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fully concentrate on business logic...

Posted by herkules on March 4, 2010 at 1:41 PM PST

How often have I read about cool new technologies where, after all, the programmer can now 'fully concentrate on the business logic'.

This meanwhile happens since at least 20 years so I wonder why still anybody does something else than concentrating on the 'business logic'?

One reason might be that it always has been a lie. Using any web framework still ends with tracking and analyzing HTTP requests or reading server logs, using persistence layers ends with monitoring the database, network traffic and such and so on. The promised abstraction just doesn't hold.

But - the main question is: Who - as a software developer - really wants to deal with business logic? Isn't business logic the most boring thing after all? What is the business logic of a webshop e.g.? Displaying a list, maybe filtered, putting things of that list onto another list (aka 'shopping cart'), sending an email, telling the backend. +1 here, -1 there. Nobody studied computer science for that. Business is all about lists and simple calculations. Let's face it: business logic is boring. Period.

I cannot imagine that our brightest minds cannot come up with a suitable solution for a shop in 20 years. Each year we have at least dozens of new-and-cool frameworks to solve that list-thing. +1. -1. Once again. How stupid.

Nevertheless programming computers can be exciting. That's why people try to get rid of doing business logic and do frameworks and technology. That's by far more appealing. Just to get that funded, they claim that later some poor guy can 'fully concentrate on the business logic'.

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I think domain knowledge is

I think domain knowledge is important where developer should know the flow of controls and data where he is going to contribute in the light of technology and make that path much more user friendly.I always had the feeling that something is wrong with this guidance in the traditional approach to business modeling, as we teach the subject. I mean, object orientation is about the real world image appropriate to the classes.I think new business voip solutions is one of the new Telecom domain where you can learn new things.There are different services provided to the individual and Business users.

it can be made interesting

when i started programming for business, i admit it was boring. It was mostly crud operations on different tables and systems. But with introduction of JPA, Canvas/ SVG and other such technology, I believe and this is in our hands, to transform the business programming into something interesting something more visual than just showing data in lists and tables and putting them via form. "I cannot imagine that our brightest minds cannot come up with a suitable solution for a shop in 20 years." The lack of standardisation has led to this, and this should be solved. There needs to be a wider discussion on this as to how we can standardise process and use them again and again. Last, the user interface is also a part of business logic.

Business logic is more than code

If you think that business logic is boring and focussing on frameworks and technology is the point of programming then you are doing your clients a very big dis-service. Sotware is purposeless if it doesn't serve the needs of a user. Business logic is about more than just the lines of code that implement moving data from one place to another. The far greater part is the understanding of the way your users do their work, and building a system that supports those needs. it is also working with your client to understand how providing them with new software can help them transform their ways of working to be easier, more flexible and, even, more enjoyable. Sure, it is also fun to find better, cleaner ways of expressing those things via frameworks, but if you focus too much on that you'll forget the primary purpose of the project and the users of your software will not thank you for it.

But this applies to all programming

Most of the time, programmers just shovel data: take it from a place A to B to C, transforming it in the process in one way or the other.

The really lucky programmers get to transform the data in very sophisticated ways: think of scientific computing, machine learning etc. Even there, it is more fun to develop new algorithms that to write programs to use the existing ones.

By the way, when is this site going to have a better HTML editor for comments like this?


Cool! These boring things are easily programmable with Excel. The rest of boring things, are sold as ERPs and I heard they make several billions per year that funds the company that recently bought the company that hosts this website. ;-)