In the last 30 years the software stack has grown from year to year. When I started coding in Z80 machine code, there was no software stack. Just the programmer and some hardware registers. No other software involved. Direct access to the machine.
From there software stacks grew, to compilers and libraries - I've experienced this with Pascal on CP/M and later C. With Java the stack grew to JIT compilers, virtual machines, garbage collectors, byte code compilers and plattforms.
To close the gap between the machine and the customers requirements one solution for many seems to be to grow the software stack even further. With MDA and containers the software stack grows to unprecented complexity. From PIM with transformations to PSM to a Java EE container, with AOP and compilers to Java, with byte code compilers to the VM with GCs. Then with JIT compilers to machine code (and from machine code to microcode). Where will the stack move next?