Quotes

Architecture

"In computer design three levels can be distinguished: architecture, implementation and realisation; for the first of them, the following working definition is given: The architecture of a system can be defined as the functional appearance of the system to the user, its phenomenology. […] The inner structure of a system is not considered by the architecture: we do not need to know what makes the clock tick, to know what time it is. This inner structure, considered from a logical point of view, will be called the implementation, and its physical embodiment the realisation." (Gerrit Blaauw, "Computer Architecture", 1972)

"There always is an architecture, whether it is defined in advance - as with modern computers - or found out after the fact - as with many older computers. For architecture is determined by behavior, not by words. Therefore, the term architecture, which rightly implies the notion of the arch, or prime structure, should not be understood as the vague overall idea. Rather, the product of the computer architecture, the principle of operations manual, should contain all detail which the user can know, and sooner or later is bound to know." (Gerrit Blaauw, "Computer Architecture", 1972)

"If a project has not achieved a system architecture, including its rationale, the project should not proceed to full-scale system development. Specifying the architecture as a deliverable enables its use throughout the development and maintenance process." (Barry Boehm, 1995)

"The presence of an enterprise reference architecture aids an enterprise in its ability to understand its structure and processes. Similar to a computer architecture, the enterprise architecture is comprised of several views. The enterprise architecture should provide activity, organizational, business rule (information), resource, and process views of an organization." (Joseph Sarkis et al, "The management of technology within an enterprise engineering framework", Computers & Industrial Engineering 1995)

"The software architecture of a system or a family of systems has one of the most significant impacts on the quality of an organization's enterprise architecture. While the design of software systems concentrates on satisfying the functional requirements for a system, the design of the software architecture for systems concentrates on the nonfunctional or quality requirements for systems. These quality requirements are concerns at the enterprise level. The better an organization specifies and characterizes the software architecture for its systems, the better it can characterize and manage its enterprise architecture. By explicitly defining the systems software architectures, an organization will be better able to reflect the priorities and trade-offs that are important to the organization in the 
software that it builds." (James McGovern, "A Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture", 2004)
"Architecture begins where engineering ends." (Walter Gropius, [speech])

"Architecture is the tension between coupling and cohesion." (Neal Ford)

Algorithms 

"Naturally, we can propose many sophisticated algorithms and a theory but the final test of a theory is its capacity to solve the problems which originated it." (George Dantzig, "Linear Programming and Extensions", 1963)

Computers

"A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human." (Alan M Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence", Mind Vol. 59, 1950)

"The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer." (Alan M Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence", Mind Vol. 59, 1950)

"A computer is like a violin. You can imagine a novice trying first a phonograph and then a violin. The latter, he says, sounds terrible. That is the argument we have heard from our humanists and most of our computer scientists. Computer programs are good, they say, for particular purposes, but they aren’t flexible. Neither is a violin, or a typewriter, until you learn how to use it." (Marvin Minsky, "Why Programming Is a Good", 1967)

"These machines have no common sense; they have not yet learned to "think," and they do exactly as they are told, no more and no less. This fact is the hardest concept to grasp when one first tries to use a computer." (Donald E Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming", 1968)

"Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest." (Isaac Asimov, "Change! Seventy-One Glimpses of the Future", 1981)

"The basic idea of cognitive science is that intelligent beings are semantic engines - in other words, automatic formal systems with interpretations under which they consistently make sense. We can now see why this includes psychology and artificial intelligence on a more or less equal footing: people and intelligent computers (if and when there are any) turn out to be merely different manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon. Moreover, with universal hardware, any semantic engine can in principle be formally imitated by a computer if only the right program can be found." (John Haugeland, "Semantic Engines: An introduction to mind design", 1981)

"Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs: Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do." (Donald E Knuth, "Literate Programming", 1984)

"A computer is an interpreted automatic formal system - that is to say, a symbol-manipulating machine. (John Haugeland, "Artificial intelligence: The very idea", 1985)

