Wednesday, November 22, 2017
   
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A Future Without Programming?

Recently, Infoworld’s Tom Kaneshige wrote an article entitled “A Future without Programming” in which new technologies, such as LongJump’s Platform as a Service solution, are enabling non-coders to build their own applications. Unfortunately, the discussion became about whether developers would still have a place in the grand scheme of software delivery as these easy-to-use tools are made available.

Unfortunately, the article seems to miss the point. Platforms like LongJump, while are easy enough for savvy business users to create applications, also improve the position of coders. Why?

  1. Developers are going to have to code a lot less and will not have to revisit applications they create as much because the majority of the object and process modeling needs in the application are already provided as part of the platform framework.
  2. That means less boring coding like writing yet another rule engine or yet another SOAP connector for some small special project. Instead, the evolving challenges of development can be tackled instead of being quagmired in reinventing the wheel.
  3. PaaS also reduces the cost of application development for highly specialized applications, allowing companies to do more with less resources while also optimizing internal processes and improving transparency of information.

Sophisticated applications, those with special needs or complex processes, will still require custom coding or customization of some kind that will require the discipline of a skilled developer who understands data, efficient processes, actions and design.

What PaaS does provide is an opening for a new kind of application development where business units, instead of running their operations on spreadsheets and emails, can quickly create collaborative applications, workflows, processes and reports for basic business tracking, management, and analysis.

One way to think about PaaS is that it is sort of like of Adobe Dreamweaver. The basic core function is to create a usable solution to a problem quickly and easily. If you need more sophistication, the coding engine is there for an HTML/Javascript expert, but in the meantime, a business user can go in, mock up what they need, make basic edits, or even have a serious contender solution and not have to code a single line. These would be applications that most companies would not have paid a developer for anyway.

So if you’re a coder, relax. We’re just getting rid of the junk work so you can spend your time on the cool stuff.

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