In this chapter, we’ve discussed the environment in which object-orientation emerged. Early computers were limited in their computational power, and languages and programming techniques had to work around these limitations. Similarly, these computers were very expensive, so their purchasers were very concerned about getting the largest possible return on their investment. In the words of Niklaus Wirth:
Tricks were necessary at this time, simply because machines were built with limitations imposed by a technology in its early development stage, and because even problems that would be termed "simple" nowadays could not be handled in a straightforward way. It was the programmers' very task to push computers to their limits by whatever means available.
As computers became more powerful and less expensive, the demand for programs (and therefore programmers) grew faster than universities could train new programmers. Unskilled programmers, unwieldy programming languages, and programming approaches developed to address the problems of older technology led to what became known as the “software crisis” where many projects failed or floundered.
This led to the development of new programming techniques, languages, and paradigms to make the process of programming easier and less error-prone. Among the many new programming paradigms was structured programming paradigm, which introduced control-flow structures into programming languages to help programmers reason about the order of program execution in a clear and consistent manner. Also developed during this time was the object-oriented paradigm, which we will be studying in this course.