You don’t have to be trained in computer science to build online applications. Web tools like DabbleDB, Coghead, and Ning turn almost anyone into a web app developer of sorts. Big enterprise software companies, seeing an opening, want to help too, with mashup makers like IBM’s QEDWiki and BEA Systems AquaLogic Pages aimed at corporate workgroups.
Greg Olsen, CTO of Coghead, likens do-it-yourself web app developers to home bakers who take a step beyond simply “using” a cookie to actually producing their own pastries.
Here’s his comparison:
But as Greg points out, there’s no free lunch with pastries for dessert:
To successfully develop any application, a person needs to understand the logic, structures, and user interactions that define the application. What has changed is that tools and technologies today support much more narrowly focused application development as well as greater decoupling from surrounding infrastructure.
Share your own thoughts on walnuts and BIY web applications in the comments.