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- "Arrogance is measured in nano-Dijkstras."

- Advice to a promising researcher: "Only do what only you can do."
- "The problems of the real world are those that remain when you ignore their known solutions."
- "Always design your program as a member of a whole family of programs, including those that are likely to succeed it."
- "Avoid operational reasoning like the plague."
- "Separate concerns."
- "The prisoner falls in love with his chains."
- "A programming language is a tool that has a profound influence on our thinking habits."
- "I pray daily that more of my fellow programmers may find the means of freeing themselves from the curse of compatibility."
- "The program and the correctness proof grow hand in hand."
- "Brainpower is by far our scarcest resource."
- "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind."
- "The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague."
- "For the absence of a bibliography I offer neither explanation nor apology."
- "Progress is possible only if we train ourselves to think about programs without thinking of them as pieces of executable code."
- "This solution is gloriously non-deterministic."
- "Ik hou van wiskunde, maar spaar me de mathematen. [`I love mathematics, it's the mathematicians I cannot stand.']"
- "If somewhere you read `in depth', ignore it."
- "Nothing is as expensive as making mistakes."
- "Program testing can at best show the presence of errors, but never their absence."
- "Software Engineering is Programming when you can't."
- "We must give industry not what it wants, but what it needs."
- "Waiting is a very funny activity: you can't wait twice as fast."
- "It helps hand-eye coordination if, as you're doing your formulae, you gently sing the notation."
- "Do not try to change the world. Give the world the opportunity to change itself."
- "While current curricula extensively teach existing mathematics, they pay scant attention to the doing of mathematics, i.e., to the question of how to design and to present solutions."
- "Teaching to unsuspecting youngsters the effective use of formal methods is one of the joys of life because it is so extremely rewarding... within a few months, their concept of intellectual culture has acquired a radically new dimension."
- "I mean, 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."
- "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."
- "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."
- "Don't compete with me: firstly, I have more experience, and secondly, I have chosen the weapons."
- "Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon."
- "Maintaining a large range of agilities - mental and physical - requires regular exercise [..]. That is why the capable are always busy."
- "Mathematicians are like managers - they want improvement without change."
- "And even now my first reaction to formulae, written by someone else, is one of repulsion - in particular when an unfamiliar notational convention is used - and when reading an article, my natural reaction is to skip the formulae."
- "Show any mathematician a really elegant argument that is new for him: at the moment it becomes his intellectual property, he starts to laugh!"
- "... I had already come to the conclusion that in the practice of computing, where we have so much latitude for making a mess of it, mathematical elegance is not a dispensable luxury, but a matter of life and death."
- "For me, the first challenge for computing science is to discover how to maintain order in a finite, but very large, discrete universe that is intricately intertwined. And a second, but not less important challenge is how to mould what you have achieved in solving the first problem, into a teachable discipline..."
- "Simplicity and elegance are unpopular because they require hard work and discipline to achieve and education to be appreciated."