Low code Development Platform: The future or a fad?

June 15, 2021

iauro Team

Contributing immensely to the global software solutions ecosystem. DevOps | Microservices | Microfrontend | DesignThinking LinkedIn
Disruptions are the terminology of the day, and no industry is immune to them – Those in the software and mobile space are already debating the pros and cons of native and hybrid mobile development, but what if there was another option?

“Low code development” is somewhat deceiving. You might think that this will solve all our development problems, but in reality, each low code platform has a very specific set of capabilities. They are domain and target areas like web or mobile apps, BPM or CRM, and provide us with large chunks of predefined functionality to build on. This makes us more efficient in delivering functionality while we remain within the platform domain.

To put this in context, let’s see how the code evolved. After all, a low code is just a code with an adjective indicating that there will be less of it in some way. Maybe the past can give us an idea of ​​the future.
Low code development is not a new concept, but it adds a third party to the discussion between native and hybrid development (or a new issue, depending on who you ask). Whether you are a purebred or a fan of simplification, everyone can agree that thinking outside the box can lead to innovation, which is good for everyone.

Most of the discussion about “low-code development” revolves around the idea of ​​allowing end-users to create their own applications. This sentiment tends to scare IT pros: About 26% of respondents responded positively to the idea of ​​their users building their own app in a Salesforce survey.

But in any case, it could be the future. Forrest Research estimates the market for low-code development platforms will be around $30 billion by 2025; Added to this is the high-demand economy we currently live in, where customers were expecting solutions yesterday. Hand coding is time-consuming and difficult, not to mention costly. And there are some positives about low code that make professional developers see the brighter side of things.
 

Low Code !!!

Low code, as the name suggests, is the concept of developing an application with little or no code. Using a drag-and-drop interface, users can create simple applications such as a content management system or dashboard from widgets and solve a need that they previously had to reverse engineer from a set of Excel spreadsheets or a third-party option. It is often described as something akin to Legos, with users moving building blocks around to achieve their desired end goal.

The platform is already widespread; the top-rated companies use low-code frameworks to automate tasks that were previously done with cumbersome options like huge spreadsheets. Developing customer portals and providing access to sales data from mobile devices are just two of the possible solutions that low code can provide; Shell writes its own code these days only “when it seeks to differentiate itself through intellectual property or develop services that can provide a competitive edge.

And low code isn’t just for the big guys; British startup DrDoctor has developed a notification system to remind patients of upcoming appointments, as well as allow them to confirm or cancel on the spot. According to AppDeveloper Magazine, NHS hospitals that have partnered with DrDoctor saved £ 2-3 million a year and reduced phone calls by 50% and no-shows by 40%.

But what does low coding offer a professional developer? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
 

Low Code: Pros

Fast

Like frameworks and templates, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. There are the basics here to allow either an experienced user to start putting the pieces together as needed or an experienced programmer to really dive deeper into their particular side of the business, giving them the opportunity to truly innovate. A little code can shorten the time between concept and checkout, which can also potentially create more wiggle room in the budget.

Low maintenance costs

Because the building blocks are already in place, IT can focus on the larger pieces of the picture instead of serving a million required tickets or checking computers to make sure everyone is running the same software. Users have the right to solve their own problems, and when the application is the same across the enterprise, IT already knows that users are not looking for third-party solutions, potentially reducing future technical debt.

Connectivity

Business users, whether they like it or not, are part of the development process because they provide IT departments with the requirements. Much is lost in translation when you are trying to identify a need and find a technical solution that meets the requirements, but when the explanations are visual rather than verbal, the solution is easier to find.

Low Code: Cons

Ownership

Low code is essentially a subscription service. This means that you are paying for someone else’s product, even if it speeds up your in-house services from conception to confirmation. It also means that your IT department might be locked out of what’s under the hood, which means you really don’t know what a particular call might be doing or if there is an additional delay due to some latent inefficiency.

Limitation

What you see is usually what you get with most low-environment code platforms on the market. If you want something that the low code platform offers, great. If not, you may be out of luck. Connecting the new platform to legacy systems can be a challenge. And even if there is a certain level of internal customization, a lot of this may be required at some point due to coding. It can also be difficult to switch from one vendor to another or scale up a product when needs are suddenly lacking.

Training Required

Apart from the lack of customization or the need to be able to code to complement the core package, it would be unfair to say that “anyone” can use this particular platform. Some technical know-how is required and sometimes additional training is helpful to get the most out of your money.

Impact of Artificial Intelligence

It’s worth mentioning that artificial intelligence (AI) is touted as another aspect of the low code movement; this aspect can help users with suggestions for workflow problems and in decoding solutions for various problems, such as problems of integrating semi-structured and structured data sources.

But can AI completely eliminate the developer from the equation when it comes to developing a new application?

On the contrary, the demand for experienced programmers is greater than ever before; The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for software developers will grow by 26% between 2017 and 2027. Anyway, AI will help empower the human programmer, but it is not yet developed enough to replace the human programmer capable of evolving. unique solutions for specific tasks.
 

Low Code: Future or Fad?

Of course, low code level is not a panacea for all software problems, no matter what the marketing slogan is. We already saw this attempt at a solution in 4GL and RAD in the 1990s and 2000s, but this iteration of the “simple code” attempt seems much more justified than before. With predictions that this market will only grow, and with the introduction of AI as the basis for potentially bridging the gap that there are no professional developers, developing a low-code environment is turning application development upside down.

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