Alan Kay Quotes

Alan Curtis Kay (born May 17, 1940) is an American computer scientist. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. He is best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design

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Alan Kay


The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alan Kay


Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.

Alan Kay


There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating.

Alan Kay


I fear -as far as I can tell- that most undergraduate degrees in computer science these days are basically Java vocational training. I've heard complaints from even mighty Stanford University with its illustrious faculty that basically the undergraduate computer science program is little more than Java certification.

Alan Kay


I've been a Fellow in a number of companies: Xerox, Apple, Disney, HP. There are certain similarities because all the Fellows programs were derived from IBM's, which itself was derived from the MIT 'Institute Professor' program.

Alan Kay


Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we're all just cavemen with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories.

Alan Kay


Science requires a society because even people who are trying to be good thinkers love their own thoughts and theories - much of the debugging has to be done by others.

Alan Kay


All the companies I've worked for have this deep problem of devolving to something like the hunting and gathering cultures of 100,000 years ago. If businesses could find a way to invent 'agriculture,' we could put the world back together and all would prosper.

Alan Kay


I fear - as far as I can tell - that most undergraduate degrees in computer science these days are basically Java vocational training.

Alan Kay


As far as Apple goes, it was a different company every few years from the time I joined in 1984.

Alan Kay


I invented the term 'Object-Oriented', and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.

Alan Kay


If the pros at Sun had had a chance to fix Java, the world would be a much more pleasant place. This is not secret knowledge. It's just secret to this pop culture.

Alan Kay


In our society we have hard nerds and soft nerds. The hard nerds are the ones who used to have the slide rules at their belt; now they have calculators. The soft nerds are the ones who get violently ill whenever anybody mentions an integral sign.

Alan Kay


The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs.

Alan Kay


Having an intelligent secretary does not get rid of the need to read, write, and draw, etc. In a well functioning world, tools and agents are complementary.

Alan Kay