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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Thursday Quote - Linus Torvalds


"95 percent of all programmers think they are in the top 5 percent, and the rest are certain they are above average"
- Linus Torvalds, quoted in The One-second War (What Time Will You Die?) by Poul-Henning Kamp, acmqueue, April 6, 2011

Here is the context...

"But Linus' [Torvalds] observation that "95 percent of all programmers think they are in the top 5 percent, and the rest are certain they are above average" should not be taken lightly: very few programmers have any idea what the difference is between "wall-clock time" and "interval time," and leap seconds are way past rocket science for them. (For example, Posix defines only a pthread_cond_timedwait(), which takes wall-clock time but not an interval-time version of the call.)"
If Mr. Torvalds is correct, he is only approximately so: I regard myself a below-average programmer and therefore I fall outside "the rest". If I was above average I would not have to work so hard to produce good code.

And I'm not even confident about the "good code" part... trying hard does not always lead to success.

Even worse, I know that many folks despise my coding style: too verbose, too vertical, too much white space, too many long names, too many underscores, not enough uPpEr and LoWeRcAsE, too many explicit name.qualifications, too many comments, and especially [blasphemy] not enough abstraction, polymorphism or inheritance [/blasphemy].

None of that bothers me, however. Only one complaint gets my attention: "I do not understand what you have written."

Oh, and of course, "Your code does not work." ...it goes without saying that gets my attention! :)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be even more interesting how the typical programmer would rate his peer programmers:)

Volker