Generate Programs from Spreadsheets

The other day, my friend told me his product manager often times have trouble translating his financial models in spreadsheet to code, so he can test his ideas on larger datasets, because he is the one that has to come up with the business ideas and he has to go back and forth with his engineers to make sure the they’re communicating the business ideas properly.

So my friend asked can’t we make a program out of spreadsheets. I thought the idea was amazing: to allow people whom have the business ideas to generate programs to test their ideas on larger sets of data (maybe from the company’s database). We jumped right ahead into coding after talking about it for a bit.

Here is a few screenshots of compiling simple common mortgage calculations of total debt service ratio and gross debt service ratio into a Python program.

When we were talking about the idea, we realized if we treated some cells as inputs and some cells as ouputs, as highlighted in orange and yellow, the spreadsheet is actually just a pure function (no side effect), if we could find a convenient way to map excel functions into Python, maybe we could help automate some of the mundane work for people.

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