May's Law:

Software efficiency halves every 18 months, compensating Moore’s Law.

@fribbledom No, I think it's not that simple. I think that current devs are not the equal of their intellectual forebearers.

Previous generations of devs had to work miracles in highly constrained environments, often working very hard to optimize their code effectively. In the era of "cheap' CPU and RAM, nearly everyone has forgotten the art of optimization.

Seriously, go ask a modern dev to describe the functionality of a specific CPU register of your choice and see what he says.


@profoundlynerdy @fribbledom I think you mean "forebears".

If you asked a non-modern dev to describe the functionality of a specific JRE library function or CSS selector, they'd also have trouble. If you're measuring by knowledge in terms of what you can recite, modern devs probably know as much, if not more, than programmers from the 1980s. But it's different stuff.

(Also, though, programming isn't about reciting facts. It's about creating things.)

@kragen @profoundlynerdy @fribbledom You’re making it sound as if one could not do both. I can write assembly and JavaScript.

@js @profoundlynerdy @fribbledom Sure, I can write assembly and JS too. I didn't mean to imply you can't do both. I just meant that nobody in 1985 was writing JS. (And don't tell me the VMS orange manuals were longer than the HTML5 spec. They weren't.)

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