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Computer Science Colloquium: "Decentralized End-user Programming" presented by Eric Hanson, Aquameta
Monday, December 2, 2013 - 2:00pm
Monday, Dec. 2 at 2pm  in room FAB 86-01

There was a time in our history, not that long ago, when computers weren’t usable by people at all.  Only a few technologically elite people possessed the power of computing, and the barrier to entry was sky high.  There was no “desktop”, no “user interface,” just a vast expanse of complex hardware and programming languages.

Then in the 70s, we saw a sudden and dramatic power shift, where the power of computing began to shift from the hands of the technological elite, into the era of “personal computing”.  At the time it was a radical idea whose future nobody could predict, and it was met with great skepticism by the entrenched status quo.  But it proved to be the future, and our world was forever changed.  Today we can barely imagine the world before this shift, but there was a time when people could barely imagine the world after.

Today we are on the verge of a similar shift.  While personal computing has become the new status quo, there is still another divide through the industry, a wall that divides the two sides of a power imbalance:  Most users can’t program a computer.  The role of todays computer user is that of consumer; only programmers can create new applications.  History clearly shows that the skill of programming makes huge social changes possible, but most people think that learning to programming would be very difficult, and given today’s programming tools, they are right.
But imagine if you will, what would our world look like if everyone could program?  What apps would you create?  
Eric Hanson is a former PSU student, and CEO of Aquameta, a Portland-based software company.  In this talk, he’ll explain why they believe end-user programming is the next natural step in the history of computing industry, and demo Aquameta’s flagship product, a data-centric, decentralized end-user programming environment built atop PostgreSQL.