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Tools for software in the large

When software becomes successful, software often becomes large. More features, more support systems, more infrastructure, more people, etc. Therefore, software “in the large” seems like a good problem to solve: how can you work at the same pace with one person, one application, and one server when you reach a hundred people, ten applications and a thousand servers?

Right now, I think the only tool we have for reducing the overhead of large systems and organizations is language. Frameworks and libraries can help make larger applications plausible, but they don’t resist the forces that make a large application hard to work with. Tooling and process, like source control or CI, only help us keep large software going; they don’t slow us down on the path to producing huge software.

Better programming languages make it possible to produce software that does more things in a more concise statement. To some extent better “API language” makes that possible too, but it relies on the power of the host language.

Am I overlooking other tools that make software in the large a manageable endeavor?

By Adam Keys

Telling a joke. Typing.