In 1985, Allen Newell wrote this following about programming languages and psychology:
Millions for compilers but hardly a penny for understanding human programming language use. Now, programming languages are obviously symmetrical, the computer on one side, the programmer on the other. In an appropriate science of computer languages, one would expect that half the effort would be on the computer side, understanding how to translate the languages into executable form, and half on the human side, understanding how to design languages that are easy or productive to use…. The human and computer parts of programming languages have developed in radical asymmetry.
[Newell, A. and S. K. Card (1985). “The Prospects for Psychological Science in Human-Computer Interaction.” Human-Computer Interaction. 1(3): 209-242].
In 1981, John Backus wrote the following:
While it is perhaps natural and inevitable that languages like Fortran and its successors should have developed out of the concept of the von Neumann computer as they did, the fact that such languages have dominated our thinking for twenty years is unfortunate. It is unfortunate because their long-standing familiarity will make it hard for us to understand and adopt new programming styles which one day will offer far greater intellectual and computational power.