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What is Low-code? Threats to future programmers?

What is Low-code?
Written August 18, 2022

What is Low-code? Should programmers be afraid of losing their jobs to it? Let's find out whether Low-code is really superior or just hype.

Overview of Low-code

What is Low-code?
What is Low-code?

If you work in IT or Marketing, chances are the terms "Low-code" and "No-code" have been circling around your professional network in recent times.

In reality, this rise has come as no shocking news for the tech-savvy. Both are concepts that have existed for a long time (but if you want a number, about 18-20 years ago), but in recent years, they have re-emerged as a technology wave, marking a turning point in the technology and application programming market.

This technology is steadily spreading everywhere and constantly evolving to adapt to the needs of developers, laying the foundation for the adaptation of these technologies.

Find out more about No-code here!

What is Low-code?

Low-code is a software development approach that helps technologists and business professionals collaborate and deliver digital transformation solutions faster by minimizing the amount of code required.

Their development platform place preference in intuitive interfaces with simple logic and drag and drop features over complex coding languages. These intuitive tools allow users with no programming or software development knowledge to build apps for multiple purposes such as mobile apps and business apps.

Example of a drag-and-drop interaction
Example of a drag-and-drop interaction

The rapid development of society is leading to a shortage of programmers. These platforms are becoming increasingly popular as a quick and easy alternative to traditional software development.

According to a CNBC report, the software developer shortage will be even more alarming in 2022. The rate of unfilled IT jobs already increased to 918,000 vacancies at the end of 2021.

Both professional programmers and “citizen developers” who develop applications without a full background in programming can use the low-code platform to create applications of varying complexity to meet evolving business needs, automate processes, and accelerate digital transformation.

Gartner (a technological research and consulting firm) predicted that by 2025, 70% of all new apps will by built by business users with Low-code/No-code technology - a spike-up from 25% in 2020.

However, developing with these platforms often requires a certain level of programming expertise. An easy way to remember all this: The word "low" does not imply "nothing". Low-code still involves some efforts by the developers.


Advantages of Low-code

The development of low-code brings many benefits to software development thanks to its superior advantages over traditional software development.

Advantages of Low-code
Advantages of Low-code

1. Speed ​​improvement

First and foremost, one of its biggest advantages is speed. You can create solutions for multiple platforms in one go and demonstrate to investors or stakeholders a fully functioning MVP in the shortest time possible.

The intuitive nature and smart utilities of low-code have the potential to completely change the way people view programming.

Pioneering programmers have begun to adapt to the existence of this new technology and utilize it to improve their daily work. By 2020, 37% of developers in the US are using or researching to use low-code tools.

2. Resource saving

If you are working on a large project, you no longer have to wait for highly skilled developers to complete another lengthy project. With a low-code platform, you can save your time and your company's resources by getting the job done faster and at a lower cost than with a traditional approach.

This technology can save businesses hundreds of hours of development, cut build times by 50-90% compared to developing apps from scratch with traditional code, and reduce their IT spending by up to 20%. As a result, it helps businesses solve many of the common challenges hindering digital transformation efforts today.

3. Low risk and high ROI

These platforms are backed by industry standards and security best practices: cross-platform support, data integration, and up-to-date security algorithms are built-in features. As a result, you can focus on more important business tasks while ensuring your entire workflow is protected and highly customizable.

It also minimizes the fear of shadow IT - a term that refers to IT technologies or projects being adopted and implemented by individual employees or business units without the knowledge or IT department approval.

With a focus on innovation for everyone, this technology brings app development to "the light". Business users who are developing simple applications with low-code can follow best practices and avoid common pitfalls during application development.

4. Easy Deployment

With low-code, it's just one click away to get your app into production. Launch day is no longer a stressful experience because of the fear of unexpected things and new emergency bugs out of control.

5. Lifecycle support and seamless integration

These platforms support the entire application development lifecycle from concept to exit, including DevOps and CI/CD. In addition, the low-code platform APIs allow external integration with tools that support project management, DevOps, testing, and the CICD pipeline.


Disadvantages of Low-code

At first glance, this technology is a perfect solution for software and application development, but it also has many disadvantages besides its outstanding benefits.

Disadvantages of Low-code
Disadvantages of Low-code

1. Programming knowledge

Even though these platforms are marketed as “little or no coding,” you still need a clear understanding of the code and logic behind your app to get the most out of the platforms.

2. Complexity of business structure

Low-code tools like Mendix are a great choice for automating simple processes or prototyping. However, once the prototyping phase is passed, the business logic will eventually become more complex. For further project development, you will need a team of experts.