"Artificial intelligence is based on the assumption that the mind can be described as some kind of formal system manipulating symbols that stand for things in the world. Thus it doesn't matter what the brain is made of, or what it uses for tokens in the great game of thinking. Using an equivalent set of tokens and rules, we can do thinking with a digital computer, just as we can play chess using cups, salt and pepper shakers, knives, forks, and spoons. Using the right software, one system (the mind) can be mapped onto the other (the computer)." (George Johnson, "Machinery of the Mind: Inside the New Science of Artificial Intelligence", 1986)

"Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do." (Donald E Knuth, [foreword to the book "A=B" by Marko Petkovsek et al] 1996)

"We evolved to be good at learning and using rules of thumb, not at searching for ultimate causes and making fine distinctions. Still less did we evolve to spin out long chains of calculation that connect fundamental laws to observable consequences. Computers are much better at it!" (Frank Wilczek,"The Lightness of Being – Mass, Ether and the Unification of Forces", 2008)
Data

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." (Sir Arthur C Doyle, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", 1892)
"If data analysis is to be well done, much of it must be a matter of judgment, and ‘theory’ whether statistical or non-statistical, will have to guide, not command." (John W Tukey, "The Future of Data Analysis", Annals of Mathematical Statistics, Vol. 33 (1), 1962)
"The most important maxim for data analysis to heed, and one which many statisticians seem to have shunned is this: ‘Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.’ Data analysis must progress by approximate answers, at best, since its knowledge of what the problem really is will at best be approximate." (John W Tukey, "The Future of Data Analysis", Annals of Mathematical Statistics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1962)

"People often feel inept when faced with numerical data. Many of us think that we lack numeracy, the ability to cope with numbers. […] The fault is not in ourselves, but in our data. Most data are badly presented and so the cure lies with the producers of the data. To draw an analogy with literacy, we do not need to learn to read better, but writers need to be taught to write better." (Andrew Ehrenberg, "The problem of numeracy", American Statistician 35(2), 1981)
"Data in isolation are meaningless, a collection of numbers. Only in context of a theory do they assume significance […]" (George Greenstein, "Frozen Star", 1983)
"The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data." (John W Tukey, "Sunset Salvo", The American Statistician Vol. 40 (1), 1986)
"[…] data analysis in the context of basic mathematical concepts and skills. The ability to use and interpret simple graphical and numerical descriptions of data is the foundation of numeracy […] Meaningful data aid in replacing an emphasis on calculation by the exercise of judgement and a stress on interpreting and communicating results." (David S Moore, "Statistics for All: Why, What and How?", 1990)
"The value of having numbers - data - is that they aren't subject to someone else's interpretation. They are just the numbers. You can decide what they mean for you." (Emily Oster, "Expecting Better", 2013)

"[…] numerous samples collected without a clear idea of what is to be done with the data are commonly less useful than a moderate number of samples collected in accordance with a specific design." (William C Krumbein)

"Torture numbers and they’ll confess to anything." (Gregg Easterbrook)


Design

"Simplicity is the soul of efficiency." (Austin Freeman, The Eye of Osiris, 1911)

