A Salute To Solo Programmers

TL;DR: There are still some great, lean, focused pieces of software written by individual humans.

Photo: Dominic Alves, Flickr

Parkinson’s Law tells us that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Applied to software, this means that applications tend to bloatware, obese programs whose complexity makes them nearly impossible to debug and maintain.

Once upon a time, we were awestruck by the “solo climber”, the programmer who could single-handedly write a magnum opus on a barebones machine such as the Apple ][ with its 64 kilobytes of memory (yes, kilo — not mega, let alone gigabytes), and 8-bit processor running at 1MHz (again, mega not giga).

Source: A Salute To Solo Programmers by Jean-Louis Gassée