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As a developer, sometimes staring at a screen of code for hours experiencing a slight case of “programmer’s block” (also known as “writer’s block” but in the developer world) can use a little push to get you in the right direction again. Or maybe you need to use that push forward to even start your next big project! Whatever the case may be, we’ve all been there. Luckily, inspiration can be found in many ways. That’s why devCodeCamp has compiled this list of the top 10 absolute best quotes specifically for developers to find that needed inspiration in. Whether you are needing help starting your first line of code, need that extra boost of energy to keep grinding out your workload, or simply just searching for your next favorite quote to throw on your social pages – We got you!
The Top 10 List of Inspirational Developer Quote and Tips
1. “Code is like humor. When you have to explain it, it’s bad.” - Cory House
Any professional comedian will surely be quick to tell you that having to explain a joke is one of the worst possible outcomes. Spending hours crafting your best material only to be met with confusion and silence after the anticipated punchline is finally delivered. Coding is the same. Even though you may not be practicing your best standup material in the middle of your code comments, there’s still ways you could be met with those scratching heads on the receiving end. Make sure you write cleanly and precisely. Having a working code may be the largest priority you are thinking about while tapping away at the keyboard. But for the best success long-term, especially in the professional developer world with teammates, be sure to also be considering the other things on that mental checklist while writing. Being able to hand off a clean document between multiple people effortlessly can save you a lot of headaches in the end. Even if you are working solo, you never know when you may call for backup from a fellow developer to help you out in some spots you may be getting stuck in along the way.
2. “First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.” - John Johnson
Developers are digital problem solvers. In the modern days of technology, there’s so much created around us to help make our life more convenient. Underneath every text sent and every smart home device on the shelf, is a team of developers over the course of many years crafting the code to make it work exactly as you expect it to first time. When it comes to the starting ideas of a code, crafting a cohesive roadmap to outline the entire upcoming process will help get you to that finish line much easier. Before you even begin writing you should ask yourself what problem it is you are trying to overcome. This can also be used when approaching unexpected hiccups. But more on that later. You are the driver of your coding and the lines are your vehicle. Make sure you can see where you are going!
3. “What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.” - Cameron Moll
We’ve spoken in the past how coding is a lot like art (and also like creating music.) You are the painter on a blank canvas. Every line you write is similar to a stroke of the paintbrush. By the end of your work, that solid canvas has now been completely covered and a painting should be staring back at you. For an artist, that’s normally when they can officially mark that piece as complete and move to the next canvas. Even though developers are artists in their craft, the biggest difference is the artwork has to come alive off the canvas. Unless of course you sell artwork of just lines of code. Then you’ve officially outsmarted this concept.
4. “A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.” - Doug Linder
Developers are some of the best pivoters. They simply have to be in order to stay one step ahead of the almost guaranteed uncertainty. While writing code, think of the additional possibilities the lines may result in as an outcome once tested. It’s always easier to get it as close to correct the first time with a keen eye compared to having to find a potential needle in a digital haystack to fix error after error. Stay one step ahead and “look both ways.”
5. “Good software, like wine, takes time.” - Joel Spolsky
According to Home Brew Advice, it takes an entire month before wine is even able to be tasted after it’s created. With that in mind, it could take years to get the very best taste produced. Any minor tweak to the ingredients resets the clock and then you have to wait an entire month to see if it did the trick. But the waiting doesn’t stop there. The longer wine sits, the more likely it will produce a richer taste. In many ways, creating good software is a lot like waiting for the perfect wine taste. It’s a very rare possibility for the product to be 100% ready to ship after the very first release is crafted. Making minor and major tweaks as time passes is going to likely become a permanent part of the process. All working towards that “richest taste” that the consumer of the software is going to appreciate. But much like wine...it’s not an overnight process.
6. “There is no programming language – no matter how structured – that will prevent programmers from making bad programs.” - Larry Flon
Luckily for developers, programming languages keep advancing to help raise the ceiling of possibility. But regardless of what version of a programming language you may be writing in, the quality of the code all begins with you as the developer. Always be working towards the highest skillset level you can achieve. Because the knowledge you have will directly result in the outcome of the product.
7. “If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.” - Edsger W. Dijkstra
Debugging is an everyday process for most developers. It can be your biggest friend or the biggest headache. The frustration that may follow an endless rabbit hole trying to fix the problems may distract you from the fact that you may have been the very one to cause them. But that’s simply just a part of the process. Laugh it off, learn from your mistakes, and fix what is able to be fixed. You got this!
8. "No one in the brief history of computing has ever written a piece of perfect software. It's unlikely that you'll be the first." - Andy Hunt
What may come across as a negative thought process, has a lot of weight to it when you understand firsthand how right it may be. No one has ever made anything perfect as a developer. Remember that! If the goal was to create the very first piece of software that has zero flaws, then it may take your entire lifetime to complete a single thing. Make your goals realistic. If the code is in a working status and the very best it can be at this moment, then you should count it as a win!
9. “One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code.” - Ken Thompson
Failure is usually very rarely looked at as a win. Especially when it comes to how you personally perceive things with the age old “glass half full or half empty” phrase. But the truth is, what you learn from your mistakes may be the very thing that helps you achieve what you are attempting to accomplish. The very best developers in the world are always learning new things as they go. Facing the realization that you may have to restart at line number one again is a gut wrenching feeling that no one wants to go through. But the possibilities of what that second, third, or however many restarts it takes can produce are exciting.
10. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln
Even though Honest Abe isn’t known for his talent in front of a computer screen, one of the things that is often contributed to him is his timeless knowledge. Lincoln wasn’t around by the time technology became what we know it as today. But this quote is so powerful that it works the same even to this day. Preparation is sometimes key when approaching a tough task. As a developer, the unknown is always lurking close by as each line gets written. That unknown can come in the form of a random error pivot or simply just not knowing how to successfully write what you are attempting to. This isn’t uncommon at all. But when you go into those situations with your tools sharpened, there isn’t much that you won’t be able to figure out after a few attempts.
We hope this blog post helped you in some form find the inspiration you sought after. Coding is an incredible craft done by impressive talent every day who are shaping the world around us currently and in the far future. The most exciting part is when it comes to getting those skillsets you need to become a developer, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you are ready to play a part in the future of technology and launch your career in code in as short as 12 weeks, our coding bootcamp is ready to get you there. Reach out!