"A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises is, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its area of applicability." (Albert Einstein, "Autobiographical Notes", 1949)
"In products of the human mind, simplicity marks the end of a process of refining, while complexity marks a primitive stage." (Eric Hoffer, 1954)
"Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it." (Alan Perlis, "Epigrams on Programming", 1982)
"The theory of the visual display of quantitative information consists of principles that generate design options and that guide choices among options. The principles should not be applied rigidly or in a peevish spirit; they are not logically or mathematically certain; and it is better to violate any principle than to place graceless or inelegant marks on paper. Most principles of design should be greeted with some skepticism, for word authority can dominate our vision, and we may come to see only though the lenses of word authority rather than with our own eyes." (Edward R Tufte, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information", 1983)
"Meta-design is much more difficult than design; it's easier to draw something than to explain how to draw it." (Donald E Knuth, "The METAFONTbook", 1986)
"If solutions could be offered within the existing system, there would be no need to design. Thus designers have to transcend the existing system. Their task is to create a different system or devise a new one. That is why designers say they can truly define the problem only in light of the solution. The solution informs them as to what the real problem is." (Béla H Bánáthy, "Systems Design of Education", 1991)
"The methods of science include controlled experiments, classification, pattern recognition, analysis, and deduction. In the humanities we apply analogy, metaphor, criticism, and (e)valuation. In design we devise alternatives, form patterns, synthesize, use conjecture, and model solutions." (Béla H Bánáthy, "Designing Social Systems in a Changing World", 1996)
"[…] the simplest hypothesis proposed as an explanation of phenomena is more likely to be the true one than is any other available hypothesis, that its predictions are more likely to be true than those of any other available hypothesis, and that it is an ultimate a priori epistemic principle that simplicity is evidence for truth." (Richard Swinburne, "Simplicity as Evidence for Truth", 1997)
"Good design is also an act of communication between the designer and the user, except that all the communication has to come about by the appearance of the device itself. The device must explain itself. (Donald Norman, "The Design of Everyday Things", 2002)
"The flip side of the coin was that even good programmers and language designers tended to do terrible extensions when they were in the heat of programming, because design is something that is best done slowly and carefully." (Alan Kay, [ACM Queue A Conversation with Alan Kay Vol. 2 (9)] 2004-2005)
"Overload, clutter, and confusion are not attributes of information, they are failures of design. (Edward Tufte) 
"The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise." (Edsger Dijkstra)
"The thing that makes software design difficult is that we must express thoughts about a problem and a solution we typically do not understand fully, using a language that does not contain many of our accustomed features of expression, to a system that is unforgiving of mistakes." (Alistair Cockburn)
Error
 
"Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true." (John Locke, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding", 1689) 
"The orbits of certainties touch one another; but in the interstices there is room enough for error to go forth and prevail." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Maxims and Reflections", 1833) 
"Every judgment teeters on the brink of error. To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous. Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty." (Frank Herbert, "Children of Dune", 1976)
"It seems that truth is progressive approximation in which the relative fraction of our spontaneously tolerated residual error constantly diminishes." (R Buckminster Fuller, "Humans in Universe", 1983)
Laws 
 
Gall’s Law: "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a simple system." (John Gall, "Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail", 1975)
Measurement
"The first steps in the path of discovery, and the first approximate measures, are those which add most to the existing knowledge of mankind. (Charles Babbage, "Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, And on Some of Its Causes", 1830)
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science." (Lord Kelvin, "Electrical Units of Measurement", 1883)
"It is important to realize that it is not the one measurement, alone, but its relation to the rest of the sequence that is of interest." (William E Deming, "Statistical Adjustment of Data", 1943)
"Measurement, we have seen, always has an element of error in it. The most exact description or prediction that a scientist can make is still only approximate." (Abraham Kaplan, "The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science", 1964)
"A mature science, with respect to the matter of errors in variables, is not one that measures its variables without error, for this is impossible. It is, rather, a science which properly manages its errors, controlling their magnitudes and correctly calculating their implications for substantive conclusions." (Otis D Duncan, "Introduction to Structural Equation Models", 1975)
Method 

"Scientific method is the way to truth, but it affords, even in principle, no unique definition of truth. Any so-called pragmatic definition of truth is doomed to failure equally." (Willard v O Quine, "Word and Object", 1960)

