Episode 40 of Remote Ruby was so thought-provoking I added it back to my podcast queue.
After listening to it again my previous thoughts on Graphiti (at the end of that post) still stand. But something else jumped out at me this time…
Lee speaks passionately about Graphiti and Vandal enabling product owners or “business people” (I cringe at the label “non-technical”) to essentially explore the schema and see the relationships between data, much like they already do in Excel (or Business Intelligence tools).
It brings to mind what I wrote last night about the many levels of abstraction between one line in my Rails app and the hundreds of thousands of CPU operations that result.
There’s a huge productivity benefit to me not having to know much about CPU instructions, assembly language, C, virtual machines or abstract syntax trees just to query a database from a Rails app.
Similarly, I think there could be a huge productivity benefit if business people could examine existing queries to understand how their app works or point out logic flaws to the developers… or modify an existing query to extract some data without having to wait for a new API endpoint or report to be developed… or write a new query to demonstrate a product requirement or a feature they would like added.
Just like good developers work hard to understand the business they are supporting, I wonder if Graphiti and Vandal could be the lever that helps good business people better understand the app the developers are building.