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Well, I've also worked for places where I'm on call for some service maintained by one person that's built their little impregnable abstraction castle because nobody else had to work on it so they could just yak-shave and bike-shed with their self.

These days I kinda wince at "I run 8 services myself."

Those of us who have been around since the 80s-90s are astonished by the low productivity of today's programmers.

If it takes 1 person to run 1 microservice, we are all doomed.

It's because that 1 micro-service has 300 dependencies.

Higher levels of abstraction makes it easier to get something up and running fast, but at some point you need to be able to look under the hood and understand what's going on, and many programmers today can't do that.

That being said I think the drop in average skill is mostly a product of the growth in the number of programmers. I imagine that if the ability to sculpt a basic statue suddenly became really valuable, the skill level of the average working sculptor would plummet.

> Higher levels of abstraction makes it easier to get something up and running fast

More layers of indirection in a system and more dependencies on external libraries and tooling does not necessarily get you any abstractions. To take a contemporary example, there is no "abstraction" in being driven to use Docker because your dependencies have gotten unmanageable otherwise.

Docker is an abstraction...

No it's not. OS-level virtualization is the abstraction. Docker is a set of tools to manage Linux containers and virtual filesystems. You can argue that libvirt is an abstraction because it does actually work over several different virtualization technologies.

You really think that the productivity of today's programmers is less? What evidence and data do you have for that?

Warning: all anecdotes. While I don't think that productivity has decreased, what was notepad, a compiler, some dlls and a debugger before turned into a thousand little packages, several configuration files, a bunch of servers you have to run on your dev. computer, which is also 10x more capable, yet everything feels so sluggish.

I also feel that ceteris paribus, the meetings got longer, project management tools now consume a lot of input from programmers, and I need to communicate with a lot more people to get something done.

>"ceteris paribus" Latin for "all things equal".

Sounds for me like productivity went down...

I think the complexity of solutions has gone up (especially in webdev), it seems to me perhaps complexity has gone up way further than actual requirements or new features would suggest...

Which seems to end up meaning productivity has gone down when measured by "things end users of websites can do", even though modern FE devs end up creating much more code and html and css than "the old days". (Admittedly, if you include privacy invasion, user tracking, and various other requirements of surveillance capitalism, dev productivity has probably skyrocketed...)

..eh yes producing mindless importing stuff, generating code, tracking garbadge burocratic stuff went up. Just importing energy consuming crap. Not personal 'productivity' imho but 'work simulation' by click, giving 'reason'. 'solutions' for 'no problems' p.e. A subscription modell for automated driving.. If easy money is to be made the crazyness starts...

Complex? We still call a function with a return value on a stackmachine.

Sorry for the negativity.

In the old days if you managed to create a website it was great. Now people compare everything with Google and Facebook. If you just put something together fast people would just laugh at you. So everything takes a lot longer. The effect is that you get to solve less problems.

"even though modern FE devs end up creating much more code and html and css than "the old days""

And yet, most homepages today can't be viewed without javascript. You are correct, for the end user the complexity has absolutely not resulted in better homepages but worse.

On the other hand, I can now easily write web pages that let people query and view the results of large CFD simulations in interactive 3d.

That’s valid, there are times I wish we had some bench depth.

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