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Edsger Dijkstra Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Edsger Dijkstra from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Related topics: Computers

The question of whether a computer can think is no
more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should,
therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The ability of discerning high quality unavoidably
implies the ability of identifying shortcomings.
- Edsger Dijkstra

 

Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a factor that
decides between success and failure.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Mathematicians are like managers - they want improvement without change.
- Edsger Dijkstra

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Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull.
He therefore approaches his task with full humility,
and avoids clever tricks like the plague.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Object-oriented programming is an exceptionally bad
idea which could only have originated in California.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Teaching to unsuspecting youngsters the effective use
of formal methods is one of the joys of life because
it is so extremely rewarding.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs,
but never to show their absence!
- Edsger Dijkstra

Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics;
the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Don't compete with me: firstly, I have more experience,
and secondly, I have chosen the weapons.
- Edsger Dijkstra

APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection.
It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past:
it creates a new generation of coding bums.
- Edsger Dijkstra

About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen
a pencil with a blunt axe.
It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
- Edsger Dijkstra

There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The lurking suspicion that something could be simplified
is the world's richest source of rewarding challenges.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning.
- Edsger Dijkstra

It is practically impossible to teach good programming
to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC:
as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated
beyond hope of regeneration.
- Edsger Dijkstra

If 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty,
you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your
shoulders and say to yourself:
'Dijkstra would not have liked this',
well that would be enough immortality for me.
- Edsger Dijkstra

I mentioned the non-competitive spirit explicitly,
because these days, excellence is a fashionable concept.
But excellence is a competitive notion,
and that is not what we are heading for:
we are heading for perfection.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The traditional mathematician recognizes and appreciates
mathematical elegance when he sees it.
I propose to go one step further, and to consider elegance
an essential ingredient of mathematics:
if it is clumsy,
it is not mathematics.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Why has elegance found so little following? That is the reality of it.
Elegance has the disadvantage, if that's what it is,
that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The students that, like the wild animal being prepared
for its tricks in the circus called "life",
expects only training as sketched above,
will be severely disappointed: by his standards he
will learn next to nothing.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Many mathematicians derive part of their self-esteem
by feeling themselves the proud heirs of a long tradition of rational thinking;
I am afraid they idealize their cultural ancestors.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Computers may save time but they sure waste a lot of paper.
About 98 percent of everything printed out by a computer
is garbage that no one ever reads.
- Andy Rooney

If your computer speaks English, it was probably made in Japan.
- Alan Perlis

To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
- Robert Orben

I started on an Apple II, which I had bought at the
very end of 1978 for half of my annual income.
I made $4,500 a year, and I spent half of it on the computer.
- Bill Budge

My computer beat me at checkers, but I sure beat it at kickboxing.
- Emo Philips

It was a black and white only computer at the time,
but it kept me fascinated.
- Buffy Sainte-Marie

All sorts of computer errors are now turning up.
You'd be surprised to know the number of doctors who
claim they are treating pregnant men.
- Isaac Asimov

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that,
once it is competently programmed and working smoothly,
it is completely honest.
- Isaac Asimov

To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer.
- Paul R. Ehrlich

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen,
is that you can take it to bed with you.
- Daniel J. Boorstin

The only legitimate use of a computer is to play games.
- Eugene Jarvis

Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things
no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving
America a new sense of purpose.
- Andy Rooney

I wouldn't know how to find eBay on the computer if my life depended on it.
- Marc Jacobs

I should prefer to have a politician who regularly
went to a massage parlour than one who promised a laptop
computer for every teacher.
- A. N. Wilson

I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly
for the purpose of diddling with his computer.
- Dave Barry

One of the most feared expressions in modern times
is 'The computer is down.'
- Norman Ralph Augustine

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee,
I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer'.
- Danielle Berry

Bill Gates is the pope of the personal computer industry.
He decides who's going to build.
- Larry Ellison

Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as
frustrating as reading manuals without the software.
- Arthur C. Clarke

The computer is a moron.
- Peter Drucker

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
- Ken Olsen

Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.
- Steve Wozniak

Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club.
You're not out of it until the computer says you're out of it.
- Erma Bombeck

You couldn't have fed the '50s into a computer and come out with the '60s.
- Paul Kantner

The protean nature of the computer is such that it
can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited.
- Alan Kay

There's a lot of music that sounds like it's literally computer-generated,
totally divorced from a guy sitting down at an instrument.
- Aimee Mann

I'm a '70s mom, and my daughter is a '90s mom.
I know a lot of women my age who are real computer freaks.
- Florence Henderson

I'm too old-fashioned to use a computer.
I'm too old-fashioned to use a quill.
- Christopher Plummer

I got up with my wife, I sat down at the computer when she went to work,
and I didn't stop until she got home.
- George Stephen

Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer
knows the propensity to dream,
the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.
- Tim Berners-Lee

If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has,
we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG.
- Bill Gates

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
- Emo Philips

The power of the computer is starting to spread.
- Bill Budge

To err is human but to really foul up requires a computer.
- Dan Rather

Personally, I rather look forward to a computer program
winning the world chess championship.
Humanity needs a lesson in humility.
- Richard Dawkins

The basis of computer work is predicated on the idea
that only the brain makes decisions and only the index finger does the work.
- Brian Eno

I don't have a computer - I don't like to get into
it that much 'cause it can screw with your head a little.
- James Marsters

The world is a tougher place to live in than it was back then,
as we come into the computer age.
- Joe Cocker

Unauthorized access to computer systems is already
a serious crime in a few states and is currently being
addressed in many more state legislatures as well as Congress.
- Ken Thompson

People don't want to talk about death,
just like they don't want to talk about computer security.
Maybe I should have named my workstation Fear.
People are so motivated by fear.
- Dan Farmer

This will surprise some of your readers,
but my primary interest is not with computer security.
I am primarily interested in writing software that works as intended.
- Wietse Venema

I actually built a tiny computer as a junior high school project.
- Mitch Kapor

On the molecular scale, you find it's reasonable to
have a machine that does a million steps per second,
a mechanical system that works at computer speeds.
- K. Eric Drexler

People think that computer science is the art of geniuses
but the actual reality is the opposite,
just many people doing things that build on eachother,
like a wall of mini stones.
- Donald Knuth

Loads of computer graphics equals a terrible video in my book.
- Dan Hawkins


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