Low Code and No Code platforms are typically aimed at "Citizen Developers". These business people or "solopreneurs" who would previously have relied on developers to build apps for them are being enabled to do it for themselves. They have been rapidly adopted across industries.
The Globe News Wire projects low-code platforms to generate a revenue of $187 billion globally by 2030. One of the biggest reasons for this projected growth is because of how low-code appeals to business developers.
Low code can also benefit web developers, including front end developers working with frameworks like Angular or React, and back end developers using environments like Node.js. The best low-code platforms for developers automate tedious work while offering flexibility to write code where needed to achieve specific objectives. This enables significantly faster processes with Redhat showing low-code solutions can reduce development time by up to 90%.
Perhaps most importantly, using a low-code platform can enable collaboration between business developers and professional developers - sometimes referred to as Application Development and Delivery Professionals (AD&D Pros) - and improve teamwork. The benefits of low-code are immense, but finding the right solutions can be a process.
Apex is a consultancy and tech company offering businesses a new way to leverage low-code to update their systems and increase business agility. Utilized by companies ranging from multi-billion dollar corporations to start-ups, our team of experts helps automate processes and streamline development by putting low-code at the front and center.
Simply put, the power of low-code technology is transforming how businesses create applications and empowering developers and business users around the world. Read on to see how developers can benefit from these tools.
1. Reduce Boilerplate and Setup Time
Low Code platforms take care of the initial steps to set up a new project, creating a project from a template with folders and dependencies all ready to go. Most frameworks have a CLI to achieve these steps, but low code project creation could also include establishing a database schema, instantiating an API and getting the app running in a development container. Increasingly project templates are getting more complete and sophisticated meaning that the "empty" application you start with already has most basic features (like authentication) built-in.
Automating this step means that your projects will be structured in a consistent way, with consistent naming conventions, without anyone having to think about it. Using low-code tools allows developers to streamline the boilerplate and setup process and focus their time elsewhere.
2. Automate Tedious Tasks & Focus On Design
Some of the tasks involved in building a full-stack web application can be repetitive. For example, you need to define the apis on the server side and then implement use of them on the client side. You also have to create two sets of classes and keep them in sync manually. Doing this for numerous objects in the same project can involve a lot of duplication. A Low Code platform can automate this task completely, generating all the necessary server side and client side code from object specifications in the modeler.
Automating these tedious tasks allows developers to spend more time on their highest value activity - delivering solid application design and architecture for their organization. There’s a good reason Gartner projects 65% of application development to be done with low-code tools by 2024: easing the burden on developers with automation will improve time to market and reduce project backlogs.
3. Build Prototypes for Clear Specifications
Most people who are not involved day-to-day in the design of software find it hard to express what they need out of a new application or product, and often fall back to "I'll know what I want when I see it". There is nothing more frustrating to a developer than building a great app exactly to specifications, only to find out that the person who wrote the specification hates it.
Using low-code software to build a quick prototype can head off countless misunderstandings about how things can or should work. The value of an actual working prototype over a nice mock-up should not be underestimated. Being able to step through the user experience can raise all kinds of feedback that might not come from a mock-up. Once the product owner is happy with the prototype, you can harden the implementation and deal with integrations and other complexities. This ability to create custom applications faster is why companies around the world are turning to low-code tools.
4. Don't Repeat Yourself
Almost every project results in at least some small piece of code that could potentially be used in other applications in the future, but not all developers have the habit of packaging for re-use. A low-code platform can provide an easy way for developers to create reusable libraries so that other developers (and business developers) can find and use them. As a development organization matures, the percentage of brand new code in each new project will go down, as the number of reusable libraries goes up.
5. Easier Open Source
A Low Code platform that leverages open source directories like npmjs.com can give developers access to literally millions of open source packages developed for specific tasks or operations. Your professional developers can take these packages and "wrap" them for re-use in projects by other developers and by business developers. The only way to avoid reinventing the wheel in every project is to make it easier to find the existing wheel than it is to just go make another one.
6. Focus on the Design, Not the Technology
Sometimes making one decision saves you from a thousand other decisions.
Selecting the right low code platform can be that one decision. A low code platform is opinionated - it has already made solid choices for UI framework, middleware, authentication, and countless other details. If you don’t agree with all of these choices, you have the freedom to change them, but in the meantime your team can focus on building software that delivers value to your users.
7. Rapid Refactoring
It's not done until you have torn it up and started over three times...
Any experienced developer will tell you that refactoring is a natural part of the development process.
As projects progress, understanding changes and code is modified to reflect this new understanding. Some relatively trivial aspects of refactoring, like fixing all the references to a renamed object or component are sometimes just enough hassle to prevent developers from doing them. (Have you ever seen code with weirdly named parameters that don't seem to match what they are being used for?)
With a Low Code platform, renaming objects or pages will automatically cascade changes so that all references are appropriately updated, and keep things clean.
Marketing messages for low-code platforms often focus on enabling non-developers or citizen developers to build applications without developers.
This is all well and good, but to focus on this is to miss the potential for the low-code movement to support high-performing hybrid teams of business developers and professional developers to deliver innovative products in less time and with less effort. In short, this process is what has the most potential to continue to drive low-code’s rapid growth.
We developed Apex Designer to be a powerful low code platform for developers and business developers. It is opinionated but flexible, and generates applications that run in containers on an open source stack. It has branch/merge capability for effective team working and supports CICD through common repo/pipeline technologies.
This innovative low-code technology enables the rapid development of custom web applications while allowing skilled developers to work directly with code where appropriate.
If you are interested in using our powerful platform or want to learn more about how we can improve your development processes, Contact The Apex Team Today.