Vierck's Law

nym | 10:48 PM

In regard to Vierck's Law, John Stemstin writes:

I've heard some software theory about the longevity and usefulness of software. According to most modern theorists, 50% of production software has the longevity of about 18 months after deployment according to a fairly well known theory- Vierck's Law. Have you heard of this?

No, but my fellow geowanker, Tzara has.

tzara's law: a corollary to vierck's law.

half of my beer will be gone in 5 minutes.

Actually I've debugged production code over five years old, and I'm pretty certain that my latest code will be in production at least three years from now, even if it's updated to some degree. Today was one of the most rewarding presentations that I've done in my years of software development.

[ Link ]


half-life doesn't mean your code just suddenly expires one day. some code will be around for a long time. the fact you've made updates alone validates the law... why didn't leave your code alone? ever wrote something that didn't make it to production?

Posted by: john at December 19, 2005 01:01 PM


Hey there, right, sure some code lasts longer than others right? of course... but not forever.

Hardware alone is changing all the time, making more and more software obsolete everyday. I believe that's at least one element driving the law.

Posted by: Tzara at December 19, 2005 11:27 PM
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