Models
 
"A model is essentially a calculating engine designed to produce some output for a given input." (Richard C Lewontin, "Models, Mathematics and Metaphors", Synthese, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1963)
"A theory has only the alternative of being right or wrong. A model has a third possibility: it may be right, but irrelevant." (Manfred Eigen, 1973)
"Since all models are wrong the scientist must be alert to what is importantly wrong. It is inappropriate to be concerned about mice when there are tigers abroad." (George E P Box, "Science and Statistics", Journal of the American Statistical Association 71, 1976)
"Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful." (George E P Box, "Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces", 1987)
"The essence of modeling, as we see it, is that one begins with a nontrivial word problem about the world around us. We then grapple with the not always obvious problem of how it can be posed as a mathematical question. Emphasis is on the evolution of a roughly conceived idea into a more abstract but manageable form in which inessentials have been eliminated. One of the lessons learned is that there is no best model, only better ones."  (Edward Beltrami, "Mathematics for Dynamic Modeling", 1987)
 
"A good model makes the right strategic simplifications. In fact, a really good model is one that generates a lot of understanding from focusing on a very small number of causal arrows." (Robert M Solow, "How Did Economics Get That Way and What Way Did It Get?", Daedalus, Vol. 126, No. 1, 1997)
 
"A model isolates one or a few causal connections, mechanisms, or processes, to the exclusion of other contributing or interfering factors - while in the actual world, those other factors make their effects felt in what actually happens. Models may seem true in the abstract, and are false in the concrete. The key issue is about whether there is a bridge between the two, the abstract and the concrete, such that a simple model can be relied on as a source of relevantly truthful information about the complex reality." (Uskali Mäki, "Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction", 2002)
"Mathematical modeling is as much ‘art’ as ‘science’: it requires the practitioner to (i) identify a so-called ‘real world’ problem (whatever the context may be); (ii) formulate it in mathematical terms (the ‘word problem’ so beloved of undergraduates); (iii) solve the problem thus formulated (if possible; perhaps approximate solutions will suffice, especially if the complete problem is intractable); and (iv) interpret the solution in the context of the original problem." (John A Adam, "Mathematics in Nature", 2003)
"All models are mental projections of our understanding of processes and feedbacks of systems in the real world. The general approach is that models are as good as the system upon which they are based. Models should be designed to answer specific questions and only incorporate the necessary details that are required to provide an answer." (Hördur V Haraldsson & Harald U Sverdrup, "Finding Simplicity in Complexity in Biogeochemical Modelling", 2004)
"Alternative models are neither right nor wrong, just more or less useful in allowing us to operate in the world and discover more and better options for solving problems." (Andrew Weil," The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem", 2004)
"In general, when building statistical models, we must not forget that the aim is to understand something about the real world. Or predict, choose an action, make a decision, summarize evidence, and so on, but always about the real world, not an abstract mathematical world: our models are not the reality […]." (David Hand, "Wonderful examples, but let's not close our eyes", Statistical Science 29, 2014)

"Models are formal structures represented in mathematics and diagrams that help us to understand the world. Mastery of models improves your ability to reason, explain, design, communicate, act, predict, and explore." (Scott E Page, "The Model Thinker", 2018)
 
Principles
 
"Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference." (Carl von Clausewitz, "On War", 1832)

"Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other." (Stephen R Covey, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", 1989)


Problem Solving

"[…] a problem well put is half-solved." (John Dewey, "Logic: Theory of Inquiry", 1938)
 
"The mere formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science." (Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld, "The Evolution of Physics", 1938)
 
"A great discovery solves a great problem but there is a grain of discovery in the solution of any problem. Your problem may be modest; but if it challenges your curiosity and brings into play your inventive faculties, and if you solve it by your own means, you may experience the tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery." (George Polya, "How to Solve It", 1944)
 
"We can scarcely imagine a problem absolutely new, unlike and unrelated to any formerly solved problem; but if such a problem could exist, it would be insoluble. In fact, when solving a problem, we should always profit from previously solved problems, using their result or their method, or the experience acquired in solving them." (George Polya, "How to Solve It", 1944)

"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." (Abraham H Maslow, "Toward a Psychology of Being", 1962)

