I recently attended the first meeting of Mark Dalgarno’s Software East
The meeting consisted of two talks.
"Moving from Coding to Model-Driven Development" by Steven Kelly was an overview of the advantages of domain specific modelling when compared with standard software practices. He quoted impressive productivity gains from raising the abstraction level using techniques were the model is converted to code that sits on top of a suitable framework. The idea being that the company’s expert developers write this translation and the framework on which the generated code will sit. Domain experts can then express their knowledge at the level of the model.
One example was for a company with several hundred types of insurance policy. By offering suitable modelling primitives, the non-programming domain experts could express the various policies without the need to get programmers to write the java code, giving a huge gain in terms of flexibility and avoidance of errors.
The second talk, "Get started with Software Product Lines – Key success factors and what to avoid" by Danilo Beuche was an introduction to software product lines, and gave an interesting overview on how to integrate libraries into different products to get a range of product with a range of functionalities.
The meeting was good and there was time before the talks to chat with the speakers. The next meeting is in January on the subject of "starting a software business".