L Peter Deutsch on Software as a Capital Asset Versus Expense

The problem being the old saying in the business: "fast, cheap, good—pick any two." If you build things fast and I you have some way of building them inexpensively, it's very unlikely that they're going to be good. But this s|s school of thought says you shouldn't expect software to last.

I think behind this perhaps is a mindset of software as expense vs. software as capital asset. I'm very much in the software-as-capital-asset school. When I was working at ParcPlace and Adele Goldberg was out there evangelizing abject-oriented design, part of the way we talked about objects and part of the way we advocated object-oriented design to our customers and potential customers is to say, "Look, you should treat software as a capital asset"

And there is no such thing as a capital asset that doesn't require ongoing maintenance and investment You sh([should expect that there's going to b» be sol some cost at associated with maintaining a growing library of reusable software. And that is going to complicate your accounting because i means you can't charge the cost of building a piece of software only to the project or the customer that's motivating the it the way you would think of a capital asset.


Sell software to customers as a capital asset, and as such, it requires maintenance costs, but not as a throwaway expense.

Folksonomies: software capital

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Investment (0.915180): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Seibel , Peter (2009-09-16), Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming, Apress, Retrieved on 2011-04-21
  • Source Material [codersatwork.com]
  • Folksonomies: information technology programming computer science