# quote - 72 Posts

Make It Beautiful

Make it work, then make it beautiful, then if you really, really have to, make it fast. 90% of the time, if you make it... Read more


Plans can break down. You cannot plan the future. Only presumptuous fools plan. The wise man steers. Read more


Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? Read more

The Essence of Agility

The essence of agility is NOT speed. It’s value, the goal is to put high-quality, valuable software in your user’s hands. The only place speed... Read more

Computing in Pairs

Betty Snyder and I, from the beginning, were a pair. And I think… I don’t know if any of you work technically but I believe... Read more

Excited by Automation

We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in... Read more

Look for the Helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You... Read more

Computer Witchcraft

I etch a pattern of geometric shapes onto a stone. To the uninitiated, the shapes look mysterious and complex, but I know that when arranged... Read more

Chestertons Fence

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called... Read more

More Unix Philosophy

This is the Unix philosophy: Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work together. Write programs to handle text... Read more

More Unix Philosophy

Much of the power of the UNIX operating system comes from a style of program design that makes programs easy to use and, more important,... Read more

Fear Destroys Teamwork

Fear Destroys Teamwork! — fear of not being included, fear of appearing ignorant, fear of being ignored, fear of being the “skunk at the garden... Read more

Joy in Learning

Our schools must preserve and nurture the yearning for learning that everyone is born with. Joy in learning comes not so much from what is... Read more

A Bicycle for the Mind

I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured... Read more

Gall's Law

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works... Read more

Alan Kay and OOP

OOP to me means only messaging, local retention and protection and hiding of state-process, and extreme late-binding of all things. It can be done in... Read more

Destroy the Enterprise

If management sets quantitative targets and makes people’s jobs depend on them – they will meet the targets even if they have to destroy the... Read more

The Best Plan for a System

If economists understood the theory of a system, the role of cooperation in optimization, they would no longer teach and preach salvation through adversarial competition.... Read more

Conway's Law

We have seen that this fact has important implications for the management of system design… A design effort should be organized according to the need... Read more


Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself. Read more

Do Your Best

It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best. Read more

Left to themselves

Left to themselves in the Western world, components become selfish, competitive, independent profit centres, and thus destroy the system. Read more


Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be Still” they say. “Watch and Listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” Read more

Aneurin Bevan

Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost... Read more

Stay Afraid

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the... Read more


If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.... Read more

Cult of Ignorance

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding... Read more

A Long Habit

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. Read more

Jason Read

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as “parasites” fail to understand economics and parasitism. Read more

Art for a Few

I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few. Read more

Prime Directive

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time,... Read more

Orwell's Hen-House

Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections... Read more

Excellent Foppery

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, –often the surfeit of our own behavior,–we make guilty of... Read more

Man's Original Virtue

Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was... Read more

Begin Taking Action

Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect or a procrastinator or unhealthy or lazy or any other label by which you inaccurately describe... Read more


Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant... Read more

Discreet Sheep

We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private,... Read more


No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their... Read more

No Silver Bullet

The hardest part of the software task is arriving at a complete and consistent specification, and much of the essence of building a program is... Read more

Emily Remler

I may look like a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey, but inside I’m a 50-year-old, heavyset black man with a big thumb, like Wes... Read more

Why I am an Agnostic

When I became convinced that the Universe is natural – that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my... Read more