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Reconsidering End-User Development Definitions

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNPSE,volume 12724)

Abstract

We consider definitions that End-User Development and related fields offer for end-user developers, and identify the persistence of viewing end-user development as antithetical to professional development across the years, even as focus has shifted from the identity and then to the role of the developer, and later to the intent of the development effort. We trace the origins of this antithesis to the days of End-User Computing in organizational settings, and argue that modern software development resides in a different paradigm, where end-user Development is part and parcel of any programming endeavour, in professional or other settings. We propose that current development practice, both for those traditionally regarded as end-user and as professional developers, can be better served by EUD as a field, if the focus is shifted to the nature of the task itself, and how technical it needs to be, by way of the platforms that development takes place on.

Keywords

  • End-user development
  • Technical development
  • Definitions

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Notes

  1. 1.

    It is interesting to note here the observation by Barricelli et al. [2], that the choice of field to which authors will ascribe their work tends to be a matter of academic culture. European authors will file their work under EUD because of its namesake European Commission initiative, the European Network of Excellence on End-User Development (EUD-Net) which created a network of researchers and relevant conferences. American authors, on the other hand, will prefer the term EUP, which did originate in the United States, and a small subset of those, the community of US universities that participated in the EUSES Consortium pursue work under EUSE.

  2. 2.

    The cost of poor quality software in the US in 2018 was estimated to be approximately $2.84 trillion dollars, the largest component of which (37.46%) were losses from software failures, at $1.064 trillion [30].

  3. 3.

    opaque algorithms assessing the risk of an offender repeating a crime, heavily used in the judicial system of the USA, have been suspect of encoding societal and racial biases [25], resulting in harsher punishments [43].

  4. 4.

    The two fatal accidents of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2018 and 2019 have been attributed to Boeing’s introduction of a software component, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which was working against the pilot’s maneuvers. MCAS was unique to that aircraft, and its existence had largely been kept quiet [27].

  5. 5.

    The choice of analogy is not unfamiliar. Algorithms are often compared to food recipes [28], and there is an abundance of programming “Cookbooks” for various frameworks and Software Development Kits (SDKs) or problem domains. One important exception is that to a certain extent, food production is more regulated than software.

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Batalas, N., Lykourentzou, I., Khan, VJ., Markopoulos, P. (2021). Reconsidering End-User Development Definitions. In: Fogli, D., Tetteroo, D., Barricelli, B.R., Borsci, S., Markopoulos, P., Papadopoulos, G.A. (eds) End-User Development. IS-EUD 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12724. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79840-6_2

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