Metaprogramming (management)

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This article is about the management technique. For the programming technique, see metaprogramming.

Metaprogramming is the proposed name of a management technique invented by Charles Simonyi (who also developed Hungarian notation) for organizing the work of a team of programmers. In a 2002 news item [1], The Age noted:

"Simonyi, 54, introduced the concept of metaprogramming at Microsoft, turning it into what people sometimes referred to as a software factory. This was something on which he had written a thesis. The metaprogramming concept did not work out in practice...."

In the 1992 book Accidental Empires (ISBN 0-88730-855-4), Robert X. Cringely gave this description:

"Simonyi's dissertation was an attempt to describe a more efficient method of organizing programmers to write software... the metaprogrammer was the designer, decision maker, and communication controller in a software development group.... individual progammers were allowed to make no design decisions about the project. All they did was write the code as described by the metaprogrammer.... A programmer with a problem or a question would take it to the metaprogrammer, who could come up with an answer or transfer the question to another programmer..."