"at which point developers revelled in pool of virtualized resources that were so much more available and flexible than had previously been the case."
Thats one opinion, another was developers just got lazy and lost the skill of optimisation. Building a 200KB applications with 100MB of dependencies. I was a developer at the time, and I was seeing a generation of developers who couldn't even write a simple SQL statement, let a lone optimise one - they resorted to bulky frameworks like Doctrine and Hibernate (They've got their uses, but not here) and then blamed the framework when it ran slowly or needed 2GB ram to do a simple query!
suffice to say I turned to the darkside of BoFH-hood.. It pays better, its less stress and I'm get lots of cash to spend of "toys" of my choosing!