Domain Experts Shouldn't be Limited by Developer Time

  • seems like in the field of low-code/no-code most attempts are at creating low-floor, high-ceiling tools, which will allow anyone to build what they need, but they usually converge on a specific usecase, so in the end they are becoming "normal", zeroth-order tools
    • these tools make the end-users depend on the developers to create every new functionality
    • sometimes it can feel like end-users are being held hostage by what will, and won't be added to the product
    • this gets even worse in online tools, where you can't just store your favourite .app somewhere
  • I've been thinking about first-order tools, ones that are general, and allow users to build what they need, I keep seeing two approaches:
    1. everyone will be a developer - End-User Programming vs Programming
    2. what feels like accidentally (not sure if it was the original assumption!) creating UIs and interactions that can be creatively "abused": choosing furniture in Figma, designing UIs in PowerPoint, etc.
  • developers should be Second-Order Tool Builders - allowing domain experts and end users to build the tools they need, in the tools provided by developers
  • this is strongly related to (and might have some counter-points in) Programming Tools and People's Needs
Szymon Kaliski © 2021
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