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Why Software Is Slow and Shitty (pketh.org)
5 points by pketh on July 18, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments

I think this article misses the point. Modern development practices don't automatically translate to shit software (except maybe Electron?). Furthermore a lot of software today is shit for reasons besides performance.

The main problem nowadays is that the incentives changed. Back in the day, software was sold at a fair price and needed to be good value otherwise people might go to a competitor. The software should be serving the user as much as possible. This was also possible because software publishers weren't overvalued and as long as they could bring a good amount of profit to pay nice paychecks to a handful of people everyone was happy.

Nowadays the majority of software out there is "freemium", it's either free and ad-supported or designed to extract as much money out of the user as possible, often using anticompetitive practices. There is no longer a desire to serve the user (in case of ad-supported products they are intentionally crippled), the quality bar is much lower (due to spyware and analytics they know exactly what the minimum bar for quality is and have no incentive to go beyond that) and the lack of competition or vendor lock-in prevents people from leaving. Unsustainable growth and overvaluation means they have to charge much more money for a product worse than what we used to have 20 years ago, and even then a lot of these companies aren't profitable.

hey Nextgrid,

The point i was trying to make was more about modern development Organizations/structures leading to shit (not so much practices, although ya electron).

That said I totally agree with you about twisted incentives. A gross business model results in gross software no matter how skilled the dev/design team.

IMO the trends toward metrics-driven/freemium companies, is a consequence of top-down org models – predominantly where those at the top have no understanding of, or respect, for craft. Rigid structures typically only understand rigid metrics.

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