Does software work for everyone now? The effects of low-code and no-code for developers

What are the implications of the growing low-code / no-code movement for professional developers and their business partners?

Photo: IBM Media Relations

Some industry experts have argued that the time has come when users will be able to drive their own goals in application development. This is the message of a recent conference centered on this topic, sponsored and hosted by Nexus. (I was a participant and moderator at this event.) The Covid-19 crisis illustrates the benefits that low-code and no-code are bringing to the world. “Some IT companies are better off if they already have a low-code platform in their tool belts,” said John Bratansovic, an analyst at Forrester. “There is a much faster way to develop them and there are a lot of traders on the platform.”

If there is a silver lining that comes out of the crisis, it is to move towards user-driven application development and deployment, agrees Forester analyst John Reimer. In the process, attitudes that have existed for the past two or three decades have begun to wash away. “We have a huge mindset about software,” he relates. “The biggest problem is the risk of the software, the cost of the software and who does the work. The software is seen as too intense and we have quite a few priests in central IT, using words that we don’t understand when they talk to us. The idea that software is everyone’s work is actually radical.

In a recent post, Mina Pechex took a look at some of the concerns that professional developers and IT leaders may have about low-code and non-code, and suggested that this trend could be a boon for software development at all levels. “Thanks to these tools, coding can become a mainstream hobby,” he writes. “People can get a better idea of ​​how products and software they use on a daily basis. In addition, it offers a wide range of enthusiasts from a wide audience to build, maintain, and master the programs they live in. “

Pechax outlines some benefits for both developers and traders:

Make innovation easier: “It can be used in startups or small organizations or enable ‘citizen developers’ to be part of the application with tacitable and scalable contributions,” Pechax said. “It could illuminate the creative spark of many ‘creators’ and ‘pioneers’ who were still blocked by technical barriers.”

Simplify prototyping: “No-code tools are like Lego bricks: it’s a fun way to learn how to build something complex from small pieces.” Want to keep a sketch sandbox, so it could be a sweet alternative to Github templates or a tutorial bundle. “

Make development easier: “There are some types of software that developers do not feel comfortable with; We all have specialties and we can’t branch out to learn about everything – it would be an inhumane thing for computer science to move so fast, “Pechax.” This is how the no-code movement can attract some professional coders: Where the benefits of a simple set-up setup structure outweigh the disadvantages of technological choice and visual customization. “

Disguise from programming: “As a professional this is a great opportunity to automate the most annoying tasks in your work pipeline: auto-machine learning solutions are like a case study for them because they offer dumb data processing, basic feature engineering and even model deployment out of your hands. “

At the same time, Pechax warns that low-code and no-code tools can cost developers some in-depth insights to effectively design applications and systems. “You may miss some general idea just because you don’t present it in two different tools or you may overemphasize one step of the process because it seemed to be in the spotlight on this particular platform in particular,” he said. “I’m not sure if these tools will give you a bird’s eye view – and so how much of this overall-in-depth understanding of the fact that they give you a forward look.”

There are also risks of homogenization, he added. “Having a way of doing things ends up building a very intimate-looking app or website / it may take a lot of effort to come up with a somewhat original design and it usually does more about the underlying concept than personal UI customization.”

Nevertheless, low-code and non-code IT managers present new kinds of opportunities to move their business forward. “Why do we still hear low-code for simple things, for simplicity?” Reimer asks. “Experience says that this is no longer true. Spontaneous, scalable, spontaneous in building secure applications, but easy to build in low code. IT people can be its advisors; They can be lifeline. ”

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