Why Is Software So Bad?

Speed > everything, or, why is everything iTunes now?

My work Mac has 16 gigs of RAM. It has a 3.1 ghz Intel Core i7. It is sturdy and I love it. And lots of the software on it runs terribly and slowly.

My main gaming rig has 16 gigs of RAM and an even faster Intel Core i7 processor (the i7-8700 at 3.2 ghz across six damn cores), along with whatever a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is (it has 3 gigs of RAM on its own).

Both of the machines slow to a crawl on a regular basis, and not because I play games on them. The work machine is for work, and the gaming rig mostly plays CNBC on mute for me during the work day. Instead, it’s daily-driver, regular software that hampers them.

How the hell does that happen?

A grip of Chrome tabs on the Windows machine can suck down 4 gigabytes of RAM, and sometimes lag the whole machine. Spotify on the Mac is a real problem, and using Zoom turns the rest of the OS X machine’s open applications into sap.


Computers are more powerful than ever. Internet connections have never been faster in America (I get 200 mbps down on the wire-free laptop in the house, and 850 mbps down on the wired PC from the same connection), and yet software runs either as slowly, or more slowly than it ever has.

I presume that smart folks like @Ow can tell us that all this is due to one developer toolkit choice or another, that the reason why Slack and Spotify are monstrously heavy apps is due to some tradeoff in dev time. But it doesn’t feel like that should be the way the software world works.

Why isn’t speed prioritized over literally anything else? I never, ever want features at the expense of speed. I just want to get my work done now so that I can watch shows later about competitive baking.

Anyway instead of tweeting about this again (again? again!), I decided to write it down here instead. (Just wait until I tweet this.)

For the love of god, software world, please make things your apps lighter, and faster.