"Develop a honeybee mind, gathering ideas everywhere and associating them fully." (Jacques S Hadamard, "But You Don't Understand the Problem", Electronic News, 1967)


"A great many problems are easier to solve rigorously if you know in advance what the answer is." (Ian Stewart, "From Here to Infinity", 1987)
 
"Every problem has a solution; it may sometimes just need another perspective." (Rebecca Mallery et al, "NLP for Rookies", 2009) 

"An important symptom of an emerging understanding is the capacity to represent a problem in a number of different ways and to approach its solution from varied vantage points; a single, rigid representation is unlikely to suffice." (Howard Gardner, "The Unschooled Mind", 1991)


"Framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it." (Pearl Zhu, "Change, Creativity and Problem-Solving", 2017)

Project Management

"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." (Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, 1975) 


"There are always “class or prestige” gaps between various levels of management. There are also functional gaps between working units of the organization. If we superimpose the management gaps on top of the functional gaps, we find that companies are made up of small operational islands that refuse to communicate with one another for fear that giving up information may strengthen their opponents. The project manager’s responsibility is to get these islands to communicate cross-functionally toward common goals and objectives." (Harold Kerzner, "Project Management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling", 1979)

"Project management is the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives. Furthermore, project management utilises the systems approach to management by having functional personnel (the vertical hierarchy) assigned to a specific project." (Harold Kerzner, "Project Management for Executives", 1982)

"If a project has not achieved a system architecture, including its rationale, the project should not proceed to full-scale system development. Specifying the architecture as a deliverable enables its use throughout the development and maintenance process." (Barry Boehm, 1995)

Programmers

"Programmers should never be satisfied with languages which permit them to program everything, but to program nothing of interest easily." (Alan Perlis, "The Synthesis of Algorithmic Systems", 1966)

"The effective exploitation of his powers of abstraction must be regarded as one of the most vital activities of a competent programmer." (Edsger W Dijkstra, "The Humble Programmer", 1972)

"The beginning of wisdom for a programmer is to recognize the difference between getting his program to work and getting it right. A program which does not work is undoubtedly wrong; but a program which does work is not necessarily right. It may still be wrong because it is hard to understand; or because it is hard to maintain as the problem requirements change; or because its structure is different from the structure of the problem; or because we cannot be sure that it does indeed work." (Michael A Jackson, "Principles of Program Design", 1975)

"The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. […] Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separate from the construct itself. […] The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be." (Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month: Essays, 1975) 

"There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from making bad programs. (Larry Flon, "On research in structured programming". SIGPLAN Not. 10(10), 1975)


"The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is the lawgiver. No playwright, no stage director, no emperor, however powerful, has ever exercised such absolute authority to arrange a stage or field of battle and to command such unswervingly dutiful actors or troops." (Joseph Weizenbaum, "Computer Power and Human Reason", 1976)

"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand." (Martin Fowler, "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code", 1999)

"Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite." (Eric S Raymond, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", 1999)

"Computer programming is tremendous fun. Like music, it is a skill that derives from an unknown blend of innate talent and constant practice. Like drawing, it can be shaped to a variety of ends – commercial, artistic, and pure entertainment. Programmers have a well-deserved reputation for working long hours, but are rarely credited with being driven by creative fevers. Programmers talk about software development on weekends, vacations, and over meals not because they lack imagination, but because their imagination reveals worlds that others cannot see." (Larry O'Brien & Bruce Eckel, "Thinking in C#", 2003)

"The environment that nutures creative programmers kills management and marketing types - and vice versa." (Orson S Card, "How Software Companies Die")

Programming 

"If the system exhibits a structure which can be represented by a mathematical equivalent, called a mathematical model, and if the objective can be also so quantified, then some computational method may be evolved for choosing the best schedule of actions among alternatives. Such use of mathematical models is termed mathematical programming." (George Dantzig, "Linear Programming and Extensions", 1963)

