For a while, some IT departments have expressed concern over the relevance of professional software developers, when end users are more empowered to construct and build their own digital processes with their own hands. I suppose the primary concern is the fear of jobs being made redundant.
Firstly, a warm welcome to the end user who become their own digital “gods.” Those end users will quickly learn that their world is not created by science, but rather the art of creating possibilities. An imagination is all that is required.
Attribution: Caden Crawford
It is no surprise that we have many talented end users who are joining the ranks of building software tools to make their own lives easier. After all, many initiatives have been driven by professional software developers such as, but not limited to, Code Club, Black Girls Code, Code.org, amongst many others.
What is the general ideas of those initiatives? Anybody can become a builder of a software solution, just like any person may become a DIY expert for their own workshop at home. It empowers people to build and experiment with proof of concepts; therefore, allowing further innovation to be fed into the software worlds.
The greatest advantage of having the end user, whom has a burning business objective, doing some DIY work is that they will get an appreciation that codifying their business model is a lot harder than it appears at first.
Toil and build the end user must!
Attribution: JD Hancock
Eventually, when end users need to scale their system and focus on their business model, they will refer to the professional software developers. Like an expert DIY, when the job gets a lot more detailed, the mature DIY person will seek professionals with much more appreciation.
Should you be a developer who is concerned about end users upsetting the balance, consider the following.
Business users will be a lot more attuned to software development life cycle; be it, Agile, Waterfall, or whatever.
It is easier to sell your value-proposition because they realise where the professional developer will be taking over the software solution.
Be prepared to refactor the solution. Payment of technical debt is a much easier conversation; there is a reason why the business user started to struggle with the development work.
The business user will be more astute to when a “professional developer” is bluffing. Education is key - and if you take pride in your work, be rest assured that the business users will remove the developers who needlessly introduce technical debt.
Be prepared to have fun. Imagine having a discussion where there is understanding from both sides of the table: the developer knowing the business model, and the business user knowing about codifying their business use cases.
There will always be a need for the professional developer; who built the tools that the business users are building with? Who is there to teach them to reach their objectives?
Like every revolution that has marked our history books, the professional developer need to learn to adapt. No longer is the code monkey needed; it is the technology experts who finds valuable insights into codifying and building business systems of the future.
Be the new builder. Construct with the business. Build the business.