This is a summary for the blog by Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software, volume 2002. The summary for the years 2000-2010 can be found on the Joel on Software summary index page.
Maybe this is the key to productivity: just getting started. Move forward every day. You may accomplish only small changes, but sooner or later you will win. -- Fire And Motion
When you're showing off, the only thing that matters is the screen shot. Build your (demo) UI in such a way that unfinished parts look unfinished. -- The Iceberg Secret, Revealed
Three minutes of design work can save hours of coding because Nothing is as Simple as it Seems
If you have a small number of customers, prefer frequent small releases to minimize time between user request and releasing the code. If you have (or want) a large number of paying customers, prefer less frequent releases to avoid a bad impression. For Systems With Millions of Customers and Millions of Integration Points, Prefer Rare Releases, mainly because of compatibility issues. -- Picking a Ship Date
Pick a programming language pragmatically, suitable for the job. Don't base your choice on syntax. -- Blog post 2002/05/05
There are different "worlds" of software. When somebody tells you about methodology, think about how it applies to the work you're doing. -- Five Worlds
Smart companies try to commoditize their products' complements to increase the price of their products. -- Strategy Letter V
The success of a platform is directly proportional to its ability to attract developers. -- Platforms.
Entering a bugreport in your bugtracking software should be as easy as possible, otherwise people will avoid using it. -- Blog post 2002/09/12
A good installer will roll back all changes when it fails. -- Blog post 2002/10/08.
Never listen to your customers. They were dumb enough to buy your products, so they have no credibility. -- oops, that was a Dogbert quote.
Leaky abstractions are abstractions where the underlying concept sometimes leaks through. The only way to deal with the resulting problems is to learn about the underlying concept. So the abstractions save us time working, but they don't save us time learning. -- The Law of Leaky Abstractions.
There are a lot of programming worlds, each of which requires a tremendous amount of knowledge for real proficiency. If you have a choice of platforms, use the one your team has the most skills with, even if it's not the trendiest or nominally the most productive. -- Lord Palmerston on Programming.