The Future of Software

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In an article titled Programming: easier, better, faster, stronger. Giuliano Iacobelli of Stamplay writes about how programming might become easier, faster and more reliable in the future while decoupling creation of business logic from the need to write actual code.

It’s an important subject I’ve written about time and time again: How do we make programming more observable and more responsive? How do we allow more people to turn ideas and business processes into software?

As Chris Dixon puts it: Software not only eats the world but software eats software development itself, that is to say: Software development likely is going to re-invent itself by finally getting closer to the age-old vision of programming without coding.

Software such as Eve certainly is a large step in that direction. This kind of tools (hopefully) will allow both software developers and in the end ‘ordinary’ computer users as well to focus on solving the hard problems instead of wasting time on plumbing and boilerplate code. This in turn would allow a lot more people to quickly turn ideas into products and startups, which not unlikely will lead to unparalleled, rapid growth in the information technology industry.

To quote Giuliano:

  • People will learn how to program and not how to code instead.
  • People will be empowered to create faster.
  • People will focus on solving the hard problems without wasting time with the plumbing.
  • People will unleash thousands of new startups because this friction will be gone.

This is not some lofty far-off vision. Tools such as Prelang or Rails Composer allow you to create web apps (of the Rails variety in this case) using a graphical user interface or pre-packaged applications templates, respectively. You still have to code the details of your business logic but those tools both minimize the initial effort for setting up an application and make sure the selected components work together nicely.

We sure live in interesting times and the opportunities in software development and computation are far from exhausted.

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