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Cover Quote: April 1980

Although programming techniques have improved immensely since the early days, the process of finding and correcting errors in programming—known graphically if inelegantly as “debugging”—still remains a most difficult, confused and unsatisfactory operation. The chief impact of this state of affairs is psychological. Although we are happy to pay lip service to the adage that to err is human, most of us like to make a small private reservation about our own performance on special occasions when we really try. It is somewhat deflating to be shown publicly and incontrovertibly by a machine that even when we do try, we in fact make just as many mistakes as other people. If your pride cannot recover from this blow, you will never make a programmer.

- C. Strachey
Systems Analysis and Programming, 1966
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