I like to code. Of course, I have a Computer Science degree, a minor in Math, and am probably considered a geek by some large part of the common folk. Most computer programmers have several things in common with me in regards to these attributes. By most accounts, being a computer programmer requires a specialist skill set – not much different than being a plumber, a nuclear engineer, or an airplane pilot. In today’s business world, companies are powered by intellectual property that can be turned into software. For example, the skills of the stock trader have been translated from the minds of those on the trading floor to algorithms that are implemented as computer programs inside stock trading branches of financial institutions. The stock traders do not create these computer programs; instead, their specialist knowledge is translated into requirements that are then coded by computer programmers. As you can imagine, this process is neither easy nor inexpensive. It’s also very slow-moving and looks something like: document algorithms, review and adjust algorithms, design software architecture, re-explain algorithms to IT, translate algorithms into software, test, discover IT misinterpreted algorithms, and re-iterate parts of this process numerous times until you are complete.
This path has been consistent for about forty to fifty years now. The process hasn’t changed much, because there is always a bridge present between business experts and computer programmers. Few successful attempts have been made to lower the entry bar for the business expert into the world of software. Companies like Progress Software with Progress ABL, and Microsoft with Visual Basic, took good steps forward in lowering the bar to entry for business experts. Businesses have adopted these types of technologies to speed delivery of software applications by starting to merge the jobs of business expert and computer programmer. This helped many companies - but not all - because there was still a bar to learn some computer language. Most companies, however, continued with the separation of business expert and computer programmer.
Today, many types of software assets have been moved into the cloud. We’ve seen all the aaS declarations for SaaS, BaaS, IaaS, etc. One talked about the most is PaaS, or Platform as a Service. Typically, this refers to an environment for developing software applications that will be deployed into the cloud. There are literally hundreds of vendors producing PaaS implementations. Almost all of these focus on a new way to do the same old thing, but in a contemporary deployment environment. That is, business experts define requirements, and computer programmers translate those requirements into computer code they implement/deploy through a PaaS. All the mega-vendors, like Amazon, Google, Oracle, and Microsoft, have implementations of a PaaS that cater to software specialists.
I didn’t write this entire blog to say that nothing has changed though. Business Experts: please meet the productivity PaaS. A productivity PaaS is not focused on catering to the software specialist. Instead, they cater to those interested in building software applications through a browser by pointing and clicking. Most business experts that I know are more than capable of pointing and clicking. If you’re one of these business experts that are looking to create competitive differentiation by building modern applications more quickly and without hiring expensive computer programmers then accept the challenge and check out a productivity PaaS. Our platform, Pacific, is awesome – and, there are others – but, just not as good as ours ;)
Click here to learn more and get started using Progress Pacific today.
John leads the Product Engineering, office of the CTO, and Technical Support teams at Progress to deliver market leading products in the cloud and on-premise. John has been a part of the executive team at Progress for over seven years.
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