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[Talk at the OECD] Foggy economy: the challenges of the expansion of emerging technologies and the innovative action of developers

By November 18, 2016 March 1st, 2019 No Comments

Presenting my book on « Les développeurs » at the always welcoming headquarters of the OECD in Paris next Tuesday. Here’s what I’m planning to talk about:

The presentation will expose and elaborate on a double tension. The first is the one between dominant and emerging technologies, potentially leading in what has been described as disruption. The second tension is to be found in the innovative action of the main subject of these technologies, the developer, and consists in the relationship between “day job” and “side project”.

While developers are totally absent from official reports on the future of innovation and the professions, a recent study has shown that developers are the first of the Top 20 of professions most researched in Linkedin in France2.

The book “Les développeurs” (Chrysos, P., FYP Éditions, 2015) focusses on their peculiar action norms. In their innovation journeys, developers are transformed along with the technologies they develop. Three statuses are proposed to analyze their transformation: User-Developers (UDs), User-Developer-Entrepreneurs (UDEs) and Developers-Entrepreneurs (DEs), according to both the objectives of their activity (use or commercialization) and the know-how they manage to create in the process.

Yet, their action requires original organizational structures (such as the “Hackathons” and the “Barcamps”) that radically differ from the classic division of labor. Moreover, the book introduces the concept of “Foggy economy” to describe the contemporary situation of economic development through a parallel process: rationalization (of the potential of a given technology that has already been identified) and exploration (of the potential yet to be discovered).