Note: Why I’m so stressed following Elon’s Twitter 2.0

Nov 19, 2022

I realized why I’m so stressed as I follow this Twitter story. Elon is making the case that the current model of building software, where people are given support and are cared for and are given freedom to be creative and drive decision making from the bottom up, is flawed and failing. Instead, he argues, we need a system that consists of top down mandates and a small number of macho tough-guy code machines to do this work. And he’s not alone. This narrative has had a constant, if oft ridiculed, voice in the software world for the last several years.

The scary part is, I wonder if Elon‘s right. The state of software today is pretty crap, and mostly because we don’t know how to scale software quality/craft to the size of teams we current need to support the complexity we are trying to build today. A non-zero portion of that complexity comes from the layers of abstraction needed to support code bases that need a large number of contributors. For example, microservices are often trying to decouple teams as much as they are trying to decouple software.

In this potential new world, I’d likely be a failure. I’m not the type who can “go hardcore” and power through. When the pressure gets intense I can hold up for a bit, but at significant emotional cost and I can’t last too long before I crumble. In the old (current?) world there was room for that. “It takes all kinds”.

My identity, my place in society and potentially my means of supporting my family are publicly on trial. And the man leaning the charge for the other side is a bully who delights in making others feel small. The fact that I feel emotionally threatened and worn down by this is itself proof (at least to some) that I’m not the kind of person who deserve to survive in this new world.

Time will tell to what degree he‘s right. Twitter’s public success or failure will be a signal to others with power in the industry, CEOs and Venture Capitalists, which way things go.

I know I’m biased in the outcome I’m rooting for.

I think this thread is what helped the pieces click into place for me: