Programmer proverbs share the wisdom that comes from coding

A new GitHub repo is collecting the life lessons that one can learn from programming

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Picture of a fortune cookie with a fortune sticking out that says 'Take the honorable path and you cannot go wrong.'

Could this have been written by a programmer?

Image credit: flickr/Rhys Asplundh (license)

As more and more non-programmers learn how to program, they’re no doubt starting to realize what long-time developers already know: that writing code can teach you a lot about life. Whether it’s the value of careful planning, being honest with yourself or simply being patient, writing software can teach many lessons that are applicable away from the computer. An open source project is now collecting the worldly pieces of wisdom that others have gained through creating software.

Antonin Januska is a Texas-based developer and designer who recently created a GitHub repository called Programmer’s Proverbs to gather and share just what the title implies. He’s soliciting programmers to submit their own bits of wisdom about life that they’ve gleaned from coding, written as proverbs. He’s already collected a bunch; here are a few of my favorites:

  • Facebook wasn't built in a day (Antonin Januska)

  • Laziness is your best friend. Never do twice what you can automate once (Will Stern)

  • A/B Test twice, deploy changes once (Antonin Januska)

  • The better job you do, the easier others discount the level of difficulty (barking)

  • Debugging becomes significantly easier if you first admit that you are the problem (William Laeder)

Januska has also created an API to query the proverbs he’s collecting. For example, http://proverbs-app.antjan.us/random will fetch a programmer’s proverb at random.

What wisdom about life has programming taught you? Write it up as a proverb and submit a pull request to Januska. He only asks that you submit your own original ideas. Feel free to share them here in the comments as well.

Enjoy the lessons Januska has already collected and, remember, a git pull a day, keeps the doctor away (Pierre Romera)!

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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