Doug Engelbart and the pace of change

Dave Winer writes about Doug Engelbart and the pace of changing computing systems:

“If you want to get the most out of great developers like Engelbart, who are productive well into their 80s, you have to stop digging up the streets, moving the goalposts, bombing the cities, starting over just for the sake of starting over.”

While there’s certainly a time to burn the forest for new growth and opportunity, I have little patience for those developers who spend more time breaking old code than creating new value. Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting old — that I’ve lost my taste for innovation at a technical low level — but I don’t look forward to rewriting all my working code again and again.

Very little has changed in this regard since I wrote a blog post about deprecation in 2010, which (fittingly) also linked to Dave Winer.