The renowned programmer who created PHP "hates programming" and said he's "not a real programmer."

Rasmus Lerdorf's work created the web as we know it, but he doesn't care for coding. "I really don't like programming. I built this tool to program less so that I could just reuse code," he said in 2003.

The tool he mentions is the PHP scripting language used in nearly 80% of all websites.

Despite Lerdorf's awards and impact in the web development field, he doesn't take himself very seriously— as seen in the frank, self-deprecating admission in his WikiQuote page.

"I'm not a real programmer. I throw together things until it works then I move on. The real programmers will say 'Yeah it works but you're leaking memory everywhere. Perhaps we should fix that.' I'll just restart Apache every 10 requests," he said.

In a 2002 interview, the Danish-Canadian programmer said this: "PHP is about as exciting as your toothbrush. You use it every day, it does the job, it is a simple tool, so what? Who would want to read about toothbrushes?"

Unlike many starry-eyed San Francisco startups, Lerdorf's project didn't begin with big dreams. "I don't know how to stop it, there was never any intent to write a programming language […] I have absolutely no idea how to write a programming language, I just kept adding the next logical step on the way," he said.

Lerdorf's humorous humility hasn't changed. As of 2021, he still thinks it's okay— sometimes even good— to have no idea what's going on, and he shifts praise away from himself and towards others.

User @woketopus posted Lerdorf's quotes on Twitter, sparking a conversation about successful programmers who find the process of coding unpleasant.