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>I think it works well enough, for a few years.

"Fortunately," hardly anyone in Silicon Valley plans to be working on the same codebase in a few years. There's a good chance the problem space won't be relevant anymore by then, and on the off chance it's still funded, the new team will rewrite it whether or not it's good.

>sprints are too short for devs to sneak refactoring into the schedule.

As I've gotten more senior, I've just gotten more brazen about doing this less sneakily.

Is the Silicon Valley representative of software development though ? Because on the other hand we have professors telling us that the average (surviving?) software lifetime is 20 years...

This is just intuition but I suspect that the lifetime for software is u shaped. Much of it is very short lived but software that lasts more than 1-2 years is very likely to live for a decade or more.

A lot of 6 month old code gets thrown away either because its been rewritten or because it didn't achieve its stated objective. Meanwhile a bunch of companies are relying on systems that were first created in the 90s because that software achieves its objectives and the cost justification for a rewrite isn't there.

There are many 20 years and older code bases currently. But if you start a new code base today it might get rewritten many times in the next few years because software users no longer have the power to stay on an old version due to the SaaS paradigm.

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