List: words of wisdom for software engineers

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This is a list of sayings, clever quotes, juicy wisdom nuggets applicable in CS/IT/SE. I invite you to not evaluate these as true or false and

  • Mastery is in part knowledge compression into useful tiny bits that enable you to make decisions fast.
  • Spiral repetition (aka iteration) is both THE key to personal learning and A key to product success.
  • Repetition might not be a form of automation, but it’s a necessary (not sufficient) requirement. Corollary: “automation first” is highly inefficient.
  • Fast decisions == high decision throughput == less decision fatigue.
  • The biggest time waist is low decision throughput.
  • When you are learning you have several things in your favor: the learning curve, the knowledge tree (interpolation) and the practice of learning itself (compounding).
  • Done is better than perfect, when the amount of work done is > 0% AND the problem is solved. Ironically when the amount of work done is 0% and 100% then done == perfect.
  • All roads lead to stack overflow… but not all roads are clean (Kevlin Henney).
  • The most known orders of data processing are LIFO (Stack) and FIFO (Queue). But the most used one is GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.
  • Best practices can be just accepted tenets of a cargo cult. Unless you smash into Chesterton’s fence.
  • Axioms exist, hence you need memory when learning.
  • Knowledge is compression. Axioms and principles of derivation are the limits of that compression.
  • If you know assembly everything is opensource.
  • Creating the first couple of nodes in the knowledge tree is the hardest. Recreating them is required upon incorrect identification of the root. Once you have it right further steps become easier and easier.

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