Fortune magazine recently published an article, Out of This World Software Engineering, that highlights our efforts here at Intentional Software. It discusses the idea of knowledge procesing, a topic we will come back to later here on this blog. Charles Simonyi:
"Of course we've already helped knowledge workers with information processing," says Simonyi. "But imagine if you could record knowledge and perform operations on knowledge instead of just information."
The article also captures our goals fairly well:
Intentional is working on a process that would enable experts in a given field to apply their expertise in a way that would create software programs quickly and automatically. Most important, those experts (lawyers, pension consultants, teachers) could process their knowledge without being able to write software code. By making knowledge processing more efficient, Simonyi says, software development would become less error-prone and much cheaper.
As we have discussed many times, we are NOT trying to replace programmers. Quite the contrary, programmers are still involved, but their work are different. They are enablers and facilitators for domain experts building software. Rather than being translators between the gap of never ending business needs and software code, programmers become accellerators and bridge builder of said gap. They build the meta-program of the program the domain expert wants. By the way, even if we tend to focus on software development, operationalizing knowledge has many other application areas, lab instructions, operations and procedures manuals, insurance policies, legal contracts, and educational material to mention a few. Just imagine what could be done with recorded knowledge that was processable. So much more productivity and innovation from a new type of knowledge worker!