The art that is IT

It’s only twice that I’ve heard the term “art” used in the same context as technology. Once was when an analyst complained to me that corporate application developers get little leeway in how they work because of rigid managers who don’t realize that creating software is an art just like making a movie.



Managers treat app developers “as automatons on an assembly line,” he said during a conversation of why developers aren’t keeping pace with the realities of new technologies and the current economy. Building software shouldn’t be like Toyota builds cars these days because the creative process is one that needs a little TLC (tender loving care), he said.



But with the availability of tools with nifty user interfaces for non-developers to build Web sites, for instance, is the art that is writing code in danger of being diminished?



The only other time I heard art associated with technology was when an exec with a business intelligence vendor said BI can be tough for organizations because it’s not just a technology. He said you can’t just simply deploy, use and repeat — BI is an art.


Yet industry experts and vendors talk about bringing BI to the everyday user, to the front line worker. If BI is indeed an art then that implies a certain degree of analytics know-how. And that makes me wonder if BI is indeed something that will fall into the hands of everyday users as many vendors strive to do.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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