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Who Has The Power?

The Age of the Developer

To make a computer do whatever you want it to do requires a program,

So 30 years after the invention of personal computing why aren't we all happily programming our personal gadgets?

It has been over 50 years since computer programming reached the the 'third generation' we are at today. In that time we have seen development languages grow more complex and difficult to master with every new release, (without delivering any significant extra benefit).

All attempts to generate cross-platform languages and environments have failed, with todays multitude of Java based environments offering little more reuse then the proliferation of 'Basic' implementations did in the early 1990's.

Learning to program is so difficult that it has become a career choice, requiring so much study that programmers rarely having knowledge of any other skills or disciplines. This means that:

Developers cannot have first-hand knowledge of the business practices in the organisation they are working for

It is rare for developers to have a full and complete understanding of the platforms they are working on, many specialise in specific areas or implementations

Western countries have not been able to provide sufficient developers to meet demand, leading to a thriving industry in outsourced development

Development has proven so difficult and unreliable that many large organisations would rather purchase shrink-wrapped COTS, (commercial-off-the-shelf), solutions even if they only vaguely meet their requirements and leave them with a high integration overhead

The few organisations who differentiate themselves by the quality of their bespoke software have to treat, (and pay), their developers like rock stars.

Figures published by the market-leading software companies suggest that there are approximately 14 million people worldwide who have had some sort of training as developers. This means that 0.1% of the world's population get to decide what the rest can do with a computer.

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