Oldest Profession in the World?

A Physician, a Civil Engineer, and a Computer Scientist were arguing about what was the oldest profession in the world.

The Physician remarked, “Well, in the Bible, it says that God created Eve from a rib taken out of Adam. This clearly requires surgery, and so I can rightly claim that mine is the oldest profession in the world”.

The Civil Engineer interrupted, and said, “But even earlier in the book of Genesis, it states that God created the order of heavens and earth from out of chaos. This was the first and certainly the most spectacular application of Civil Engineering. Therefore, fair doctor, you are wrong; mine is the oldest profession in the world”.

The Computer Scientist leaned back in her chair, smiled, and then said confidentially, “Ah, but who do you think created the chaos?”

From Object Oriented Analysis and Design

The Tao of Programming

In the beginning was the Tao. The Tao gave birth to Space and Time. Therefore Space and Time are Yin and Yang of programming. The wise programmer is told about Tao and follows it. The average programmer is told about Tao and searches for it. The foolish programmer is told about Tao and laughs at it.

Thus spake the master programmer:

After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.

Rules of Programming

Eric Steven Raymond describes the basics of Unix Philosophy in his book The Art of Unix Programming. These rules are not only applicable to Unix, but all kinds of programming.

  1. Rule of Modularity: Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces.
  2. Rule of Clarity: Clarity is better than cleverness.
  3. Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected to other programs.
  4. Rule of Separation: Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines.
  5. Rule of Simplicity: Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
  6. Rule of Parsimony: Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that nothing else will do.
  7. Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier.
  8. Rule of Robustness: Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
  9. Rule of Representation: Fold knowledge into data so program logic can be stupid and robust.
  10. Rule of Least Surprise: In interface design, always do the least surprising thing.
  11. Rule of Silence: When a program has nothing surprising to say, it should say nothing.
  12. Rule of Repair: When you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible.
  13. Rule of Economy: Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
  14. Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
  15. Rule of Optimization: Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it.
  16. Rule of Diversity: Distrust all claims for “one true way”.
  17. Rule of Extensibility: Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think.