Best quotes by DHH

Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp & HEY, NYT best-selling author, and Le Mans 24h class-winning racing driver.

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The quickest way to ruin the productivity of a small company is to have it adopt the practices of a large company.


It saddens me that "must be passionate" has become code word for "must be willing to work two-jobs hours for one-job pay".


The productivity boost from working remotely does not come from replacing all those in-office meetings with a bunch of video calls. It comes from turning all those meetings into write-ups instead. Status updates, pitches, ideas. Write. Them. Down.


The web isn’t just another software platform. It’s the greatest software platform the world has ever seen. No permissions, no masters, readable source code. Let’s protect the heritage, work in its service, and remind ourselves just what a marvel it all really is.


Any gig-worker app that cannot make the business model work while paying $15/hour (after expenses!), basic benefits, vacation time, and family leave should not exist. Running a modern-day serf economy behind a slick UI is disgraceful.


Programmers worrying about whether their architecture will Web Scale is like buying a lottery coupon and fretting about which yacht to buy.


It continues to blow my mind that "it's just a few bad apples" is being used as an excuse to do nothing, when the proverb is literally "a few bad apples SPOILS THE BUNCH". The moral lesson is not about the existence of bad apples, but that failure to remove them SPOILS THE BUNCH.


Ever notice how the biggest fans of overwork are usually investors or company owners? And the primary victims of this culture are workers? If you’re in the latter group, developing a bit of class consciousness would serve you well.


The underlying issue with bootcamps charging $30,000 for a 9-month curriculum patched together from free online sources and delivered by inexperienced instructors is just how dystopian "the opportunity" really is. It's capitalizing on a failed state approach to higher education.


Remember when “working real hard” had a goal? Like getting out of a shitty situation, so you could stop wearing yourself thin. Now the prize for “working real hard” and making it big is that you get to “work real hard” forever. Hustle culture sucks.


There's nothing wrong with you if you can't stand pair programming as a day-in-day-out approach to software development. I love the occasional pairing, but I'd rather quit programming than do it all day, every day.


We really shouldn't be surprised that Google has turned their search engine into an ad engine. This is the basic, predictable playbook of monopoly power. Once the quality of the product stops mattering, because all competition has been vanquished, you raise prices. This is it.


Companies so eager to only hire senior people often forget that unlearning what doesn't apply can take longer than learning what does.


When every chat app in the world has died off, email will still be here.


The mid-life crisis gets an undeservedly bad rep. It's the first time many people face their own mortality, and accept with regret how they've squandered so much of life. It would have been better to have such a crisis earlier, but foolish to waste the opportunity none the less.


Everybody’s weird. If they don’t seem so at first, it’s just because you haven’t spent enough time with them yet.


Work From Home is crucial step to take for all companies that are able. But let's not pretend that anyone can put in 100% during these times. If you expect everyone to still hit every deadline, nail every commitment, you're delusional, and you need to stop.


Searching for 10x engineers before you’ve ensured you have a 10x workplace is the epitome of premature optimization.


If you want to leave a dent in the universe, you have to be willing to punch in the same place over and over and over and over again.


Any programmer who longs for the predictable, repeatable nature of construction has never tried to actually build a house.


If you have to get up at 4am to get any work done, your workplace is broken.


The amount of skepticism expressed at the idea that it's possible to start a new company on a ~40h workweek blows my mind. I've been borderline accused of lying several times when I account for our path of doing just that. This is what the ideology of workism brings.


The fact that programmers continue to use "magic" as a derogative for tools they're too lazy to understand boggles my mind. You really have to be an utter killjoy to decide "yeah, magic, I hate that" when your job is literally to invent programs for computers to perform.


Stoicism is big on the idea of intentionally subjecting yourself to discomfort in order to nurture resilience and appreciation. Think cold showers, intermittent fasting, walking in the rain without an umbrella. Anyway, this idea has me thinking about trying Windows again.


"Paying employees outside of big-tech cities high wages is bad because then those people have too much money" is a thing some people say on the internet 😄


Here's a crazy idea for how to finance education: Taxes. We, as a society, pool our resources, educate people with no up-front charge, and fund the setup by taking a progressive percentage of everyone's income for life.


As people wake up to the damage wrought by having an addictive, needy computer in your pocket all the time, I predict the desktop computer will see a renaissance. A computer fixed to the desk in a separate room sounds like just the healthy separation we need.


If you want to have an impact, be prepared to say the same thing for a decade.


The problem with many arguments is that they’re really just justifications for feelings. Just embrace your feelings, and forgo the need to constantly dress them up in logically sounding arguments.


It's the worst of times and the best of times in tech right now. Big tech and a horde of zombie unicorns, backed by vulture capital, are spoiling our internet, stealing our data, and robbing their workers. But there's finally a seed of hope in the awareness that's growing.


My most potent secret to productivity, satisfaction, and wellbeing: I sleep nine hours or more every night.


The Safari team doesn't get quite enough credit for how much nicer Reader View makes browsing the modern ad-infested web. SHIFT+CMD+R and all the visual pain goes away ❤️.


Whenever I hear that the average employee turn-over in technology is two years, I wonder how anyone gets anything done.


Email signatures were a mistake.


Pedigree is for dogs, not job applicants. Being impressed by, or even worse, requiring, a certain school or program is for suckers.


A society without targeted advertisements is a better one.


Buying carbon offsets like planting trees always struck me as eerily similar to buying indulgences. You do a bad thing, then try to settle the score with a questionable purchase, so you can keep doing the bad thing. A tree planted today is not offsetting your flight tomorrow.


Gift cards are the worst. The. Worst. You exchange money that can be used for anything, anywhere for the same amount of money that can be used in one place within a certain time.


Most people equate compliant kids with "good kids". No wonder so many of these kids grow up to comply with all sorts of bad authorities.


There's nothing like that feeling that you're pulling the thread on a big idea. The idea is still fuzzy, but you keep moving the code around, and it slowly becomes clearer, one refactoring at the time. It's in this phase I cannot stand to write tests first.


Make it work ➤ Make it right ➤ Make it fast


Writing open source software and giving it away for free has without a doubt been my most professionally rewarding endeavor yet.


The golden rule of service: I give you a problem, you deliver a solution. Not excuses, not explanations. Solutions.


Companies describing workers getting a better offer as "poaching" reveal exactly what they think: Employees are animals. THEIR animals.


It fascinates me that free tuition for a higher education is such a controversial idea in the US. Nobody is arguing that K12 should be for pay. Pretty much all of Europe already has a defacto implementation of it. The lack of ambition in the US on the big topics is depressing.


There's never been a better or more prosperous time in tech to allow employees the freedom to follow their conscience. You absolutely do not have to work for the surveillance state, programming censorship apparatus, or writing defensive press releases to find employment.


The problem with "don't be evil" wasn't that it couldn't be done, but that it couldn't be scaled. We shouldn't ridicule people for believing in principles, but we should absolutely call them out when they abandon them.


If reality was a fictional show, we'd be rolling our eyes at writers who couldn't wrap up a single story line before kicking off the next.


The problem with blindly celebrating “hard work” is that it mistakenly equates effort with consequence.


Quizzing high-level programmers on algorithms is less about evaluating candidates, more about stroking the quizzer's (pathetic) ego. Works.

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