Three Virtues of a Programmer

According to Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, "The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris." (in the second edition of Programming Perl).

Well, this sounds kinda bad… but here comes the good part:

  • Laziness – The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful, and document what you wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it. Hence, the first great virtue of a programmer.
  • Impatience – The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don’t just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to. Hence, the second great virtue of a programmer.ย 
  • Hubris – Excessive pride, the sort of thing Zeus zaps you for. Also the quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won’t want to say bad things about. Hence, the third great virtue of a programmer.

    With all of this in mind, I am a programmer!