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Conversations like this make me wonder if there's some disruption waiting to happen. My understanding is that from a theoretical perspective software should be reducible to a combination of algorithms and business rules, but we seem to spend our time on something else. Is there some meta-solution to the rote stuff that we just haven't noticed? Doesn't it seem like the most tedious tasks - Extract-Transform-Load, for example - could get automated away? Is there something preventing that from happening? What is it?

You are assuming that you know both the algorithmic and the business rules when you start the project. That's rarely if ever true.

People in charge of setting those business rules also rarely know what they actually want in details. This is what is meant by the joke that writing an accounting software is order of magnitude harder than building a kernel, even if the latter is much more challenging technically speaking.

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