Things I love and hate about the state of software companies in 2024


Disclaimer: This started as a rant, not meant to be published. But sticking to my “New Year’s resolution” to write about what triggers me most, I decided to publish it anyway. I wanted to publish it as a LinkedIn post, but it got too long. So here is the unshortened, unpolished and authentic original version of this document, most of which I wrote on my phone after waking up on a Sunday at 5:45am. 😬

I hate the state of software companies in 2024 – most of them hierarchical, most of them nonsensical, following questionable management theory from 1885.

I hate that leaders act as if we could measure productivity in knowledge work correctly.

I hate that estimates are still a thing.

I hate that we invent all kinds of pointless proxy metrics for a feeling of control and the comfort of false certainty.

I hate that leaders define RTO policies in the name of culture, when they actually mean control.

I hate that most software engineers haven’t experienced working in a great team. Leading to more leaders not knowing what good looks like.

I hate that people work mostly alone and that “team” seems to mean “group of people reporting to the same manager”

I hate that we see people as manageable and exchangeable resources.

I hate that we came to believe that an artificial balance between work and life is something to strive for, when work should be how we express ourselves in life.

I hate that a two handovers in a deployment process seem to be considered normal.

I hate that we have certifications for roles in frameworks that lead to keeping the framework around, even if there are better alternatives.

I hate that we have the arrogance to believe that the complexity of creating something new, something unique, or something disruptive, can be solved by just adding another framework (technical or organizational).

I hate that we have built companies where seniors are writing all the code, leaving no space for juniors to grow and learn.

I hate that we see hierarchical leadership as the only option and don’t see the contradiction between agile, lean and this type of organizing.

I hate that we created systems in which we needed career paths and that we created competition around scarce positions.

I hate that we have product people (whatever their title) who see their role in filling backlogs and keeping teams busy, rather than figuring out how to create actual value.

I hate that people without any clue about technology believe we can ignore all that because we have AI now. And I hate, that those people seem to ignore the drastic consequences of AI for society.

I hate, that we still have a lack of diversity in tech and that this limits how we see the world and what solutions we build.

I hate that how we give capital to startups today harms their ability to make customer-centric decisions.

I hate that we build technologies because they are possible, not because they are good for humanity.

And I hate that improving the situation “doesn’t work here.”

I hate a lot of things about the state of software organizations in 2024. But here is what I love:

I love those who believe in the good in other people. Those who do their best to improve this situation.

I love those who are passionate about what they do and crave making the world a better place.

I love those who are a testament to the fact that people are good, and who help the skeptical belief in this.

I love those who improve things despite the regulations, the traditions and the “we have always done it like this.”

I love those who get that discovering better ways of working might imply not sticking to the same framework but continuous evolution.

I love the possibilities that we have through technology.

I love what even small teams can achieve, when they work together.

I love that we have the education to reflect on the social impact of our work and that many of us have the freedom to decide, how we want to influence the world.

I love that we have the knowledge to build great software products in great ways.

I love that we can work from anywhere and still be connected with our colleagues.

I love that there are already a few companies working differently. Those who demonstrate, that it is possible.

I love that there is research on self-organization and the benefits of employee experience for people, businesses, and customers.

I love that courageous leaders start companies that work against common business “wisdom.”

I love, that I have the privilege to be a part of this and to think about all of this.

I love that I can learn new things every day.

I love that there are others with whom I can collaborate on this and exchange ideas.

I love that there are platforms where we can share our thoughts openly.

I love that more and more people see the shortcomings of the current system, and I love that many are looking for alternatives.

I love that we have everything needed to create a better world. – But I can just hope, that we use it to create on.

Can you relate? – Let’s have a conversation about how we can drive the change toward more of what we love. ✨


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