Is Low-Code Software Development a Threat to Developers?
Is the rise of low-code software development a threat to traditional developers? If you’re a software developer anticipating a bright and lucrative career prospect, I’m sure you’ll be wondering what your future holds with the emergence of a number of low-code software development tools and platforms. And if this question hits your mind, again and again, read this blog to find the answer.
As per Statista, “the global low-code platform market revenue is valued at almost 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is forecast to reach approximately 65 billion U.S. dollars in 2027.” According to a Gartner report, about 65% of global applications will involve low-code development by 2024.
In today’s ultra-digital world, you don’t need professionals, not even humans to do many tasks. Bots and robots can do many of them through the power of AI and automation. Is this what’s happening in the world of programming as well? Can automated tools and platforms write code to build simple to complex software systems as our old-school programmers do? Is there any deterioration to the value of the highly sought-after techies who are wanted much for their experience and creativity?
The answers to all these questions are NO. And the good news is that it’s a great time to be a programmer right now in the midst of all these developments. They are never going to replace traditional developers and are hence not a threat to their careers. You will know why as you read more about what is low-code software development, and why it is not a great option for many custom software development projects.
What is Low-Code Software Development?
The tremendous pace at which digital transformation happens is the reason for the revolutionary outbreak of low-code or no-code software development. The plummeting demand for new digital products and the paramount pressure to hit the market with it fast have paved the way for the fast-paced eruption of no-code and low-code automation platforms.
“A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through a graphical user interface.” Wikipedia
These platforms act as a visual software development setting to enable enterprise developers and citizen developers to create mobile or web apps by dragging and dropping application components.
Low-code software development accomplishes its tasks by offering a visual approach to software development that augments the whole development process to quicken delivery. It bypasses the old-fashioned silos of business and technology to create solutions that meet the business goals.
There is a slight difference between low-code and no-code software development platforms. The former requires the users to have an understanding of coding, while the latter enables people with no understanding of coding to do the job. To be more precise, coding is still an important part of the low-code software development process, and no-code software has very few use cases.
Salesforce, Shopify, Google App Maker, Microsoft Power Apps, Zoho, OutSystems, Mendix, and IBM Automation Platform are the commonly-used low-code platforms. One of the latest entrants to this market space is Amazon Honeycode, AWS’s fully managed platform to build applications without writing any code. adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).
When is Low-Code Software used?
Low-code software development is also known as point-and-click development or simply click development. With only a basic understanding of the coding fundamentals, visually select and connect reusable modules that symbolize specific capabilities and connect them to create the preferred online workflow.
Novice developers also make use of these platforms to build simple apps or enhance their existing apps with additional functionality.
The most fitting scenarios to use low-code software development are: SMB landing pages, small online/ecommerce stores, single-page websites, simple customer-facing apps, blogs, and portfolio websites.
To elaborate, let’s see the right situations to use low-code software development. But keep in mind that all these use cases need the expert hands of a developer to do it skillfully.
1. To build MVP
When a business wants to develop a piece of simple software quickly, they can do it by ditching the traditional time-consuming hand-coding. It is great at building an MVP or minimum viable product, which is a basic version of the software product loaded with all fundamental components and features to test the market. By building an MVP using low-code software development methods, we can easily test if the product needs improvements. Low-code development cuts down the time spent on the development process and delivers within a tinier timeframe.
2. To automate a manual process
Low-code is the best way to create automation software to smooth workflow tasks. By freeing human professionals from performing these robotics tasks, they can be put into more creative and solution-oriented tasks. Process automation with a low-code platform helps in achieving end-to-end automation of all the processes with little to no coding.
3. To do legacy modernization
Low-code development is a great option in digital re-platforming and legacy modernization projects. When you want to transform legacy systems to cut down IT environment complexity and costs, improve data consistency, and facilitate collaboration across platforms, low-code can be a great platform. But keep in mind that you need smart developers with an understanding of coding and business logic to undertake these tasks. Read here one of our client success stories on revamping a legacy web application.
4. To do cross-platform integration
Low-code is a good option when you want to retain consistency throughout several platforms. When your desktop site looks completely different than your mobile site, you need to unify the look and feel to offer the same brand experience. Many low-code tools offer features that enable different versions of websites and apps.
Low-Code Development Will Never Replace Developers? Why?
1. Low-code and no-code can’t meet all the needs
Though many simple applications and websites can be made with low-code tools, the current state of lo-code or no-code does not meet all the requirements, For example; it can’t serve the software needs of financial services. It fails to offer the extent of flexibility needed to create complex software products. Moreover, not any single platform can satisfy all the possible needs. Some can fulfill ecommerce store needs, while others are good at process automation.
There really isn’t any platform out there capable of covering all possible needs. For example, some solutions work great for online stores while others are best for process automation.
If you are building a custom software, you may not get the desired functionalities. You can achieve it only through hiring dedicated development teams.
2. Low-code needs developers for its existence and maintenance
Who created low-code platforms and tools? It’s indeed developers. There are here thanks to them writing all the complex codes to make it low-code and no-code. Therefore, developers are needed not only for its existence but for maintenance too. When any low-code platform needs any extension or layers of functionalities, developers can do it through their solid set of hard coding skills. Their experience, logic, common sense, and knowledge are highly needed to deal with the complexities of these platforms.
3. Low code can be a great aid to traditional developers
Instead of eliminating them, low-code platforms can be great aids to developers in making their tasks manageable and more efficient. When they acquire low-code skills along with the traditional coding abilities, they can invest their attention more in strategic tasks. They can get rid of the need to write repetitive lines of code. They can offer their skills to create higher versions of the existing applications.
Moreover, there is nothing to beat a developer’s wealth of knowledge regarding the industry and company, collaborative ability, and cultural adaptability. Low-code can serve as a great tool to make them better developers.
There is proof from the past why developers will never get obsolete
It is useful to scan the past when we analyze the present and look forward to the future. Here are two examples from the past:
- The PC spreadsheet software in the 80s and 90s brought number crunching to the masses. It gave them the computing power to do their jobs without any need for developers to write code for them. But did it stop the demand for developers? No. What really happened was corporates started asking for tasks that spreadsheets couldn’t undertake, like workflow automation. This helped developers to divert their attention to it and move on.
- Another example is that of website builders. This revolutionary invention facilitated the easy building of static websites just by dragging and dropping. But as time went on, businesses wanted things that these website builders couldn’t do. For example- complex web apps or native mobile apps. This gave developers a chance to focus and move on to challenging arenas.
These two scenarios that came as a threat to the existence of developers actually created more demand for them.
Low-code and traditional developers will survive hand in hand. Yes, that’s the reality and the ideal truth that we need. There is a lot that we can achieve with low-code platforms and with the traditional hard coding abilities of human developers. When used wisely, development teams can build more applications of any complexity in less time by integrating coding.
As low-code doesn’t give the needed security your business needs, it’s always advisable to lean on real developers to get your websites and applications done efficiently and securely. There is no better way than collaborating with seasoned developers who follow time-tested collaborative models to do your software development projects. Call to get help.