Technical debt

Everything goes in cycles, right? Back in the 90s, we became excited about “4th generation” programming languages. In short, programming is very difficult and so people write programs, and they write tools to help them write programs. Eventually, those tools are really just new programming languages… and the rising tide (lifting all the boats) has gone up a generation.

Today, with a few commands and a couple of lines of code, we can prototype almost any idea. All the tools that we now have available make it easier than ever to start something new. But the upfront cost that these frameworks may save in initial delivery eventually comes due as upgrading and maintaining them becomes a part of our technical debt.

~ Ste Grainer from,


Keep in mind that the rising tide does not move the foundation layers at the beginning/bottom. There’s ever-increasing distance between the hardware at the bottom, and the “surface” of the rising tide at the top. Yes, sure, we refer to the increasing complexity of keeping all the stuff (from foundation to surface) maintained and working as technical debt.

The part that bends my mind is this: There’s more and more room (from the foundations to the surface) for an increasing number of people to find things (places in the layers, particular technologies) that they love. Yes, the technical debt increases… Yes, non-human intelligence is coming… But there’s more—every day—space in those layers for so many people (and non-humans) to find their passion and craft and art!