The Past Needs You

There was a great article on Hacker News the other day called Maintainers Make the World Go Round which discussed the popular obsession with innovation and the chronic lack of interest in maintenance.

…innovation-centric narratives…have misrepresented engineers and scientists as inventors and designers when in fact the majority are “mainly concerned with the operation and maintenance of things.”

…most computer programmers maintain, refine and extend legacy systems while most scientists apply well-established science in routine ways. “In the software industry, about 70% of investment goes into maintenance…”

Innovation speak is a massive abstraction that lets its author destroy most of the world.

…by the standards of the past the present does not seem radically innovative.

Most new software projects will not be as valuable as software that already exists. I've noticed that in my career I've been paid better and treated with more respect when I've worked on maintaining and keeping up existing software that is important to the organization with a lot of investment, as compared to jobs where we were constantly starting new applications from scratch.

We need you!

Greenfield projects can be exciting, but running software probably needs you the most.