Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AjaxWorld session: Rob Tweed

Design-based Web Application Development: The Essential New Paradigm

Central thesis: designers can't program, programmers can't do design. When programmers drive the project, design suffers and project goes off the rails. Instead, if we simply and standardize the plumbing by imposing a rather rigid model of fragments with get/update verbs then designers stay in control and everything works.

The speaker did not present any particular evidence for this view, and it struck me that while it might work for some basically straightforward projects, real innovation requires a more sophisticated model. Simply inverting the pattern to say that the designers are in charge and must serve the programmers is as implausible as saying the reverse. In my view, both design and development are important in creating an innovative new capability, and it's up to the project director role to ensure that both are equally well able to contribute. Put another way, any application that is well enough understood that either design or programming can be commoditised (in the way that this approach commoditises the developer role) is too far from the boundary to be interesting. The good stuff happens at the edges. ajaxworld, ria, conference, notes.

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