You might not think of Microsoft Office as a development tool, but it’s been at the heart of many development toolchains for a long time now. The two most popular tools aren’t the obvious ones either, with both Excel and PowerPoint fulfilling different roles in development, as part of a formal application development program and as a way of quickly building apps that solve urgent business needs, using users’ own programming skills.
From the PDF
EXCEL: A SECRET PROGRAMMING ENVIRONMENT
Excel is a particularly interesting example of a development tool. Under the hood of what looks like a familiar spreadsheet is a set of programming languages that can be used in very sophisticated ways. As Simon Peyton Jones, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, notes, it’s a tool that’s increasingly moving into the world of functional programming. Peyton Jones works in functional programming, where he’s perhaps best known as one of the main contributors to the development of Haskell, and for his work on the theory of lazy functional programming.