"The process of preparing programs for a digital computer is especially attractive, not only because it can economically and scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic experience much like composing poetry or music." (Donald E Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental algorithms", 1968)

"The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming." (Donald E Knuth, "Computer Programming as an Art", 1968)
"Computer languages of the future will be more concerned with goals and less with procedures specified by the programmer." (Marvin Minsky, "Form and Content in Computer Science", [Turing Award lecture] 1969)

"We have seen that computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty. A programmer who subconsciously views himself as an artist will enjoy what he does and will do it better. Therefore we can be glad that people who lecture at computer conferences speak of the state of the Art." (Donald E Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming", 1968)

"The art of programming is the art of organizing complexity, of mastering multitude and avoiding its bastard chaos as effectively as possible." (Edsger W Dijkstra, "Notes On Structured Programming", 1970)

"But active programming consists of the design of new programs, rather than contemplation of old programs." (Niklaus Wirth, "Program Development by Stepwise Refinement", 1971)

"Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians." (Edsger W Dijkstra, "How do we tell truths that might hurt?", 1975)

"Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming." (Brian W Kernighan, Software Tools, 1976)

"If the advancement of the general art of programming requires the continuing invention and elaboration of paradigms, advancement of the art of the individual programmer requires that he expand his repertory of paradigms." (Robert Floyd, "The Paradigms of Programming", 1979)

"Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. (Gerald J Sussman & Hal Abelson, "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs", 1979)

"When we program a computer to make choices intelligently after determining its options, examining their consequences, and deciding which is most favorable or most moral or whatever, we must program it to take an attitude towards its freedom of choice essentially isomorphic to that which a human must take to his own." (John McCarthy "Ascribing Mental Qualities to Machines", 1979)

"A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing." (Alan Perlis, "Epigrams on Programming", 1982)

"An organisation that treats its programmers as morons will soon have programmers that are willing and able to act like morons only." (Bjarne Stroustrup, "The C++ Programming Language", 1985)

"The finest pieces of software are those where one individual has a complete sense of exactly how the program works. To have that, you have to really love the program and concentrate on keeping it simple, to an incredible degree." (Bill Gates , [interview], 1986)

"Programming is like pinball. The reward for doing it well is the opportunity to do it again." (Rick Cook, "The Wizardry Compiled", 1989)

"Programming in an object-oriented language, however, does not ensure that the complexity of an application will be well encapsulated. Applying good programming techniques can improve encapsulation, but the full benefit of object-oriented programming can be realized only if encapsulation is a recognized goal of the design process." (Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, "Object-oriented Design: A responsibility-driven approach", 1989)

"The main activity of programming is not the origination of new independent programs, but in the integration, modification, and explanation of existing ones." (Terry Winograd, "Beyond Programming Languages", 1991)

"Beauty is more important in computing than anywhere else in technology because software is so complicated. Beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity." (David Gelernter, "Machine Beauty: Elegance And The Heart Of Technolog", 1998)

"Computer programs are the most intricate, delicately balanced and finely interwoven of all the products of human industry to date. They are machines with far more moving parts than any engine: the parts don't wear out, but they interact and rub up against one another in ways the programmers themselves cannot predict." (James Gleick, "What Just Happened: A chronicle from the information frontier", 2002)

"When you find you have to add a feature to a program, and the program's code is not structured in a convenient way to add the feature, first refactor the program to make it easy to add the feature, then add the feature." (Martin Fowler, "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code", 1999)
"A programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing programs you've already thought of." (Paul Graham, "Hackers and Painters", 2003)

"All OO languages show some tendency to suck programmers into the trap of excessive layering. Object frameworks and object browsers are not a substitute for good design or documentation, but they often get treated as one. Too many layers destroy transparency: It becomes too difficult to see down through them and mentally model what the code is actually doing. The Rules of Simplicity, Clarity, and Transparency get violated wholesale, and the result is code full of obscure bugs and continuing maintenance problems." (Eric S. Raymond, "The Art of Unix Programming", 2003)

