Quotes: A Professional Programmer

On A Professional Programmer by Philip Greenspun (mostly written in 2004 but still true today)

A professional programmer ought to be able to pick worthwhile problems to attack. Engineering is the art of building cost-effective solutions to problems that society regards as significant. A person who blindly does what he or she is told, without independently figuring out the context and significance of the problem, is not doing engineering. A professional programmer needs to be able to sit at a meeting with decision makers, prepared with substantial domain knowledge, and make significant contributions to the discussion. A professional programmer needs to be skilled at clean-sheet-of-paper designs.


3 thoughts on “Quotes: A Professional Programmer

  1. I like the “clean-sheet-of-paper designs”. Even though I am the first kid on the block to buy every new electronic device and bit of software, I still have a pencil sharpener in my desk and sometimes just sit down with a large piece of paper and a pencil to draw out ideas.

  2. Very very true Dorai. Thanks for sharing this article. Programmers need to be much more than coders.

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