The widespread use of personal software systems and the boom of the so-called Web 2.0 is erasing the distinctions between those who create software products and those who use or consume them. End users are increasingly involved in the design and development of the tools they use. Unfortunately, there is a high incidence of errors in applications developed by end users. In this paper, a view on end-user development is outlined, which identifies the communication gap between end users and professional software developers as one main source of errors. The spectrum of users that lie between pure end users and professional developers is examined. In particular, the focus is on a particular type of end users that are very active in shaping software tools to their needs without being aware that they are programming: in short, they are unwitting programmers. Their characteristics and their need of appropriate development techniques and environments are analyzed. Finally, the metadesign participatory approach we have developed is briefly described to show how it fills the communication gap and well supports the activities of unwitting programmers.

End Users as Unwitting Software Developers

COSTABILE, Maria;PICCINNO, ANTONIO
2008

Abstract

The widespread use of personal software systems and the boom of the so-called Web 2.0 is erasing the distinctions between those who create software products and those who use or consume them. End users are increasingly involved in the design and development of the tools they use. Unfortunately, there is a high incidence of errors in applications developed by end users. In this paper, a view on end-user development is outlined, which identifies the communication gap between end users and professional software developers as one main source of errors. The spectrum of users that lie between pure end users and professional developers is examined. In particular, the focus is on a particular type of end users that are very active in shaping software tools to their needs without being aware that they are programming: in short, they are unwitting programmers. Their characteristics and their need of appropriate development techniques and environments are analyzed. Finally, the metadesign participatory approach we have developed is briefly described to show how it fills the communication gap and well supports the activities of unwitting programmers.
978-1-60558-034-0
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/136866
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