Programming Tools and People's Needs

  • turns out people might not want programming tools after all, they just want to get their things done
  • I think that "programming for everyone" is not a real thing - people don't seem to have "big problems" that they would solve only if they just could program ("problem-finding" is a skill in itself)
  • most people seem to want proper, well-built tools to do their job, not to be able to build their own tools
    • counterexample is something like a woodworking setup, where tools are created ad-hoc
  • related notes:

I think it is a platitude that learning to code gives you agency over computers and lets you solve problems in your life, and it's not actually that true

— Omar Rizwan -

the notion backstory is that it tried to be a "programming for everyone" product, that failed (for tech + market reasons), and the successful product is the result of a big scary pivot toward "what the world wanted"

— Tom MacWright -

In the first go-round - Notion beta - Ivan and Simon made a programming application that was easy to use even if someone didn't know how to code. It turned out, people weren't interested in that.

Design on a deadline: How Notion pulled itself back from the brink of failure

Szymon Kaliski © 2021