
Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence!
Edsger Dijkstra 
The lurking suspicion that something could be simplified is the world's richest source of rewarding challenges.
Edsger Dijkstra

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.
Edsger Dijkstra 
Don't compete with me: firstly, I have more experience, and secondly, I have chosen the weapons.
Edsger Dijkstra 
There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.
Edsger Dijkstra 
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
Edsger Dijkstra 
Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning.
Edsger Dijkstra 
The ability of discerning high quality unavoidably implies the ability of identifying shortcomings.
Edsger Dijkstra

Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon.
Edsger Dijkstra 
I mentioned the noncompetitive 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 
Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a factor that decides between success and failure.
Edsger Dijkstra 
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 
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 
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

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 
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 
Objectoriented programming is an exceptionally bad idea which could only have originated in California.
Edsger Dijkstra 
Many mathematicians derive part of their selfesteem by feeling themselves the proud heirs of a long tradition of rational thinking; I am afraid they idealize their cultural ancestors.
Edsger Dijkstra 
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 
Mathematicians are like managers  they want improvement without change.
Edsger Dijkstra

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 
Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
Edsger Dijkstra 
Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians.
Edsger Dijkstra 
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