Naming things is hard


This page contains a list of quotes I am fond of. They should give you a good idea of how I like to approach my work.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.

I named my blog based on this quip that Phil Karlton was throwing around while working on Netscape. There are also a number of derivatives, as well as statements in the same spirit (”Readability counts”, ”Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute”, ”Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.” etc.)

If I had more time I would’ve written a shorter letter.

Attributed to a number of people including Cicero, Mark Twain, Blaise Pascal, and more, this clever little phrase resonates with how I feel about efficient communication.

If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.

Although I have some reservations about Python, its design philosophy is still near and dear to my heart, and I agree with many of the points from The Zen of Python by Tim Peters - this one is just one example.

Given unlimited resources and unlimited schedule, great engineers will produce exactly nothing.

I’m quoting this from Wayne Hale’s blog although he himself refers to it as “an old adage”.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

By Peter Drucker. Caveat: it might get a stomach ache.

Red lines are better than green lines.

I’m going to credit Ákos Hochrein with this one who often said this referring to change request diffs.

This is so untrue that even its opposite is untrue.

Meaning that the statement is not simply false but a gross oversimplification of the topic, so it couldn’t even be simply true or false. This one comes from my mom, although it’s also generally known as “not even wrong”.

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

General wisdom.

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Douglas Hofstadter, in his book titled Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid which I absolutely adore.