The great left-pad crisis occurred when, due to typical programmer arguments, a popular library left-pad was deleted from the NPM repository. In the world of NodeJS, of which NPM is closely linked, it is common and expected for programmers to get lazy (sorry) and for solutions that have already been solved, find a library that does the work for them so they can get to the new problems.
Unfortunately this results in programmer A writing a small module that does something minor, that programmer B then includes inside their module in order to accelerate them to doing something else faster. Programmer C includes programmer B’s module, in order to solve their specific problem faster, and in doing so brings in programmer A’s module by the nature of the relational tree.
This can result in trees dozens of modules deep, all with their own required packages. David Gilbertson wonders what if one of those programmers wasn’t doing entirely what they said they were doing, and instead something much more evil.