"Putting a new feature into a program is important, but refactoring so new features can be added in the future is equally important." (Ward Cunningham, "Crucible of Creativity", 2005)

"We are also limited by the fact that verbalization works best when mental model manipulation is an inherent element of the task of interest. Troubleshooting, computer programming, and mathematics are good examples of tasks where mental model manipulation is central and explicit. In contrast, the vast majority of tasks do not involve explicit manipulation of task representations. Thus, our access of mental models - and the access of people doing these tasks - is limited." (William B Rouse, "People and Organizations: Explorations of Human-Centered Design", 2007)

"The cleaner and nicer the program, the faster it's going to run. And if it doesn't, it'll be easy to make it fast." (Joshua Bloch, [interview with (Peter Seibel, Coders At Work, 2009)])
Software Engineering 

"Software engineering is the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to obtain economically software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines." (Peter Naur and Brian Randell, 1968)


"[Software engineering is the] establishment and use of sound engineering principles to obtain economically software that is reliable and works on real machines efficiently. (Friedrich Bauer, "Software Engineering", Information Processing, 1972) 


"Software engineering concerns methods and techniques to develop large software systems. The engineering metaphor is used to emphasize a systematic approach to develop systems that satisfy organizational requirements and constraints." (Hans van Vliet, Software Engineering: Principles and Practice, 2007) 


"Good engineering is not a matter of creativity or centering or grounding or inspiration or lateral thinking, as useful as those might be, but of decoding the clever, even witty, messages the solution space carves on the corpses of the ideas in which you believed with all your heart, and then building the road to the next message. (Fred Hapgood, "Up the infinite Corridor: MIT and the Technical Imagination", 1993)


Statistics

"Some of the common ways of producing a false statistical argument are to quote figures without their context, omitting the cautions as to their incompleteness, or to apply them to a group of phenomena quite different to that to which they in reality relate; to take these estimates referring to only part of a group as complete; to enumerate the events favorable to an argument, omitting the other side; and to argue hastily from effect to cause, this last error being the one most often fathered on to statistics. For all these elementary mistakes in logic, statistics is held responsible." (Sir Arthur L Bowley, "Elements of Statistics", 1901)


"Figures may not lie, but statistics compiled unscientifically and analyzed incompetently are almost sure to be misleading, and when this condition is unnecessarily chronic the so-called statisticians may be called liars." (Edwin B Wilson, "Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society", Vol 18, 1912)

"The science of statistics may be described as exploring, analyzing and summarizing data; designing or choosing appropriate ways of collecting data and extracting information from them; and communicating that information. Statistics also involves constructing and testing models for describing chance phenomena. These models can be used as a basis for making inferences and drawing conclusions and, finally, perhaps for making decisions." (Fergus Daly et al, "Elements of Statistics", 1995)

"Statistics is a general intellectual method that applies wherever data, variation, and chance appear. It is a fundamental method because data, variation and chance are omnipresent in modern life. It is an independent discipline with its own core ideas rather than, for example, a branch of mathematics. […] Statistics offers general, fundamental, and independent ways of thinking." (David S Moore, "Statistics among the Liberal Arts", Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1998)

"Statistical literacy is more than numeracy. It includes the ability to read and communicate the meaning of data. This quality makes people literate as opposed to just numerate. Wherever words (and pictures) are added to numbers and data in your communication, people need to be able to understand them correctly." (United Nations, "Making Data Meaningful" Part 4: "A guide to improving statistical literacy", 2012)

"Even properly done statistics can’t be trusted. The plethora of available statistical techniques and analyses grants researchers an enormous amount of freedom when analyzing their data, and it is trivially easy to ‘torture the data until it confesses’." (Alex Reinhart, "Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide", 2015)

"If the statistics are boring, you've got the wrong numbers." (Edward Tufte)

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