[u-u] Some thoughts on programmer productivity

Giles Orr gilesorr at gmail.com
Thu Oct 26 13:29:24 EDT 2023

I should admit up front that I gave up in disgust after about five
minutes of the video - so I haven't seen the whole thing.

Ken Thompson wrote an editor, a kernel, and an assembler in three
weeks, interviewer says "I think programmers aren't as productive
now."  Let's think about the presenter's logic: Thompson is legendary.
For a reason: he was good, better than 99% of modern programmers.  But
here's another thing: he was writing an OS for raw hardware in an
environment TOTALLY UNCONCERNED WITH SECURITY.  Of course we're less
productive now: our products are under attack at all times and have to
be researched, tested, and secured at every step.  Two major problems
with his logic already, and that's before we get to his math to prove
our relative non-productivity ... which isn't math, but hand-waving, a
couple of bar charts that proved nothing, and "dude in video said so."

I'm not saying he's wrong - but he failed to back up his point in a
useful way, or look like he was going to address multiple other
mitigating factors.

On Thu, 26 Oct 2023 at 11:16, <arocker at vex.net> wrote:
> Featuring Ken Thompson.
> It is declining https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ6pA--F3D4
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gilesorr at gmail.com

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