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Low-Code Platforms: The Solution to the Developer Shortage?

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A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through a graphical user interface. Low-code development platforms can reduce the amount of traditional time spent, enabling accelerated delivery of business applications.

Low-Code Platforms

What is Low-code? Low-code is a software development approach that requires little to no coding to build applications and processes. Instead of using complex programming languages, you can employ visual interfaces with basic logic and drag-and-drop capabilities in a low code development platform.

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A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through a graphical user interface. Low-code development platforms can reduce the amount of traditional time spent, enabling accelerated delivery of business applications.

What is Low-code?

A low-code development platform (LCDP) provides a development environment used to create application software through a graphical user interface. A low-coded platform may produce entirely operational applications, or require additional coding for specific situations.

Low-code development platforms can reduce the amount of traditional time spent, enabling accelerated delivery of business applications. A common benefit is that a wider range of people can contribute to the application’s development—not only those with coding skills but require good governance to be able to adhere to common rules and regulations. LCDPs can also lower the initial cost of setup, training, deployment and maintenance.

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Low-code development platforms trace their roots back to the fourth-generation programming language and the rapid application development tools of the 1990s and early 2000s. Similar to these predecessor development environments, LCDPs are based on the principles of model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming.

The concept of end-user development also existed previously, although LCDPs brought some new ways of approaching this development. The low-code development platform market traces its origins back to 2011. The specific name “low-code” was not put forward until 9 June 2014, when it was used by the industry analyst Forrester Research. Along with no-code development platforms, low-code was described as “extraordinarily disruptive” in Forbes magazine in 2017.

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Use

As a result of the microcomputer revolution, businesses have deployed computers widely across their employee bases, enabling widespread automation of business processes using the software. The need for software automation and new applications for business processes places demands on software developers to create custom applications in volume, tailoring them to organizations’ unique needs.

Low-code development platforms have been developed as a means to allow for quick creation and use of working applications that can address the specific process- and data needs of the organization.

Reception

Research firm Forrester estimated in 2016 that the total market for low-code development platforms would grow to $15.5 billion by 2020. Segments in the market include database, request handling, mobile, process, and general-purpose low-code platforms.

Low-code development’s market growth can be attributed to its flexibility and ease. Low-code development platforms are shifting focus towards the general purpose of applications, with the ability to add in custom code when needed or desired.

Security and compliance concerns

Concerns over low-code development platform security and compliance are growing, especially for apps that use consumer data. There can be concerns over the security of apps built so quickly and a possible lack of due governance leading to compliance issues.

However, low-code apps do also fuel security innovations. With continuous app development in mind, it becomes easier to create secure data workflows. Still, the fact remains that low-code development platforms that do not apply and strictly adhere to Normalized Systems Theory do not solve the challenge of increasing complexity due to changes.

Criticisms

Some IT professionals question whether low-code development platforms are suitable for large-scale and mission-critical enterprise applications. Others have questioned whether these platforms actually make development cheaper or easier. Additionally, some CIOs have expressed concern that adopting low-code development platforms internally could lead to an increase in unsupported applications built by shadow IT.

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Mobile accessibility is one of the driving factors of using low-code development platforms. Instead of developers having to spend time creating multi-device software, Low-code packages typically come with that feature standard.

Because they require less coding knowledge, nearly anyone in a software development environment can learn to use a low-code development platform. Features like drag and drop interfaces help users visualize and build the application.

A Primer On The Software Developer Shortage

Speeding up digital transformation is imperative for businesses’ survival, but a software developer shortage is leading to a longer time-to-market. IT teams are overworked and are constantly receiving requests for more apps to be developed. In fact, a recent Gartner survey shows CIOs consider lack of talent a barrier to the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. So, it’s clear the skill gap is slowing down digital transformation and affecting operational efficiency.

Another survey, by McKinsey, shows nine out of 10 employees feel their organization faces skill gaps or is likely to develop them soon. For one, that’s because CIOs struggle to develop effective technology solutions to improve customer experience and update legacy systems. And, though organizations may have an enormous applicant pool, they cannot find candidates with the right skills.

Developing more digital products in less time is the need of the hour—but the skilled developer shortage prevents organizations from achieving their development goals. As such, companies must focus on reskilling and retraining employees to close skill gaps. The reskilling approach, however, must not be limited to the IT departments; companies must focus on creating hybrid roles and upskilling employees specializing in non-technical functions.

How Low-Code Platforms Can Help

While reskilling can certainly help, using low-code technology for automation might be key to bridging the gap between IT and business teams.

App development is democratizing and, in turn, helping build a workforce of creative citizen developers who have extensive functional knowledge and experience. They can use their business acumen and problem-solving skills to develop software they need using low-code application development platforms.

This will help them solve their teams’ specific challenges and speed up the automation and digitization of processes. Low-code platforms also have a short learning curve, so organizations can identify and train such talent.

Low-code technology’s agile development helps plan, build and deploy apps with minimal coding knowledge. Thus, it is perfect for quickly developing prototypes and testing them using your existing workforce. Organizations can leverage low-code platforms’ advanced capabilities to build an internal community of citizen developers.

Low-code platforms offer the following advantages to organizations:

1. It Makes Development Visual.

The low code platform’s drag and drop functionality enables citizen developers to build apps with the features they need.

The platform’s components are linked using workflows and require minimal programming knowledge. Industries such as healthcare and banking, which are facing a shortage of skilled developers, can use these low-code platform capabilities. This will reduce development costs significantly while accelerating time to market.

2. It Facilitates Collaboration.

Low code is a powerful tool that helps teams collaborate effectively.

Cross-functional teams can work together to share real-time feedback and shorten development cycles. Plus, higher transparency in the process helps align teams and offers better quality control.

For example, teams can build or upgrade the apps they need within short timelines; and business teams can collaborate with IT teams to evaluate mock-ups and innovate existing apps to meet specific project needs.

3. It Comes With Pre-Built Data Models.

Low-code platforms come with pre-built models, making it easier to develop more applications in less time.

Low-code platforms also allow citizen developers to build new modules or upgrade existing ones to meet additional business requirements. Pre-tested low-code templates integrate easily with existing systems, which eliminates the need to rewrite code and reduces the number of errors and bugs to be fixed.

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In Conclusion

Low-code development platforms trace their roots back to the fourth-generation programming language and the rapid application development tools of the 1990s and early 2000s. Similar to these predecessor development environments, LCDPs are based on the principles of model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming.

However, if there is anything you think we are missing. Don’t hesitate to inform us by dropping your advice in the comment section.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!

Read More: You can find more here https://www.poptalkz.com/.

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