Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Developer and the End User
h Insiders are developers who are intimately involved with the users and thoroughly
understand their needs. In many cases, these developers are also users of the application.
Often, they develop an application in response to a particular problem.
h Outsiders are developers who are hired to produce a solution to a problem. In most
cases, developers in this category are familiar with the business in general but not with
the specifics of the application they are developing. In other cases, these developers are
already employed by the company that requests the application (but they normally work
in a different department).
Some developers devote all their time to development efforts. These developers may be either
insiders or outsiders. A fair number of consultants (outsiders) make a decent living developing
spreadsheet applications on a freelance basis.
Other spreadsheet developers don’t work full time at the task and may not even realize they are
developing spreadsheet applications. These developers are often office computer gurus who
seem to know everything about computers and software. These folks often create spreadsheet
applications as a way to make their lives easier — the time spent developing a well-designed
application for others can often save hours of training time and can greatly reduce the time spent
answering others’ questions.
Spreadsheet developers are typically involved in the following activities, often performing most
or all of each task on their own:
h Determining the needs of the user
h Planning an application that meets these needs
h Determining the most appropriate user interface
h Creating the spreadsheet, formulas, macros, and user interface
h Testing the application under all reasonable sets of conditions
h Making the application relatively user-friendly (often based on results from the testing)
h Making the application aesthetically appealing and intuitive
h Documenting the development effort
h Distributing the application to users
h Updating the application if and when it’s necessary
I discuss these developer activities in more detail in Chapter 6.
Developers must have a thorough understanding of their development environment (in this case,
Excel). And there’s certainly a lot to know when it comes to Excel. Developing nontrivial
spreadsheet applications with Excel requires an in-depth knowledge of formulas, functions, macros,