The ACM Turing Award Lectures

is an excellent book (isbn 0-201-54885-2). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
The effective exploitation of his powers of abstraction must be regarded as one of the most vital activities of a competent programmer. [Edsger Dijkstra]
If we go back to Latin roots, we find ars, artis meaning "skill." It is perhaps significant that the corresponding Greek word was Τέχνη, the root of both "technology" and "technique". [Donald Knuth]
The assignment statement is the von Neumann bottleneck of programming languages. [John Backus]
I find a certain technique most helpful in expanding my own capabilities. After solving a challenging problem, I solve it again from scratch, retracing only the insight of the earlier solution. I repeat this until the solution is as clear and direct as I can hope for. Then I look for a general rule for attacking similar problems in the most efficient way the first time. Often, such a rule is of permanent value…
To sum up, my message to the serious programmer is: spend a part of your working day examining and refining your own methods. [Robert Floyd]
I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. [C.A.R. Hoare]
UNIX is a simple coherent system that pushes a few good ideas and models to the limit. [Dennis Ritchie] I am a programmer. I write programs. [Ken Thompson]
To parody our current methods of teaching programming, we give beginners a grammar and a dictionary and tell them that they are now great writers. We seldom, if ever, given them any serious training in style… Like writing, programming is a difficult and complex art. [R.W. Hamming]
There are many ways to formulate things and it is risky to become too attached to one particular form or law and come to believe that it is the real basic principle. [Marvin Minsky]
To state a problem is to designate (1) a test for a class of symbol structures (solutions of the problem), and (2) a generator of symbol structures (potential solutions). To solve a problem is to generate a structure, using (2), that satisfies the test of (1). [Allen Newell and Herbert Simon]
The utility of a language as a tool of thought increases with the range of topics it can treat, but decreases with the amount of vocabulary and the complexity of grammatical rules which the user must keep in mind. Economy of notation is therefore important. [Kenneth Iverson]

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