Technical Debt Crisis

Some good points on the state of affairs in the web development world today ...

In the old days there was a respected profession of application programming. There was a minority of elite system programmers who built infrastructure and tools that empowered the majority of application programmers. Our goal was to allow regular people without extensive training to easily and quickly build useful software. This was the spirit of languages like COBOL, Visual Basic, and HyperCard. Elegant tools for a more civilized age. Before the dark times… before the web.

The civilized platforms controlled by large companies who invested in developer tools are all gone, strangled by the Darwinian jungle of the web. It is hard for programmers who have only known the web to realize how incredibly awful it is compared to past platforms. The web is just an enormous stack of kluges upon hacks upon misbegotten designs. This Archaeology of Errors is no place for the application programmers of old: it takes a skilled programmer with years of experience just to build simple applications on today’s web. What a waste. Twenty years of expediency has led the web into a technical debt crisis. To my shame, we are OK with that.

From: Developer inequality and the technical debt crisis.

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