Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

in "Notes on Programming in C", in section "Complexity", Rob Pike writes:

Most programs are too complicated - that is, more complex than they need to be to solve their problems efficiently. Why? Mostly it's because of bad design, but I will skip that issue here because it's a big one. .../...

Does anyone know whether Rob Pike has written more about software design and how to avoid complexity, and where this might be found?

share|improve this question
I accepted an answer, but if anyone else wants to chime it, feel free! – Christopher Mahan Aug 17 '11 at 16:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You might want to look at Pike (and Brian Kernighan) book, "The Practice of Programming" (

The Text Editor Sam has some efficiency and design philosophizing in it.

Pike, sad to say, isn't amazingly prolific in terms of writing.

UPDATE: Rob Pike has a blog. I found this blog after I wrote my answer above.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. That was on my to-get list. I guess I'll prioritize upward. – Christopher Mahan Aug 17 '11 at 16:12
It's a pretty good book. Pike is one of my programming heroes, so I bought and read it right when it came out. – Bruce Ediger Aug 17 '11 at 16:31
Thanks. I'm also reading through Sam of Plan9. Interesting. – Christopher Mahan Aug 17 '11 at 16:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.