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Got Passion?


This Book is Dedicated to the Free, Creative
Martial Artist

Take what is useful and develop from there.

--Bruce Lee, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

For decades, a perennial problem in teaching software development has been finding life-size examples of production code to share with students. Many people learn quickest from studying real-life examples, but most life-size code bases are treated as proprietary information by the companies that created them. This situation has improved dramatically through the combination of the Internet and open-source software.

--Steve McConnell, Code Complete, 2nd edition, p. 815

I wonder how many great novelists have never read someone else’s work, how many great painters have never studied another’s brush strokes, how many skilled surgeons never learned by looking over a colleague’s shoulder....And yet that’s what we expect programmers to do.

--Dave Thomas

Quoted by Steve McConnell in Code Complete, 2nd edition, p. 815

You can't possibly get a good technology going without an enormous number of failures. It's a universal rule. If you look at bicycles, there were thousands of weird models built and tried before they found the one that really worked. You could never design a bicycle theoretically. Even now, after we've been building them for 100 years, it's very difficult to understand just why a bicycle works - it's even difficult to formulate it as a mathematical problem. But just by trial and error, we found out how to do it, and the error was essential. The same is true of airplanes.

--Freeman Dyson

Stewart Brant, "Freeman Dyson’s Brain", WIRED, Issue 6.02, Feb 1998 (page 7)

And now, having spoken of the men born of the pilot's craft, I shall say something about the tool with which they work--the airplane. Have you looked at a modern airplane? Have you followed from year to year the evolution of its lines? Have you ever thought, not only about the airplane but about whatever man builds, that all of man's industrial efforts, all his computations and calculations, all the nights spent over working draughts and blueprints, invariably culminate in the production of a thing whose sole and guiding principle is the ultimate principle of simplicity?

It is as if there were a natural law which ordained that to achieve this end, to refine the curve of a piece of furniture, or a ship's keel, or the fuselage of an airplane, until gradually it partakes of the elementary purity of the curve of a human breast or shoulder, there must be the experimentation of several generations of craftsmen. In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

From Lewis Galantière’s translation of Wind, Sand and Stars
(The first two paragraphs of chapter three)

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Respect your parents.
Always do your best in school.
Believe in yourself.

--Master B.C. (Byong-Cheol) Kim


Last edited Feb 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM by JohnPSpurgeon, version 4


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