Monday, April 26, 2010

Presenting on Semana Informática 2010

On April 27, my colleague Pedro Molina
and me will give a talk on frameworks and MDD. The talk will be during the Computer Week 2010: Development productivity and flexibility through frameworks and code generation event.

Having helped on many occasions with the development of frameworks for the most diverse institutions, the challenge is knowing how to convey the need for such frameworks, the complexity associated with their development and the productivity gains achieved.

But do not forget a fundamental part of what is intended to achieve with a framework: development flexibility. Is useless for us to standardize how to build applications, and provide very robust infrastructure services (That's a development framework, right?), if after every technology change we have to change the framework.

If after each technology change our framework becomes obsolete, the ability to adapt to the business needs are diminished, up to the point of becoming an obstacle to it. And our goal as software developers is to always be 100% aligned to business, not to act as an obstacle of change.

This is where the benefits of code generation are obvious. From Spring Roo, to model driven development, the way is "meta-programming".

How is it that after more than 30 years of computers, we're still devoting whole days to develop a simple table maintenance screen? How come we have not yet managed to say "HAL: build me a Customer table maintenance"?

I don't have the answer, but I know that 80% of the applications code is repeatable and can be modelled and generated, and we should put more effort into meta-programming and less into maintenances.

And I also know that I would like to spend my time developing the other 20%.

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