Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The technical laws of December

Throughout December I had the pleasure of collecting more or less clever statements about computers and software development in general. My twitter account  had a steady flow of these up until Christmas.


In today’s society, we have to use so much of our energy filtering out knowledge, and it is interesting how cleverly written sentences can capture so much information. I’m going to elaborate on several of them in the time to come, but for now, here they are again.


Disclaimer: These aren't my quotes - they've been collected from a variety of places and people, and thus credit is due in many places. I apologize for not quoting correctly.


Dec1 tech law: Walking on water and developing software to specification are easy as long as both are frozen

Dec2 tech law: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is

Dec3 tech law: Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand

Dec4 tech law: Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

Dec5 tech law: There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over

Dec6 tech law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later

Dec7 tech law: The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

Dec8 tech law: The probability of bugs appearing is directly proportional to the number and importance of people watching

Dec9 tech law: If a program is useful, it will have to be changed. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.

Dec10 tech law: Good enough isn't good enough, unless there is a deadline

Dec11 tech law: An expert is someone brought in at the last minute to share the blame

Dec12 tech law: The chances of a program doing what it's supposed to do is inversely proportional to the num lines of code used to write it

Dec13 tech law: profanity is the one language all computer users know

Dec14 tech law: All's well that ends.

Dec15 tech law: No matter how hard you work, the boss will only appear when you access the Internet.

Dec16 tech law: A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.

Dec17 tech law: An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

Dec 18 tech law: it's not a bug, it's an undocumented feature

Dec19 tech law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works

Dec20 tech law: The documented interfaces between standard software modules will have undocumented quirks

Dec21 tech law: Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another 'unrelated' part is modified

Dec22 tech law: When designing a program to handle all possible dumb errors, nature creates a dumber user

Dec23 tech law: Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it

Dec24 tech law: The cleverness of  technical laws is inversely proportional to the number of laws

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