The laws of computing (2)

The “laws” of computing: an occasional series of witty (?) thoughts.


  1. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
  2. If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
  3. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
  4. Any given program will expand to fill all the available memory .
  5. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the understanding of the programmer who must maintain it.


  1. A carelessly planned project takes at least three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.
  2. Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

I have no clear idea where I got all this except that I started collecting them 20+ years ago in a text file that I moved from computer to computer ever since. Most still occasionally appear in other places around the net, usually associated with the Murphy’s Law material so I’m not the only one who collected and saved them !

I like them and discovered recently that many people have never seen them and that needs to be fixed 🙂


About Dick Knisely

Science-guy, engineer, father, grandfather, husband -- yeah, I'm all of those things. I author this blog to share things I care about and you might care about, too. I hope you do and that you'll join in to share things you care about.
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