From an interview by Howard Dahdah:
If you were teaching up-and-coming programmers, what would you say?
First, I would be somewhat intimidated because they all know more than I do these days! And the environments today are so much more complicated than when I wrote code. Having said that software engineering hasn’t changed much over the years. The thing we practised in the Unix group was if you wrote some code then you were personally accountable for that code working and if you put that code into public use and it didn’t work then it was your reputation that was at stake. In the Unix lab there were about 20 people who used the system every day and we installed our software on the PDP 11 that everyone else was using. And if it didn’t work you got yelled at rather quickly. So we all tested our programs as much as we could before releasing them to the group. I think that this is important these days – it’s so easy in these large software projects to write code and not understand the environment you will be operating in very well, so it doesn’t work when you release the code in the real world. That is one piece of advice I’d give is to make sure you understand who is using your code and what they will use it for. If you can, go and visit your customers and find out what they are doing with your code. Also be sure to understand the environment that your program will be deployed into. Lastly, take pride in your code so that your peers and customers alike will appreciate your skill.
Steve Bourne, interviewed by Howard Dahdah, "The A-Z of Programming Languages: Bourne Shell, or sh", Computer World, 20090305, accessed 20111029.