An example of software development writing that irks me

A recent article about technical debt had a bit that bothered me.

In addition to just being frustrating, good software developers have a burning desire to keep their skills up-to-date. Systems with high tech debt are very difficult to work with, much less keep up to date. As a result, developers are stuck with libraries and frameworks that are many years old. They fear they will break something, so they avoid upgrading it altogether.

This really feels like a web-service-centric kind of assertion. What does it mean to keep your skills "up-to-date"? It probably means using what's either common or fashionable. (Whether those are the same thing is debatable.) If you are focused on keeping your skills up-to-date, are you missing the point of your job, which is probably to keep a product running for its customers?

It is true that old systems can be frustrating to work with, but implying that being "stuck" with old libraries and frameworks is inherently bad is nonsense. One can just as well lay that claim to new ones, since they are often poorly documented and immature.

This whole bit feels off to me. I don't like the selfishness vibe I get from the whole thing.

-- Geoff (comment@wozniak.ca)
2020-02-02T00:00:00-05:00