What & Why Is Summit

Author's Foreward

I began my journey into creating Summit Event Language (SEL) with no intention of writing a programming language, general purpose or domain-specific. My goal in early 2016, when the original idea for Summit was starting to plant itself in my brain, was to give founders a better toolkit for thinking about, and testing the logic behind, their business models.

Fast forward 8 years and I find myself staring at a nascent, high-level scripting language, exhumed from the messy substrate of direct and indirect feedback and opinions from thousands of users. Over time, these users have come from all walks of life, from finance to engineering to product to operations. But the common thread has been this: each those that know they've got something to create, but none of them are in love with their existing tool stack.

If you've ever gazed into a white abyss of spreadsheet cells and found yourself wishing you could reach for a dry erase marker instead, or if you've ever worked with a no-code tool and wished you could just write a little bit of code (but not more JavaScript), Summit is for you.

Spreadsheets are a marvel, and one of the most important computing inventions of all time, giving mere mortals the ability to build long chains of equations as easily as using a calculator. These long chains of equations, and flexibility inherent in a giant grid and freeform text entry, are clues that spreadsheets were always, first and foremost, a language.

Now in the AI age, blue-collar knowledge workers — the ones that tirelessly work to move data from one place to another, shaping it along the way, deserve something equally fast and easy-to-use, but much more powerful.

My joy is watching those willing to explore Summit discover its native understanding of time, the composability of its building blocks, and the flexibility and durability of the models it creates.

But the primary feature, the reason it exists, is to provide you with a new and better way to express your gift for making. Like your own thinking, to be flexible, fast, and high-level. To keep up with your ability to see and describe a better way to work.

Matt Wensing

May, 2024