Welcome to the community @Dev_M. What follows is just my opinion and probably laced with too many metaphors …
Indeed, I’ve heard this recurring theme from many of my clients. Airtable has some rough edges, but it also has some polished core functionalities. I think we all tend to see the edges in different lighting and we’re largely influenced by today’s latest work requirements that formulate our view of the problems.
But there’s no sugar-coating it - Airtable struggles with some [seemingly simple] requirements and shines in many others - even some that are very complex but handled elegantly. Here in the forum, of course, there is a natural bias to write about stuff that isn’t quite right for a given solution. For every cul-de-sac we discover in Airtable, there are dozens of thru-streets that rarely get a mention.
Today we live in an API economy. It’s simply not possible for any given product (or design team) to envision every possible use case or how external data should interface. In that sense, I tend to look for and recommend products that can be all that they can be by standing on the shoulders of other mature technologies.
One of my clients performs machine learning processes against Airtable data. Should I expect Airtable to provide integrated natural language processing? Should I expect the tool to tokenize and understand semantic precision of text? Probably not. But I can expect them to provide a comprehensive method for gluing AI processes to Airtable data.
How is integrated task management any different from integrated semantic processing?
In my view, Airtable has a deep responsibility to provide an open data architecture to support all manner of specific domain solutions. Integrated AI (the way I want it)? Seamless task management (the way your superior wants it)? Not so much.
If you look at task management tools like Asana and Trello, they struggle with recurring tasks as well (in certain ways). Task management (done well) is a difficult challenge because there are so many definitions of “done well”. As such, I don’t think we can expect Airtable to be more than a tool that may be able to handle some definitions of task management without leaning on the API, Zapier, Integromat, etc.