Business users are turning into app developers according to a recent study by Intuit. According to the study of 148 customers identified themselves as “citizen developers” with a career in accounting, financial etc. areas. The apps that these citizen developers are building are mainly “get-the-work-done” types of apps (65%) and 42% in more mission-critical areas in the “run-the-business app” category. When I read and article in ZDNet, memories from the past occupied my mind and I wanted to write about some of my past experiences in this personal blog.
The question that we need to pose is what can we learn from this? Will there be a new generation of users that software vendor have to build “no-code” code or “low-code” platforms? I will never forget the excitement when I learned programming using first Borland Paradox PAL language and then made a transition to ObjectPAL, which was thew new generation Object-Oriented Paradox Application Language. However, ObjectPal is not a full free-standing object-oriented language. It was only when I got hold of Borland Delphi 1.0 and made a transition to ObjectPascal when my world turned around and I will never forget the day when this happened.
The day was special as I finally understood the difference between a class and an instance of it (object) that I could initiate multiple instances of a class and then work with those instances by manipulating the attributes. When I understood inheritance and polymorphism, nothing was the same. It all came together during one evening when my wife was asking repeatedly that we had to leave for grocery shopping and I finally had to give up and agree. We jumped into our car and a few minutes later it all came clear to me. It was like “eureka” and all of the small things that I had been pondering on came together. She said that I started talking “some odd language” when I explained what I just understood and what impact it had on all of the different pieces.
I was, and I still am, very passionate about development tools, languages and what can be done with them. In fact, one of my first TELLUS International clients was MetaCase which is the number one development tool to manage and build domain-specific languages and the time I was able to travel and talk about domain-specific modeling with MetaCase leadership in different software conferences was a amazing and will never forget the learning’s and excitement that it brought me. I could not believe that I was able to talk and spend time as speaker with all those other speakers that are world famous in their domains (software) and whose books I read when studying in the university and getting my first degree. Now I was one of them talking about software product line engineering using domain-specific languages.
The reason why this story is relevant to the topic is something that I have believed my entire career. For me to be an effective executive within software business, I need to have an understanding of what it takes to build software and I was very fortunate in my early career to lead software product development teams with highly skilled programmers and the learning’s from that time has paid off big time. I truly believe that every business analyst or student in a business school needs to have the foundations of programming, even if it is just the foundation.