When I learnt how to write 6502, I wrote small programs. I thought writing something that took up 4K of code in RAM was a big deal.
And yeah, the C compiler adds overhead to the code, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that the C compiler is doing, but I’m finding I am writing “bigger software” now. I can write a new utility in C that will let me create a map editor that will let me make maps quickly for my game written in 6502.
My C compiler makes it faster to write code, and I can add more features to my program, up to the limit of what I can store on a floppy disk (hello paging word processor that lets me write an entire novel!), but whilst I can write more code, faster, and add more features, faster, and create more complex features, faster, I still make programs at the same speed.
As programs get more complex, we will require more complex tools to build them. But we won’t actually be able to develop software any faster. There’s like this fine balancing act between the software we want to build, and the software our tools will let us build.
I’m not saying it very well. But it’s deep.