Wow! What a success this Developer Evening was.
We were lucky to get such great speakers both from the community, our guest speakers from theJoburg Centre for Software Engineering and our very own Product Owner.
The evening kicked off with a presentation by Barney Buchan on Warewolf. This set the tone and standard for the rest of the evening. The presentation outlined some of the challenges the software developers face such as documentation. Everyone needs to do it and it serves an important function but at the end of the day you’re writing something about something else that invariably lands up different. Never mind the hours and hours spent on this, taking away from previous development time.
The second frustration being the “black box”. Software developers create magic with their lines of code but no business person can even guess what is going on. There is no visual way to understand the flow of information, or how a process might be working inside the reams of code.
Re-use is another challenge. Software re-use is limited at best. The same boring capture form gets written and rewritten by developers countless times. There is nothing exciting or creative here at all.
The fourth challenge is integration. Integration across systems and business can be so complex that it can be the final, and fatal, barrier to two companies doing business with each other. They cannot get them systems to talk and that’s the end of that. In most cases, companies have a different way of integrating with all their partners and systems, who in turn each have a different way of integrating with each other. It’s complex, time consuming and frustrating.
Warewolf seeks to solve some of the challenges. Warewolf is a flow-based programming platform that has a visual interface. You essentially document your software as your write – workflow is the document and the working application in one. Very little other documentation is needed.
Using flow-based programming you are able to quite easily see what is happening – bringing business and developers closer together. Instead of many lines of code you see a workflow-like application which can be easily understood at a process level.
Finally, integration is seamless across processes and business. Using Warewolf, integration is as simple as dragging their process into yours.
We also heard from Brett Powell on Wearable Technology for the Knowledge Worker. He demonstrated a massive array of cool gadgets and technology that developers can use to train their brains into more creative states and heightened awareness.
The evening wrapped up with a very interesting discussion by Prof Barry Dwolatzky and the Economics of Software Quality.
It was interesting that, completely unintended, all the presentations focused on writing better quality software faster. Warewolf approaches the problem at a tools and application level, Brett approached it at the level of training your brain and the Prof approached it by process and measurement. At the end of the day we are all looking for the same outcome.
With over a hundred software developers, business owners and IT managers at the event it was by far the most successful. We were thrilled to get such a great response from the community, especially from Durban. Developer Evening are part of our ongoing mission to enhance and grow the Dev community around us. Business and industry in general is so heavily dependent on these skills yet no one is actively growing the community at this level. The events are free to attend and open to all who are interested to attend. To be notified of future events email firstname.lastname@example.org
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