Why is software development expensive?

I would argue that today software costs way too much. With all the new technologies we should be able to push the prices down, not up. If you work as a software engineer, it is likely that you spend most of your time with reporting and planning. In this article I want to question the usefulness of the current methods of software development.

In my opinion, one reason for the high price tag is the working style. As I write this article in 2021 the most common practice to develop complex software is using agile methodologies like SCRUM. During the implementation process the developer team needs to work together with Scrum Masters and Product Owners, these two new roles which did not exist before. The developers also need to attend a bunch of meetings, some are 2 to 3 hours long. Most of the folks are present, but working on something else. This exhausts a person and wastes his or her time.

In the planning sessions developers often estimate work without enough details or experience. This process forces them to commit to this estimation and ship something.

Working this way gives better control and transparency over the teams for the management. However it often frustrates a technical person and pushes him or her to change role.

I want to conclude my thoughts with questions to what I don't have answers yet. Are there better ways of making software? Why do we let to be dictated about how we work and introduce a bunch of status trackers? Can we make the software more affordable and usable? Most of the software produced this way is not usable nor useful.