re: Optimize Your Programming Decisions for the 95%, Not the 5% VIEW POST


Donald Knuth never said “(or at least most of it) in programming.” These are your words or somebody else's. It's very unethical to quote wrong things and not even mention the source. Here's the original paper, please read it first, page 268:

Having a generic understanding git/bash/ cli tools of the work environment is useful for a team like mine where we practice Mob Programming everyday to achieve 10x performance. We practice Pair Programming sometimes and solo for obvious tasks only.

All that doesn't lead us to over engineer or over design the code base on requirements that don't exist. You're more likely to do that if your work by yourself alone, and that's the main problem. We can be pretty lean and write only the simplest code in the direction of scale once that's necessary.

Only skills with practice and mentoring will give you that, it's not to optimise for the 95% because that's your knowledge of what 95% is. You don't know what you don't know.


Thanks for the heads up on the quote. I guess someone should remove it from his official "quotes" page on Wikiquote. It's listed at

I changed it to what it is in the paper you linked.


Oh wait! That's a different paper. It looks like he said it somewhere else using different words. TIL.

The reason I raised the concern is that I've been caught on the trap. The internet can be misleading sometimes, see

I didn't read that paper and I don't know where to find it. It would be good to check the original to see if that's exactly what's written there or link the source (even if it's wikiquote). I've seen multiple publications slightly changing the quote and then what we know today is a complete different one. Think an effect like the wireless telephone you played at school. Even website like Wikipedia get this wrong cause nobody bothers to check the source or the source is not available anymore!

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