A Small Matter of Programming: Perspectives on End User Computing

A Small Matter of Programming: Perspectives on End User Computing

by Bonnie A. Nardi
     
 

A Small Matter of Programming asks why it has been so difficult for end users to command programming power and explores the problems of end user-driven application development that must be solved to afford end users greater computational power.Drawing on empirical research on existing end user systems, A Small Matter of Programming analyzes cognitive, social, and

Overview

A Small Matter of Programming asks why it has been so difficult for end users to command programming power and explores the problems of end user-driven application development that must be solved to afford end users greater computational power.Drawing on empirical research on existing end user systems, A Small Matter of Programming analyzes cognitive, social, and technical issues of end user programming. In particular, it examines the importance of task-specific programming languages, visual application frameworks, and collaborative work practices for end user computing, with the goal of helping designers and programmers understand and better satisfy the needs of end users who want the capability to create, customize, and extend their applications software.The ideas in the book are based on the author's research on two successful end user programming systems - spreadsheets and CAD systems - as well as other empirical research. Nardi concentrates on broad issues in end user programming, especially end users' strengths and problems, introducing tools and techniques as they are related to higher-level user issues.Bonnie A. Nardi is a Member of the Technical Staff at Hewlett Packard Laboratories.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a wonderful book, one of those little volumes that makes you think, imagine, and argue all at the same time. Computers are being used, but by whom? Does anyone really have any idea what folks are really doing with computers? If programmers are the only ones who think they know what end users want, why are computers so underutilized? Over and over, you'll find yourself turning Nardi's queries in your imagination and asking new questions about humans and machines. The core of Nardi's work is its anthropological approach to computing, observing, and studying the ``natives'' (or end users) as they use spreadsheets and CAD programs. The answers from this ethnographic studies are surprising. Computing is successful when the right tools-tools that make software and computers work right for everyday tasks-are in the hands of end users rather than programmers. All computing power to the people, not to the high priests or the geeks. Hurrah for Nardi, and read this book!
Booknews
Explores a range of problems in the development of end user driven applications--problems that must be solved to afford software users greater computational power, such as the capability to create, customize, and extend their applications software. Using empirical research on existing end user systems, the author analyzes cognitive, social, and technical issues of end user programming, in particular, the importance of task-specific programming languages, visual application frameworks, and collaborative work practices. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262140539
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
07/15/1993
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Bonnie Nardi is Professor in the Department of Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine.

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