Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Peter Seibel.

Peter Seibel Peter Seibel > Quotes


Peter Seibel quotes Showing 1-30 of 42

“And once I realized that code I write never fucking goes away and I'm going to be a maintainer for life. I get comments about blog posts that are almost 10 years old. "Hey, I found this code. I found a bug," and I'm suddenly maintaining code.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Armstrong: I think the lack of reusability comes in object-oriented languages, not in functional languages. Because the problem with object-oriented languages is they've got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“We’re all optimists in our profession or we’d be forced to shoot ourselves. - Joshua Bloch”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
“Zawinski: Sometimes. I end up doing all the sysadmin crap, which I can't stand-I've never liked it. I enjoy working on XScreenSaver because in some ways screen savers-the actual display modes rather than the XScreenSaver framework-are the perfect program because they almost always start from scratch and they do something pretty and there's never a version 2.0. There's very rarely a bug in a screen saver. It crashes-oh, there's a divide-by-zero and you fix that.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“He came in and took a piss in my hotel bathroom without even closing the door as I'm standing right there. I'm like, "Alright. You're comfortable." It was like we knew each other for four or five years, even though we had never met.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“The experience of writing something in Java and then trying to figure out—I myself have trouble installing Java on my computer—it's horrible.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Readability of code is now my first priority. It's more important than being fast, almost as important as being correct, but I think being readable is actually the most likely way of making it correct.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“But in the meantime there's no reason to starve the users for [syntactic] sugar. It doesn't rot their teeth and it helps them avoid mistakes. — Brendan Eich”
Peter Seibel
“the advantage of some ignorance; it leaves some room for creativity. But sometimes it feels like ignorance is endemic in this industry-that people are unaware of things and wheels are constantly being reinvented with pointy corners.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“The really good programmers spend a lot of time programming. I haven’t seen very good programmers who don’t spend a lot of time programming. If I don’t program for two or three days, I need to do it. And you get better at it—you get quicker at it. The side effect of writing all this other stuff is that when you get to doing ordinary problems, you can do them very quickly. - Joe Armstrong”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
“[On identifying talented programmers] It’s just enthusiasm. You ask them what’s the most interesting program they worked on. And then you get them to describe it and its algorithms and what’s going on. If they can’t withstand my questioning on their program, then they’re not good. I’m asking them to describe something they’ve done that they’ve spent blood on. I’ve never met anybody who really did spend blood on something who wasn’t eager to describe what they’ve done and how they did it and why. I let them pick the subject. I don’t pick the subject, so I’m the amateur and they’re the professional in this subject. If they can’t stand an amateur asking them questions about their profession, then they don’t belong. - Ken Thompson”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
“There's a brilliant quote by Tony Hoare in his Turing Award speech about how there are two ways to design a system: “One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Fitzpatrick: Back when I was doing Perl-even for people that knew Perl really well-I would recommend MJD's Higher-Order Per!. The book is really fun in that it starts somewhat simple and you're like, "Yeah, yeah, I know what a closure is." And then it just continues to fuck with your head. By the end of the book, you're just blown away.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“so we'll focus on the Windows side of things and then we'll port it later.” Which is what many other failed companies have done. If you're trying to ship a cross-platform product, history really shows that's how you don't do it. If you want it to really be cross-platform, you have to do them simultaneously. The porting thing results in a crappy product on the second platform.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“one thing that separates good programmers from bad programmers is that good programmers are more facile at jumping between layers of abstraction—they can keep the layers distinct while making changes and choose the right layer to make changes in.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Ironically, as a result of his move to the country, Cosell- one of the fathers of the Internet-now has only dial-up access from his home.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Seibel: How do you read code you didn't write? Crockford: By cleaning it. I'll throw it in a text editor and I'll start fixing it. First thing I'll do is make the punctuation conform; get the indentation right; do all that stuff. I have programs that can do that for me, but I find doing that myself is more efficient in the long run because it gets me more acquainted with the code.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Seibel: There's a Dijkstra quote about how you can't prove by testing that a program is bug-free, you can only prove that you failed to find any bugs with your tests. But it sort of sounds the same way with a proof-you can't prove a program is bug-free with a proof-you can only prove that, as far as you understand your own proof, it hasn't turned up any bugs.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Joe Armstrong: I think the lack of reusablility comes in object-oriented languages, not in functional languages. Because the problem with object-oriented languages is they've got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle”
Peter Seibel
“Steele: Yeah. And not knowing the future. If I could change one thing-this is going to sound stupid-but if I could go back in time and change one thing, I might try to interest some early preliterate people in not using their thumbs when they count. It could have been the standard, and it would have made a whole lot of things easier in the modern era. On the other hand, we have learned a lot from the struggle with the incompatibility of base-ten with powers of two.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Seibel: I was looking at one of your papers from the 70s about your Fortran profiler. In the preamble you were very enthusiastic about how that tool changed your programming from figuring out what you were going to write, writing it, and debugging it, to figuring out what you were going to write, writing a really simple version, profiling it, then optimizing it.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“[Assembly level programming] kind of still separates the chest hair—gender-independent—programmers from those who don't quite have it. — Brendan Eich”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
“I think one thing that’s really important is to not be afraid of your ignorance. If you don’t understand how something works, ask someone who does. A lot of people are skittish about that. And that doesn’t help anybody. Not knowing something doesn’t mean you’re dumb – it just means you don’t know it yet.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
“There was a bug in GDB!”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“I think it's not an accident that we often use the imagery of magic to describe programming. We speak of computing wizards and we think of
things happening by magic or automagically. And I think that's because being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we've got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“When you're debugging something and then you figure out that not only is the map wrong but the tools are broken—that's a good time.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“Nobody, at least on the Unix side, had any idea they wanted it yet. Everyone uses them now but we had to spend a lot of time explaining to people why this was better than vi and GCC.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“And he was like, “No, no, I really think we ought to do that.” And I was like, “We don't have time!” So he wrote it that night.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“an open-plan cubicle kind of thing-working, doing something, writing some Lisp program. And he'd come shuffling in with his ceramic mug of beer, bare feet, and he'd just stand behind me. I'd say hi. And he'd grunt or say nothing. He'd just stand there watching me type. At some
point I'd do something and he'd go, "Ptthh, wrong!" and he'd walk away. So that was kind of getting thrown in the deep end. It was like the Zen approach-the master hit me with a stick, now I must meditate.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work
“I would send out some contests. “Here's some code. Here's the benchmark. Make it fast.” I sent our load balancer's header parsing. We were all writing crazy regexps that didn't backtrack and tried to capture things with the most efficient capture groups. And we were all competing, getting faster and faster and faster. Then one guy comes over the next day. He had written it all in C++ with XS, and so he was like, “I win.”
Peter Seibel, Coders at Work

« previous 1

All Quotes | Add A Quote


Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming Coders at Work
4,591 ratings
Open Preview
Practical Common LISP Practical Common LISP
705 ratings
The Grid The Grid
15 ratings
Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming Part 3 Coders at Work
1 rating