Ultimately, when you’re in a business context, you need to please the people above you in the hierarchy. That often means making technical decisions you know are bad for historical or political reasons. For instance, if everybody working under you only knows about the web stack, you’re going to need to convince a non-technical manager at some point that broadening their horizons & shifting focus is justifiable in terms of short term return on investment (a hard sell) or you’re going to need to put up with it. We don’t always have the resources necessary to stand firm on this stuff, and we have to pick our battles.

I’d like it if everybody who works on Electron against their will (or uses stuff like XML or Java against their will, or is pushed into using Hadoop to do what could be done faster on a single machine in a single thread) stood up and said “I’d rather be fired than make our customers and coworkers pay for this obvious mistake”, but the truth is a lot of them would get fired if they did that (or at least get shortlisted for layoffs or get a couple black marks on their record) and while software engineers are more capable of absorbing that risk than many other occupations, I understand why people would be nervous.

(Software engineers aren’t really unionized, and even if we were, unions rarely strike over treatment of customers.)

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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