it seems to me that the job of programming reports can be split up into a visual design task and the generate the data task. So, why can’t the perfectionist manager with nothing better to do with his time sit down with a reports designer to plan out look of the tables, using sample numbers/text for clarity whereas subsequently the designer would write up a spec for which data needs to be generated, get the code from the programmer and integrate it?
Note, among other things, that this approach would allow the designer to be a lot less “trusted” guy than the programmer since he does not really need to touch or even look at the database itself. Further, the reports designer could specialize in one or more popular reports engines and be highly proficient in its quirks whereas the programmer would concentrate on the quirks of the company’s codebase itself.
So, what’s wrong with this picture? Why don’t I see “we need a Crystal Reports designer professional with 40 years of proven experience” ads on Craigslist? Is the above described separation of concerns not as viable as I am imagining it?