Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Quote of the Day

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -Brian Kernighan

Now if this is true, and there's no guarantee that it is but lets just assume for the sake of argument that it is, then it is potentially rather disturbing.

Let's just take a wild guess and suggest that successful programmers write code that is fifty percent as clever as they are capable - ie only just dumb enough for debugging purposes. This suggests that I will not be able to debug code written by somebody cleverer than myself (ie almost everybody). It also follows that one should only ever reuse code written by somebody stupider than oneself :)

This means that my work should be seriously in demand, because practically everybody can reuse it. I, on the other hand, should always develop from scratch since I lack the capacity to debug the code of others.

Just to show that I realize I am talking shit:

Logic is a feeble reed, friend. "Logic" proved that airplanes can't fly and that H-bombs won't work and that stones don't fall out of the sky. Logic is a way of saying that anything which didn't happen yesterday won't happen tomorrow.
-- Robert Heinlein, Glory Road

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