My 12 year-old uses building blocks and has been slowly and steadily working with his friends to create a whole new world. If they need something they build it. If he needs a new weapon or tool, he builds it. That got me thinking about the nature of business applications and collaboration.
So, I asked him how he did it, this is what he said. “When you first create the world you start with nothing so you have to gather resources, but it takes a while because you don’t have all the right tools. You gather simple tools, like wood, then you can make a crafting table and you can make better tools. Then you make a house so you can store things. Then you go mining with your wooden pickaxe to find iron and then you can make other better tools, then you can mine for diamonds. It a leveling process, you keep going up as you get better things.”
We grown-ups are missing a trick. The kids have all the cool stuff. We need to be able to build business applications using the same simple, incremental and, dare I say it, ‘fun’ tools. I want to be able to work with my ‘BFF’s’ (I think we call it collaboration here in ‘adultville’), to build stuff quickly and simply using tools that I am becoming increasingly expert in. I need to be able to use simple tools to create the ‘diamond’ level!
"The future is in the hands of kids like mine. They expect to be able to just pick up a piece of software and use it to build what they need."
I am not a programmer, I am a business person, but if you gave me the right tools I know I could build out my business environment just as I need it to be. I could add new things, new tools or ammunition to my arsenal if a new challenge was thrown at me. I could change things and improve things because I know what amazing looks like, and it would be so much better if I could just do it myself sometimes.
The future is in the hands of kids like mine. They expect to be able to just pick up a piece of software and use it to build what they need. In this case, the kids have got it right!