Fast Company has an interview with Jonathan Sapir of InfoPower, which “has spent the last year stepping slightly away from its traditional software development work in order to design and implement a Web services system in which business people can create their own applications as new needs arise.” Says Jonathan:
Let’s walk away from the concept of making the programmer more productive. We need to allow people to do what they need to do. Let’s give users an environment that gives them the bulk of what they need. I’m going to build objects. If I don’t have a piece that I need, I need to go out and see if someone else has it.
Social software is now a critical component of what’s going on. Often, the guy who knows the most is the most introverted guy. Every company should have a Wikipedia. We looked at all the categories of software that exist.
We want to focus on the individual. People will create services that matter to them. In the future, there won’t be such a thing as an application. Applications are artificial barriers. You just need services that you can synchronize. People don’t really care about what goes on behind the scenes. They want to build things. Users don’t want to know about the structure of the data. One of the problems with computers is that you are focused. You lose peripheral vision. Our 3-D Modeler could help you see what else is around.
This isn’t going to kill the programmer. We’re always going to need special services. You’ll have a master builder on staff. The really good programmers will be fine. It’s the middle guy, the data manager, that will be squeezed. No one wants to develop customer applications any more. But they have to.
We need to break it down into little chunks.
From the SnapXT FAQ of InfoPower: “SnapXT is a new breed of software product called a Personal Service Builder. A PSB is a software tool that allows both business users and developers create and deploy Web-based applications (called services) without programming and without any concern for the underlying technology. These services can then be snapped together with other services to achieve specific business objectives.”