Why is it, that despite massive improvements in computing power and resources over the years, the quality of software seems to be decreasing?

Nowadays I expect applications to chew up CPU, go on a RAMpage, and to add salt to the wound, leak memory when I close them. Or maybe they've just turned into zombies.

Either way I'm genuinely curious to hear your thoughts.

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Companies no longer give quality engineers enough incentive to stick around. Mediocre, skill-less, uninspiring management treats every problem like digging a ditch, where you can simply throw more able bodies at it. The work gets “done” instead of properly solved.

Companies have adopted this mentality that they don’t want “rock star” engineers anymore but instead want everyone to be able to do everything (knowledge share). The reality is, though, that proper software development is something that only very few have a real knack for.

likeupliftingsmart

Such a small percentage of devs write maintainable code. It rots, someone else puts some bandaids on it, and it becomes a total mess

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Unfortunately spaghetti is the norm, if you see a 5, 10 year old codebase that is clean, readable and intuitive, that company has unusually skilled dev teams

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The only way to motivate the software to get better is if the hardware stopped getting better... by the way cloud vendors LOVE inefficient software. Luckily they don't need to go out of their way to do anything sinister to encourage the trend of bloat to continue.

There's a significant silver lining to this by the way. As hardware does continue to improve, what you have is the gap in performance between a well designed and efficient system and an enterprise-grade system continues to widen. As such, the opportunity for effectively disrupting the latter also widens.

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Because good reliable software is extremely ridiculously hard to make

And as frameworks and have gotten more advanced, the effect has been demanding more and more complex apps, instead of more reliable apps.

In the year 2000 your bank just needed to support a basic 90s looking website for a desktop computer. Now you expect mobile apps, for both iOS and Android, all of varying screen sizes and resolutions. You expect responsive web design so if you are using it on your browser and resize the window the app reforms to fit the new screen. You expect faster page loads, faster transfers, your bank account to be connected to other apps like cashapp and mint. You expect the site to be accessible. And on and on and on

It’s a miracle that anything works at all

likesmart

As things become more complex they tend to exhibit their shortcomings. Try programming an fpga and you’ll soon realize that the more you add the more likely you are to introduce a bug or inefficiency. You are noticing a memory leak or cpu running hot but the miracle of ‘most applications is not in their efficiency, but in the user experience.

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I see your point, and I agree, up to the point that the efficiency detracts from the user experience. One time I tried to use a program but it cooked my CPU and consumed all my memory, so I couldn't even run it fully.

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I agree with many above but even if you have a good team, most business people see the "Fast/Cheap/Quality pick 2" paradigm as an easy choice (and guess which two...)

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Frameworks galore, JavaScript everywhere, too much web tech (hoping WebAssembly fixes this), too much infosec security on enterprise machines logging everything and writing to local DB, Too many distributed apps and not enough local apps.

First half is true.

However local apps cannot hang with modern day data requirements. Modern distributed apps are actually very high quality in general. Not in line with OPs observations at all

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There is often a lack of commitment to disciplined requirements gathering and testing. Without development discipline we tend to build bowls of spaghetti. I’ve barely got a basic platform built that meets a business need and I’m being asked about AI.

I may be wrong on some points here but this is my opinion. Well there are some languages out there like java that help a lot with this but this is a challenge to accomplish. C/c++ is a base for many languages and It is really fast because It does not have many built in components to hold your hand while coding. On the other hand java and javascript have many components built on top of the c/c++ library making it slower compared to writing an application from scratch using a base language. Cleaner code may impact the speed of a language, same goes for flexibility like JavaScript. If you are an expert with assembly language you can make an application run faster than any c progamming language, that is because of the control you have over every single operation, the more power you have at your hands to control everything.

That would be called Agile development.

It’s because of the way job interviews are conducted. People get hired for acing leetcode questions. Google has managed to destroy software engineering by popularizing this lazy style of interviewing.

It’s the equivalent of universities accepting students solely based on GRE scores.

Nowhere in the recruiting process is there any bias towards people that actually like or care to write maintainable code.

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