My favorite quotes


The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

— Emerson 

The purpose of life is not happiness: it’s usefulness.

— Darius Foroux 

If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

— Thomas Jefferson 

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

— Aldous Huxley

To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.

John H. Newman

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

— Leonardo Da Vinci

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

— Albert Einstein

Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not.

— Galileo Galilei

“Impossible is Nothing,” it said. Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

— Elna Baker

Nine people can’t make a baby in a month.

— Fred Brooks


Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

— Steve Jobs

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after low pricing is forgotten!

— Leon M. Cautillo

The costs of poor quality are tangible; they will cost you customers and money, and ultimately affect the success of your business.

— Subir Chowdhury

Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.

— Philip Crosby

Quality has to be caused, not controlled.

— Philip Crosby

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

— John Ruskin

The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up.

— Dwight David Eisenhower

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.

— Henry Ford

Quality, quality, quality: never waver from it, even when you don’t see how you can afford to keep it up. When you compromise, you become a commodity and then you die.

— Gary Hirshberg

Quality without science and research is absurd. You can’t make inferences that something works when you have 60 percent missing data.

— Peter Pronovost

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.

— H. James Harrington


If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

— Edwards Deming

Without a standard there is no logical basis for making a decision or taking action.

— Joseph Juran

I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

— Dwight Eisenhower


Test, test and test again.

— Adi Dassler

How good is our testing? Our testing is good if we present good test evidence. Rather than getting so excited about the number of faults we find, our performance as testers is judged on how clear is the test evidence that we produce. If we can provide evidence to stakeholders for them to make a decision at an acceptable cost and we can squeeze this effort into the time we are given, we are doing a good testing job.

— Paul Gerrard

Testing a product is a learning process.

— Brian Marick

The testing role must be able to clearly articulate what is currently wrong with the product and what is currently right with it so that the status of product development is accurately portrayed. To do this, testing must have a very good grasp of the needs of the users and a clear understanding of what the product will do to meet those needs.

— From MSF Team Model for Application Development


Any fool can write code that a computer can understand.  Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

— Martin Fowler

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

— Rich Kulawiec

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.

— C.A.R. Hoare

The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.

— Tom Cargill

Optimism is an occupational hazard of programming: feedback is the treatment.

— Kent Beck

Version 1 of any software is full of bugs.
Version 2 fixes all the bugs and is great.
Version 3 adds all the things users ask for, but hides all the great stuff in Version 2.

— Fred Blechman