Edsger Dijkstra Quotes

Enjoy the top 87 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Edsger Dijkstra.

Edsger Dijkstra Quotes

... what society overwhelmingly asks for is snake oil. Of course, the snake oil has the most impressive names — otherwise you would be selling nothing — like "Structured Analysis and Design", "Software Engineering", "Maturity Models", "Management Information Systems", "Integrated Project Support Environments" "Object Orientation" and "Business Process Re-engineering".
— Edsger Dijkstra —

There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.

— 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

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

— Edsger Dijkstra

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

— 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

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

Production speed is severely slowed down if one works with half-time people who have other obligations as well. This is at least a factor of four; probably it is worse.

— Edsger Dijkstra

If we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as 'lines produced' but as 'lines spent.'

— Edsger Dijkstra

The computing scientist's main challenge is not to get confused by the complexities of his own making.

— Edsger Dijkstra

In passing I draw attention to another English expression which often occurs in Dutch texts: "the real world". In Dutch - and I am afraid not in Dutch alone - its usage is almost always a symptom of a violent anti-intellectualism.

— Edsger Dijkstra

Don't blame me for the fact that competent programming, as I view it as an intellectual possibility, will be too difficult for the average programmer, you must not fall into the trap of rejecting a surgical technique because it is beyond the capabilities of the barber in his shop around the corner.

— Edsger Dijkstra

When building sand castles on the beach, we can ignore the waves but should watch the tide.

— Edsger Dijkstra

Beauty is our business.

— Edsger Dijkstra

As a slow-witted human being I have a very small head and I had better learn to live with it and to respect my limitations and give them full credit, rather than to try to ignore them, for the latter vain effort will be punished by failure.

— Edsger Dijkstra

John von Neumann draws attention to what seemed to him a contrast. He remarked that for simple mechanisms, it is often easier to describe how they work than what they do, while for more complicated mechanisms, it is usually the other way around.

— Edsger Dijkstra

In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind.

— Edsger Dijkstra

A convincing demonstration of correctness being impossible as long as the mechanism is regarded as a black box, our only hope lies in not regarding the mechanism as a black box.

— Edsger Dijkstra

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