A large crater to dump my thoughts

Mellon Collie, but no infinite sadness

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The technology world is a weird place. Popular technology in a particular (large enough) market can come and go at an amazing pace. What was new, exciting and a possible contender for world domination half a decade ago can look ill-designed, irrelevant and legacy by now. Most things will simmer for a while after they’ve had their peak, but they won’t pick up many new adopters. Software releases go stale almost as quickly as yesterday’s lunch.

Creating a successful product is about so much more than having well-designed technology. Even the free software world is not a meritocracy, though it’s probably closer than the proprietary software world. Perception matters. Timing matters.

I started out in the technology world thinking that I could make the most impact by just writing a lot of great code. Now, having seen the evolution of various free software projects over the last 15 years it all seems very temporary. Like a time lapse, I have seen code being written and then gradually replaced until there is nothing left of the original, effectively replaced by something else entirely. And there is so much more that matters than just the code.

It’s not like we’re only making the same mistakes all over again and again. The world’s overall knowledge is moving ahead bit by bit. Each piece of software is just a another progression, another dent. But it seems now there are so much more ways to be a part of that process than just writing perfect code.

Today I feel a slightly more like a scientist and slightly less like an engineer than I did yesterday.


Written by aristillus

April 2, 2012 at 17:46

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