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Why was this downvoted?



Because of your obvious lack of knowledge about "real world" engineering. Think of the planning that goes into just simply replacing the guardrail on a bridge. How are you going to cut it off, replace it, and install a new one on a changing bridge while least affecting traffic? In the case of the bridge I drive over every day the answer was to remove each ~100'x100' section of road deck (there is one in each direction) and replace it in its entirety, one a night, for months. This was to widen the 5 lane bridge by about 3' and raise the guardrail by about a foot. Sure a "minor" revision but I guarantee you could have paid for Flickr and a pile of VC backed startups making a hundred different projects for the cost of having a crews of guys working for months, a barge crane, and thousands of tons of steel and concrete. It just isn't even comparable. Specs changing are a constant fact of life in real world engineering too, they just aren't the #1 issue that has to be dealt with.


I think you're illustrating my point perfectly. An absolutely minor change to replace a guardrail is more expensive "than Flickr and a pile of VC backed startups making a hundred different projects".

Engineering projects do not change frequently and radically. They can't afford to - but more importantly - they don't need to, certainly not at anywhere the pace of software.

A bridge may undergo some changes and facelifts over a 200-year period, but it's still basically the same bridge. But there isn't much software that could last even a fraction that long and not be completely obsolete (without most of it's code getting replaced). In the case of a bridge, the underlying geography isn't going anywhere. That's just not the case with software - even if the platform still exists, the rapid pace of technology means that the software will stop being of any practical use.

A piece of software needs to keep evolving, or it's dead. The same just isn't true of most 200-year engineering projects.




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