Hobbits are good programmers (quotes and advice about programming)

I recently remembered a video I saw a long time ago and I feel like sharing it because I think it’s some good advice that people might find useful.

It’s a mainly one-sided interview by Big Think interviewing Larry Wall, the inventor of the Perl programming language.


Thanks for sharing, going to give it a watch.

Larry has a nice oldschool personal website :slight_smile:



BTW he’s very interesting person overall - very religious, didn’t study tech but linguistics. IIRC he planned to translate the Bible and go teach Christianity to natives somewhere in a jungle. There’s a book that talks about this in a few chapters, think it was Rebel Code.

1 Like

In (I think) my second year of programming I picked up ‘the camel book’ (Programming Perl, by Larry Wall et al, published by O’Reilly) from the school library and read almost all of it.

I can’t remember much about how to write Perl, but I remember it being very funny, and one or two of the fun anecdotes like how one of Larry’s daughters somehow inspired the ‘diamond operator’ (<>, something to do with stdin if I remember rightly).
There were a lot of flintstones references in the variable names.

Larry’s wikiquote page is full of hilarious quotes.

My favourite of Larry’s contributions are the three virtues:
Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.

1 Like

These quotes are indeed very fun reading, thanks :slight_smile: Now I’m reading through other computer people’s quotes as well, they mostly share this kind of humour (<- note I spelled this in British, just for you :slight_smile: even though Chromium underlined it as incorrect).


It is unfortunate that he still has nonfree software in his computer. He needs to defenestrate it (which means, either throw Windows out of the computer or throw the computer out of the window).

author obvious :slight_smile:

1 Like

Some of my favourites are from Bjarne Stroustrup.

There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses

I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone.

And of course my favourite:

C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do it blows your whole leg off.

I’m sure the Aussies, the South Africans, the Indians and some Canadians will thank you too.

I would have quoted Linus Torvalds as well, but I can barely find 3 decent quotes that don’t contain swears. :P

12 posts were split to a new topic: Pharap & Drummyfish’s Ramblings

One I read recently, no idea who to attribute it to though…

“PROGRAM n. A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one’s input into error messages. tr.v. To engage in a pastime similar to banging one’s head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.”

1 Like

Here’s another good Big Think video interviewing Larry.

Not everybody programs like Larry, but I for one find that Larry’s style is similar to my own.
(A messy desk, multiple projects on the go and thinking about the problems at hand is a bit of a slow boil. :P)

Also, this video of Bjarne Stroustrup discussing why he decided to create C++ is very insightful: