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I think of RegularPeople as people who are not computer professionals. Of course, that would make us computer professionals irregular. - MikePence

If you look at the role software plays, it makes sense to distinguish computer professionals from the rest in terms of OnlineCommunity. Consider that software's role in the ValueChain is the post hoc optimization of said ValueChain. That is, once the value chain has been established, software is employed to make that value chain more efficient. Not much software has any intrinsic value, except for maybe entertainment software. The Internet is definitely a value-chain optimization tool as it makes information dispersal and DataMining more efficient. As software professionals, we write the tools that optimize the value chain. Thus, in our industry, we have some of the best tools to optimize production. This is one reason why OpenSource works well in software, why it's natural for software developers in one company to share knowledge with developers in others, etc.

Downstreaming the techniques we have developed for ourselves to others is a much tougher sell because often our solutions are optimized for our own environments. Usually, the communication tools we use will have to be adapted to fit the particular end market we are optimizing. Also, since programmers and technical people are capable of interacting at a technical level, and restricted, program-friendly interfaces (think restricted grammars like the WikiSyntax) are easier to develop, our tools are unusable by people not trained in our field.

Consequently, while we will always be ahead of the curve because a) our jobs are to develop these tools, b) we can take shortcuts not available to others, the abstract structure of our solutions are quite often translatable to others albeit after a lot of work. Notice how most of the discussions on MeatballWiki are high-level, non-technical. So, I believe it can be done. Now, whether it's worth the effort is another question. -- SunirShah


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