, Bell Labs.