Warping Enterprise

Not the Spaceship

How much time and effort does your employer sink into making its software stack and infrastructure, especially its internal software, as general-purpose as possible? That is to say, how much energy do they burn on making their developers as replaceable as possible?

It’s a laudable goal in moderation but self-defeating beyond that.

Sufficiently generalized software ends up useless in specific cases. Installations end up so complex that no one person truly understands how it works, assuming it works at all. The architecture and libraries end up so vague that the actual production code gets lost amid all the boilerplate. New developers disappear into the swamp of abstraction. The organization ends up relying on a handful of specialists despite intending the opposite.

Try too hard to make your employees fungible and you’ll end up with irreplaceable employees and a giant infrastructure bill to boot.