10 Impressive Quotes of the Most Influential Programmers

Top-notch quotes of pioneer computer scientists in the world

Shalitha Suranga
Jan 9 · 4 min read
Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

Experienced programmers often make impressive talks about technology and life. I found the following quotes that will make you curious and will change the way you think.

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds initially created the Linux kernel and Git. The Linux kernel powers hundreds of Linux distributions, and it is also the core of the Android mobile operating system. Also, the Git version control system helps almost all software development teams to manage their source files.

If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.

His goal was indeed to make a better free operating system, which is better than all commercial ones. He has done it.

Richard Stallman

Richard founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and created the GNU/Linux free operating system by collaborating with Linus.

With software there are only two possibilities: either the users control the programme or the programme controls the users.

He was so successful with the free software movement. The majority of the users now understood the value of free software, and they all tend to use them.

Ken Thompson

Unix is like the grandfather of all modern operating systems. Ken Thompon was the lead programmer of the Unix project at Bell Labs.

grep was a private command of mine for quite a while before i made it public

The grep command-line tool was initially developed by Ken Thompson. Nowadays, the grep command is helping everyone to search for patterns inside files in many operating systems.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates created the Windows operating system and founded the Microsoft Corporation. He is currently helping many people with his private foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.

Indeed, technology is a tool that was built with the fundamentals of several sciences. Therefore, everyone should master fundamentals instead of running after every emerging technology.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs crafted a new world for people who need just one brand for their mobile phones and computers. He built a brand that is so attractive for people who need to be different.

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.

Undoubtedly, collaboration is the key to the success of any kind of software project.

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie designed the C programming language and implemented the first C compiler. C could replace the B programming language that was created by Ken Thompson.

C++ and Java, say, are presumably growing faster than plain C, but I bet C will still be around.

There is a growing popularity for modern programming languages such as Java, C#, Rust, Go, and Python. But the C programming language will never disappear due to its hardware-friendly abstraction and performance.

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berness-Lee demonstrated the first implementation of WWW with his self-made web server, browser, and markup language (now it’s HTML).

There was a time when people felt the internet was another world, but now people realise it’s a tool that we use in this world.

The Internet began its journey as another virtual world. Now, it’s just a medium that helps us to share real-world information and resources.

Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup created the C++ programming language by extending the existing C language. The concept behind early C++ was to extend C with the class support. But now we can do a lot more things.

There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses.

There is no such thing called “Perfect language”. But there are better languages that developers use.

Donald Knuth

Donald Knuth did a lot of work in the algorithm analysis field. He is the author of “The Art of Computer Programming” book. Also, he developed the TeX typesetting system.

If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy.

It’s always better to live with better things rather than dedicating life to make everything perfect.

Brian Wilson Kernighan

Brian Kernighan was a core contributor to the Unix project at Bell Labs. He co-wrote the first book on C programming with Dennis Ritchie. He is currently doing lectures and also speaking about computer science in Computerphile.

Don’t document bad code — rewrite it.

A particular piece of code is bad if it cannot be easily modified or understood by others. Bad code wastes everyone’s time. If there is a bad piece of code, we should make it better by rewriting it rather than living forever with bad code.


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