The No-Code and Low-Code movements have sparked multiple discussions on how the future of application development will look. For one, their respective definitions pose an unwarranted confusion for both vendors and enterprises alike.
And while both programming innovations lean towards amplification of visual programming, one must understand that the terminologies “no-code” and “low-code” don’t refer to the extent or absence of coding, but the people using these platforms to create software. No-code providers allow citizen developers to build beautiful and functional apps without writing any code at all. At the same time, low-code platforms are made for professional coders looking to simplify and streamline their work with little to no coding. That being said, the common denominator between both sides is speed. Simply put, both traditional coders and citizen developers are much more able to finish app projects faster, giving brands and companies the chance to publish their digital offerings to app markets earlier, too.
What to expect from the movements
Although the perfectly disruptive low-code and no-code narratives are already disruptive as it is, new trends are yet again changing the story as we progress to greater technological heights.
Firstly, the ongoing developments with Software-Defined Everything (SDX) only optimize these platforms. Present trends imply that the divide between tools powerful enough for professional developers and simple enough for the regular Joe will be eliminated. The low-code and no-code markets will soon become a shared segment, allowing both experts and citizen developers to work side by side.
Secondly, the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is only going to spice things up all the more. So much so, that a few vendors are already embracing AI and welcoming the technology into their platforms. For instance, AI can take charge of the more complicated challenges of integrating unstructured and partially structured data sources and provide suggestions for workflow arrangements. As a result, elaborate process logic should be much simpler to complete. And because we’re only scratching the surface, you can expect tighter, more impressive innovations in the coming years.
Is the tech industry holding back?
Considering all these bright ideas and breakthroughs, you might be wondering why we haven’t seen more innovation in this space. After all, AI had improved quite a lot since its inception six decades ago, and model-driven and declarative approaches aren’t new. So why the delay and holding back?
The answer is simple: these innovations may come at the expense of giant system integrators who employ junior developers and tech consultants. To phrase differently, these progressions are too disruptive. While the developments in software making aren’t designed to compete with traditional coders and engineers, some semblance of threat is felt in the air by an elite few.
Take a current enterprise app project, for example. Undertakings like these can last for about half a year, demand a million dollars to build and deploy, and require a dozen experts to get the job done.
If you turn those digits into half a month, two people, and only forty thousand dollars—and still afford a premium enterprise app that offers equal flexibility—then who’s affected?
Large software agencies that keep developers billable and busy.
The reality is that the low-code and no-code movements are set to change a whole lot in the business model the tech world so heavily relies on. Albeit unconsciously, giant system integrators are delaying the human capital metamorphosis crucial to future-proofing office professionals with sufficient tech skills.
IT departments are also in on the delay. Arguably, IT professionals continue to reinforce the idea that enterprise software can be built only through traditional and costly strategies to avoid losing full-time employment.
Lastly, DevOps organizations are partly to be blamed, too. Because DevOps is the fusion of IT operations and software development, you would think that DevOps moguls would go gaga over the low-code and no-code movement. But if you take a close look at what DevOps is composed of, you will find that hand-coded software is at its core. Meaning to say, in the context of low-code and no-code platforms, the need for tedious hand-coding won’t be as warranted.
One can argue that the whole point of these movements is to fast-track software development and app-building. But what’s a coder going to do if their presence is no longer needed continuously in the formulation of every enterprise-grade app? Reasonably so, there are a multitude of things only hand-written code can achieve. But given present innovations, it would be a significant waste of time and resources to write lines and lines of code for pieces that already have pre-built solutions.
Granted how expansive the tech industry is, coders will always have something to do and projects to work on. However, as the low-code and no-code movements take over mainstream app development, the roles coders play will evolve.
At the end of the day, the bigger picture for us all doesn’t take anyone out of the equation. Empowerment for the citizen developer doesn’t have to be a demise for the software coder. We all have a role to play to move forward. What does your dream app look like? Talk to us, and we’ll make it happen!