Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Developer and the End User
h It produces accurate results and is free of bugs.
h It uses appropriate and efficient methods and algorithms to accomplish its job.
h It traps errors before the user is forced to deal with them.
Note that errors and bugs are not the same. Attempting to divide by zero is an error,
whereas failure to identify that error before it occurs is a bug.
h It does not allow the user to delete or modify important components accidentally (or
intentionally).
h Its user interface is clear and consistent so that the user always knows how to proceed.
h Its formulas, macros, and user interface elements are well documented, allowing for
subsequent changes, if necessary.
h It is designed so that it can be modified in simple ways without making major changes. A
basic fact of life is that a user’s needs change over time.
h It has an easily accessible help system that provides useful information on at least the
major procedures.
h It is designed to be portable and to run on any system that has the proper software (in
this case, a copy of the appropriate version of Excel).
It should come as no surprise that it is possible to create spreadsheet applications for many
different usage levels, ranging from simple fill-in-the-blank templates to extremely complex
applications that use a custom interface and that may not even look like spreadsheets.
The Developer and the End User
I’ve already used the terms developer and end user, and you will see them frequently throughout
this topic. Because you’ve gotten this far, I think I can safely assume that you’re either a
spreadsheet application developer or a potential developer.
My definitions regarding developers and end users are simple. The person who creates the
spreadsheet application is the developer. For joint projects, there are multiple developers: a
development team. The person who uses the results of the developer’s spreadsheet
programming efforts is the end user (which I often shorten to simply user ). In many cases, there will be
multiple end users, and often the developer is one of the users.
Who are developers? What do they do?
I’ve spent about 20 years trading methodologies and hanging out (usually in a virtual manner
online) with the motley crew of folks who call themselves spreadsheet developers. I divide them
into two primary groups:
 
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