Today's platforms are still imperfect, so it's not good to rely on them in the long run. Otherwise, you risk jeopardizing your business.

3. Limited functionality

In a low-code development tool, the amount of functionality you can implement is limited. It's a quick way to build apps, but you don't have much choice if you want to try something different.

4. Security concerns

True low-code solutions have built-in security protocols, but that's still not enough as they cannot provide the same level of security as independently developed technologies.

With a low-code-based application, you don't have full control over data security or access to the source code. Therefore, you cannot identify all the possible security holes there.

5. Bound to the platform

Like their no-code counterparts, a lot of low-code development platforms lock you into their service. As a result, it will be much more difficult to hire staff (programmers, software engineers..) later to customize your application to better suit your business needs (but not impossible).

While it's certainly easy to drag and drop building blocks to suit your specific needs, by the time you need a special feature that isn't available, you'll need some custom code. Sometimes this custom code integration can also cost a lot more than a completely custom solution built from the ground up.


When should low-code be used?

Low-code is one of the good choices for the development of mobile applications and portals, standalone webs that are likely to require integration with other systems and several data sources.

When should low-code be used?
When should low-code be used?

In reality, this technology can be used for anything but complex, mission-critical systems that integrate with many backends and external data sources.

Low-code adoption is hampered by concerns around a lack of flexibility. Many companies think that low-code may not provide enough features to help them build custom applications for businesses.

In a survey about low-code usage, businesses reported that:

  • 50% are using it to build apps or web portals for partners and customers.
  • 49% use it for employee apps or web portals.
  • 31% have been using low-code to build solutions to extend or replace existing legacy platforms.

In addition, this technology is also used to create mobile applications for both customers, employees and partners.


Popular low-code platforms

Choosing the right platform is the first step you need to think about when you want to design a website without using a programming language.

There are a myriad of platforms on the market currently with varying features and strengths, let's take a look at the top 5 best low-code platforms with CitizenDev.

1. Outsystems

Outsystems provides comprehensive low-code solutions.
Outsystems provides comprehensive low-code solutions.

Outsystems is considered one of the best and most comprehensive low-code programming systems available today. The platform helps developers by creating code for them through the visualization of processes.

OutSystems itself is built using the .NET coding language, but you don't have to know how to use it yourself. When the build is done in an intuitive way, it removes the usual coding barriers while automatically applying some best practices.

Visualizing all the steps for a business goal also makes it easier to reinterpret it to others. As a result, you do not need to know a programming language thoroughly, although background knowledge helps a lot in understanding the logic, how an application is set up, and understanding the process in visualization.

2. Appian

Low-code development with Business Process Management with Appian.
Low-code development with Business Process Management with Appian.

Appian provides a leading low-code automation software development platform that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful and unique applications. Apps built on Appian's platform help companies drive digital transformation and differentiate themselves from the competition.

This platform allows the development process to be 20 times faster than usual. Furthermore, it is a Business Process Management (BPM) platform. This leading platform is used by many companies to enhance customer experience, analyze global risk management and gain operational advantage.

Key features of Appian include:

  • Platform security
  • Drag-and-drop coding
  • Real-time process monitoring
  • Sharable
  • Easy-to-configure APIs

3. Mendix

Develop high productivity apps with Mendix.
Develop high productivity apps with Mendix.

Mendix is ​​a platform built for both speed and control, putting collaboration at the heart of application development.

Mendix provides a comprehensive set of integrated platform tools and services for the entire application lifecycle, from conception and development to deployment and operations, resulting in applications created 10x faster. with 70% less resources. The platform was chosen by IBM and SAP as the standard for high-productivity development for their respective clouds.

Not only that, Mendix enables implementation of both Agile and DevOps best practices. It goes even further by involving business stakeholders in the actual development of applications.


Conclusion

Above is an overview of Low-code with the advantages and disadvantages of the movement that is reshaping the technology and software development market.

Learning a new programming language always requires a lot of dedication and patience, the series of notes as well as the various low-code platforms will sometimes make you feel confused. and need support.

If you ever need a hand, CitizenDev provides free consulting services as well as outsourcing with only 30% cost and time compared to traditional approaches. Contact now.

Reference

Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Low-Code Development Technologies Market to Grow 23% in 2021 - Gartner Press Releases

The state of low-code development - Zoho

Developer shortage fuels rise in low-code/no-code platforms - TechTarget

The Future of Software is No-Code and Low-Code Programming - Quixy

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