### Edsger Dijkstra Quotes and Sayings

- 1
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 | Refcard PDF ↑

- 2
Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 3
APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation of coding bums. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 4
Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 5
Don't compete with me: firstly, I have more experience, and secondly, I have chosen the weapons. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 6
Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a factor that decides between success and failure. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 7
I mentioned the non-competitive spirit explicitly, because these days, excellence is a fashionable concept. But excellence is a competitive notion, and that is not what we are heading for: we are heading for perfection. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 8
If 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty, you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your shoulders and say to yourself: 'Dijkstra would not have liked this', well that would be enough immortality for me. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 9
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 10
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 | Refcard PDF ↑

- 11
Mathematicians are like managers - they want improvement without change. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 12
Object-oriented programming is an exceptionally bad idea which could only have originated in California. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 13
Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 14
Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence! Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 15
Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 16
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 17
Teaching to unsuspecting youngsters the effective use of formal methods is one of the joys of life because it is so extremely rewarding. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 18
The ability of discerning high quality unavoidably implies the ability of identifying shortcomings. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 19
The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull. He therefore approaches his task with full humility, and avoids clever tricks like the plague. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 20
The lurking suspicion that something could be simplified is the world's richest source of rewarding challenges. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 21
The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 22
The students that, like the wild animal being prepared for its tricks in the circus called "life", expects only training as sketched above, will be severely disappointed: by his standards he will learn next to nothing. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 23
The traditional mathematician recognizes and appreciates mathematical elegance when he sees it. I propose to go one step further, and to consider elegance an essential ingredient of mathematics: if it is clumsy, it is not mathematics. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 24
The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 25
There should be no such thing as boring mathematics. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑

- 26
Why has elegance found so little following? That is the reality of it. Elegance has the disadvantage, if that's what it is, that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. Edsger Dijkstra | Refcard PDF ↑