Low code platforms are becoming more and more popular. According to Gartner, the topic of low code or no-code development has excellent growth potential. It enables non-programmers to develop their applications, for example, web applications or mobile applications. It has the potential to accelerate digital transformation significantly. At the same time, it counteracts the shortage of IT specialists.
Low-code platforms promise that software applications can be developed with significantly less effort and in a shorter time. This is possible through standard components that are made available to the user. It is possible to use the individual components (buttons, lists, etc.) with the aid of a visual editor. The application can be developed according to a “Lego principle”.
Of course, this raises the question of whether software developers will still be needed in the future? What influence does the low-code trend have on the current labour market situation for IT specialists?
What Are The Advantages Of Low Code Platforms For Companies?
The corona crisis, in particular, has shown how much pent-up demand German companies have in the field of digitization. Small and medium-sized companies, in particular, have so far shied away from adequately addressing the topic of digitization. It is therefore not surprising when internal processes are designed inefficiently because the right software is missing.
However, the standard applications on the market are often not suitable or too expensive. The alternative would be to develop more individual software. Here, however, the initial costs are often far too high. So all too often, nothing happens.
Low code platforms can close this gap. Depending on the provider, the monthly costs are less than € 100 per application. The development effort is between 1 and 2 weeks, depending on the application.
Suddenly the evaluation looks completely different. With these low costs and above all the possibility that the development can be done with existing staff, a game-changer is for many companies.
Applications can be developed precisely. However, the development does not require any external competence in the area of software development. With a bit of start-up help, employees in the department can develop and maintain the applications themselves.
So the benefits are apparent. In addition to the obvious advantages such as saving costs and reducing the development speed, however, it brings a much more significant advantage—reducing the digitization hurdle. So far, it was not due to the technical possibilities that digitization progressed so slowly.
It was much more due to the acceptance of these solutions and the fear of complexity. With this easy and low-risk entry into software development, companies can take further steps towards digitization. You don’t need a large budget to try out new applications internally or externally.
Companies can approach the topic of digitization and software development with low risk.
Which Applications Can Be Developed With Low Code?
The biggest opponents or sceptics of low code argue that low code can only be used for a small part. Admittedly, if I am working on an algorithm for autonomous driving, I will most likely not use a low code platform. But, these are also the exceptions. Most applications are required in entirely different use cases.
There are many more use cases in which data is prepared and made available to other people. Situations in which data can be entered using correct input fields and processed centrally. For example, we’re talking about dashboards, which provide critical figures from the shop floor for everyone.
The examples are endless. Even if the functions provided are not sufficient, there is the possibility of implementing functions that you have developed yourself, depending on the platform. So the fear that I will reach my limits at some point is also unfounded. However, care must be taken to choose the right platform.
The platform should be integrated with external systems and allow you to add your software code.
Does This Mean That Fewer Software Developers Are Needed?
Viewed objectively, with all these advantages, the question naturally arises whether fewer software developers will be needed in the future. After all, non-developers will also develop their applications with Low Code in the future.
I see this fear as entirely unfounded. Low code platforms are the ideal choice for many use cases, but not for all. There will always be situations in which complex algorithms or software developments are required. This makes the subject of interfaces between different systems even more critical. This is precisely where experienced software developers are needed. Software developers also develop low code platforms. The higher the demand for such platforms, the more software developers are needed.
However, we will need fewer in the future as software developers for monotonous and straightforward tasks. However, this is not a disadvantage. Software developers can focus on creating added value and correspond to the development’s nature—solving complex problems. It’s much more about answering tough technical questions and not dealing with simple tasks.
The Benefits Of Low Code For Software Developers
Low code can be of great help to software developers in their daily work. It not only helps to reduce the simple and monotonous tasks. It is much more helpful to specify the customer requirements before the actual development begins.
A lot of time and money is wasted developing software that does not meet customer requirements. There are many reasons for this. For example, customer requirements frequently change, especially in agile product development. This is not a negative thing. It is part of the development.
Furthermore, it is often a problem that there is no uniform language between the customer team and the development team. Requirements are misunderstood and misinterpreted.
One solution to the problem is to have uncertain customer requirements validated with little effort. Low code is a way of developing applications with little programming effort first to validate the hypotheses. The software can then be developed with a much greater degree of security. However, that does ‘t mean that low-code is only intended for MVPs. Most platforms allow fully scalable systems to be developed.
Another advantage is that the product owner or the product team can initially develop and design the solution. It is no longer necessary to describe all requirements in words or drawings. The product can initially be designed with accurate data and natural functions. Above all, this helps the product team think twice about what the solution should look like and what it must do.
The software developer can question the functions much more precisely and understand the scope of services. The chances that people talk past each other are much lower.