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InfoQ Homepage News Are Business Analysts Ready to Become Programmers?

Are Business Analysts Ready to Become Programmers?

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At the beginning it was not exactly clear what was being developed.  A veiled reference to “Emacs.NET" fueled speculation of an Emacs clone or even a derivative of Lisp.  The veiled reference worked and many were confused.  Doug Purdy threw out the first clues in this posting:

You may know some folks on my team from either PDC/TechEd, their books, or their standards work:  Don, Chris, Clemens, Chris, Gudge (update your blog), Mr. Schlimmer, and many others...

I can't tell you what we are doing exactly (although if you search around enough, you can read between the lines), but I can tell you that we are hiring.

Doug then continues to provide a general description of the types of developers they would like to hire to round out their team.  Don Box follows up with a quick public blurb talking about the development team’s methodology:

….we're a relatively small team ( O(15) ) and run the team on the 1 month milestone/continuous integtration/TDD plan and have no traditional PMs, SDEs, or SDE/Ts.  Rather, everyone checks in code, writes tests, and writes docs.

Followed by an evening post on the same day, Nov 14, 2007, from Chris Anderson:

We have to be a little vague on what we are working on, but I can say that I'm having a lot of fun...

Then the team went into quiet mode until recently and Doug posted again.  This time providing more information and links to actual job descriptions from which can be gleaned more information.

From the recently posted job description they clearly have created a new language and are looking to build a new sub-team that will own the IDE experience:

provide an approachable editing experience for the newly developed language…. It consumes the extensible VS Editor component and the new Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) Component Model.

Which falls in line with information announced previously from several news outlets using anonymous sources in the February ‘08 timeframe.  They reported that the Connected Services Division was working on a new XAML based language with the codename, “D”. 

When aligned with the Oslo initiative to create a modeling platform targeted at bridging the gap between the IT professional and business analyst, all the pieces begin to fall into place.  Once one puts the early referred to Emacs metaphors aside. 

Are business analysts really ready for model driven development and learning a programming language?  As the technology world moves to cloud computing and technical barriers for programming are removed by initiatives like Oslo, will marketing managers and business analysts really become programmers? 

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