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Renaissance development for enlightened users: no thanks!

I don’t usually warm to ‘star’ analysts at developer conference keynotes that get paid to waltz up and down spouting their opinions for twenty minutes while they pretend to be impartial.Last week’s presentation by Mike Gualtieri (no relation to General Leopoldo) of Forrester at Qt’s Developer Days event in Munich was, I would like to argue, rather better than the usual flavourless filler material.

I don’t usually warm to ‘star’ analysts at developer conference keynotes that get paid to waltz up and down spouting their opinions for twenty minutes while they pretend to be impartial.

Last week’s presentation by Mike Gualtieri (no relation to General Leopoldo) of Forrester at Qt’s Developer Days event in Munich was, I would like to argue, rather better than the usual flavourless filler material.

Gualtieri referred to a book by James Martin (no relation to the TV cook) published back in 1981 called ‘Application development without programmers’, where an increasing use of automation for code creation is discussed.

The question in hand is basically: is this a good thing? The answer, by and large, is: hell no!

This dystopian nightmare world (if it ever becomes a reality) is populated by the ‘Renaissance Developer’ (Gualtieri’s term) who creates tools for (and I quote), “Enlightened technically-aware users.”

Oh dear, this sounds dangerous doesn’t it?

These so-called enlightened users will in all likelihood get in way over their heads and get stuck to start with. But what if they start actually developing applications and their well-intentioned little projects start to mutate and become semi-workable mutant monsters.

Haven’t we been here before? Business Intelligence software got dangerously close to this area and showed signs of Gualtieri’s most likely prediction where, “Extreme expectations lead to disillusionment.” …or worse, mutant monster applications.

How do we avoid this scenario then? Look to those developers with an innate appreciation for business. It is these guys (and girls) that will be most likely to bridge the gap between business and IT and create tools that are technically well-engineered but have also been architected to fulfil the business functions for which they are intended.