Low code development platforms and their impact on programming jobs

AI & API low-code

Move over managers, there’s a new boss in the office. And it’s called artificial intelligence (AI). The same technology that enables your navigation app to find you the most efficient routes home or lets an online store recommend you products based on previous purchases is on the verge of stealing your job. Particularly if you’re a whizzkid programmer. Or so they say. Companies are facing an increasing number of challenges to stay ahead of the game. Budgets are getting smaller, business demands are more hectic and skills shortages are rife. Low code development platforms might be the stopgap to mitigate these challenges by enabling the fast development of accessible, relevant, and reliable applications. But will they make you redundant?

So what exactly are low code development platforms?

Low code development platforms allow for creating apps through the configuration of functions, rather than hand coding those functions. They enable accelerated delivery of business applications by reducing the amount of hand coding required as well as the initial investment in setup, training, and deployment. Developers are able to skip all the infrastructure and re-implementation of patterns that so often bog them down and go straight to the unique 10% of the application.

Traditionally, to get from point A to C, we’d have to hand code our way through B. Low code development platforms essentially take us directly from A to C and fill in the route through B automatically, giving businesses a greater ability to be ‘responsive’ in an extremely fast-paced and volatile market.

Some technical points

Typical low code development platforms will have:

A visual IDE: An environment where you’re able to visually define the UIs, workflows, and data models of your app.

A connector to one or more back-ends: This automatically handles data models, storage, and retrievals.

An application lifecycle manager: These are automated tools to build, debug, deploy, and maintain the application across each stage of its lifecycle.

Beyond these basics, each low code platform can differ significantly. Some are quite limited while others offer everything you need to create modern, cross-platform business applications.

Is your entire dev team going to be replaced by AI?

Does this signal the end for your entire dev team? Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Low code development platforms enable the creation of apps without the need for your dev team to spend hours doing the most menial coding tasks. They don’t eliminate the need for developers. Without basic development knowledge around software and fundamental practices, you’re going to be left a little short if you rely solely on low code development platforms.

These platforms aren’t about reducing an individual’s value as a developer, but rather about making them more productive by freeing up their time. The more capable your dev team, the more useful low code development platforms will be to them, and the greater their efficiency and workflow. A closer inspection of this human developer to AI tool relationship reveals a bit of a symbiotic relationship. A good developer understands how to create and maintain high-quality web and mobile apps. Armed with that knowledge they’re able to use tools like low code development platforms to catapult them through a development task. Because of the freedom that low code development platforms give them, they’re essentially doing more in a shorter space of time. And ultimately that’s good for business.

Settling the score between low code development and no code development

Some have suggested that low code development is ultimately going to lead to no code development. While it’s true that low code development platforms can be used to create simple apps without ever writing any code, in the business world, these simple apps just don’t cut it. Usually, business apps need to integrate with other apps or infrastructure in order to be effective. And for that, you’ll require the skills of an experienced developer.

Clickatell Touch is a low code development platform and deploys the technology through Touch cards. Activities such as making appointments, checking purchases or receiving invoices can all be streamlined through the use of Touch cards: customizable mini-applications that facilitate the self-service of interactions such as these.

So developers, you can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. The only thing that these platforms are going to make redundant is painstaking and tedious hand coding. These sort of tools should be welcomed in the dev world as they mean that you can get on with the important things such as making the unique 10% of that business app an absolute game changer. If you’re interested in learning more, have a look at our recent article which gives further insights into low code development platforms and how they work.

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