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Demoralized by complexity – a rant

Sometimes, software development gets you down. Sometimes a rant about it helps.
12th April 2022, six minutes to read

On the back of my blog post about a simple dev inner loops, I decided I need an extension that would open the internal browser in VS Code when my project opened, or my http server started. Seems simple right?

  1. Wait for task to run
  2. Call command to open browser
  3. Profit

Well, in this endeavour I’ve been down multiple rabbit holes, and I’m both struck by the time it takes to make good software and the complexity of even the simplest idea. Its demoralising when you look over the precipice, and the abyss stares back.

I tweeted about it:

Software development can be incredibly demoralising. You have an idea. On the surface it seems simple. As you get to the details distinct from the idea itself (ecosystem & infra), you’re dragged into a maze resembling an Escher drawing.

Brought to you by VS Code’s extension API.

— grork (@grork) April 12, 2022

It’s not that it’s overwhelming, or discouraging (ok, maybe a little demoralising), but it does take some of your energy, and wonder away.

What follows is effectively a rant. Sorry.

Demoralisation, Step By Step

All I wanted was have a browser tab open in VS Code when my project opens! I think I’m finally at the point where I can get to the real meat of monitoring tasks. I think.