Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

— Brian Kernighan

The most contentment Brian Kernighan quotes that are free to learn and impress others

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.


The most effective debugging tool is still careful thought, coupled with judiciously placed print statements.


90% of the functionality delivered now is better than 100% delivered never.


... it is a fundamental principle of testing that you must know in advance the answer each test case is supposed to produce. If you don't, you are not testing; you are experimenting.


Believe the terrain, not the map


Don't document bad code - rewrite it.


Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs.


If you had done something twice, you are likely to do it again.


If you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?


As we said in the preface to the first edition, C "wears well as one's experience with it grows." With a decade more experience, we still feel that way.


Mechanical rules are never a substitute for clarity of thought.


Trivia rarely affect efficiency. Are all the machinations worth it, when their primary effect is to make the code less readable?


About Brian Kernighan

Quotes 19 sayings
Profession Computer Scientist
Birthday January 1, 1942

Some compilers allow a check during execution that subscripts do not exceed array dimensions. This is a help, but not sufficient. First, many programmers do not use such compilers because They're not efficient. (Presumably, this means that it is vital to get the wrong answers quickly.)


Get the weirdnesses into the data where you can manipulate them easily, and the regularity into the code because regular code is a lot easier to work with


Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one.


An effective way to test code is to exercise it at its natural boundaries


C is a razor-sharp tool, with which one can create an elegant and efficient program or a bloody mess.


Do what you think is interesting, do something that you think is fun and worthwhile, because otherwise you won't do it well anyway.

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