In traditional software development, everything has to be coded by hand. This makes software engineering a time-consuming process preserved for skilled programmers. It’s also often tricky to make changes once the software is in production.
As a result, companies have been looking for ways to speed up the process. One of the solutions that has recently emerged is low-code and no-code (LCNC) development tools. These tools allow users to create applications without writing much if any code.
Low-code development has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Gartner predicts that it will account for over two-thirds of application development by 2024. A study by Statista has also found that low/no-code development tool spending will grow from just under $13 billion in 2020 to $65 billion by 2027.
In the same way tools like Canva and Visme have empowered a new generation of graphic designers, no-code and low-code platforms are giving rise to a new breed of citizen developers. These people with little or no coding experience are using these tools to build working applications.
There are many reasons why software engineering is moving in this direction. Below, we discuss a few reasons the LCNC approach is the key to faster engineering.
What are Low-Code and No-Code Tools?
First, it’s important to distinguish between no-code and low-code platforms. No-code platforms allow users to create working applications without writing any code. They are becoming popular with business users because they enable them to solve problems independently and optimize day-to-day processes without waiting for IT to do it.
On the other hand, low-code platforms require some coding but aim to make the process easier with drag-and-drop interfaces and prebuilt components. They are aimed at professional developers and allow them to build applications faster by automating some of the more tedious tasks involved in coding, such as creating boilerplate code or scaffolding.
How Low/No-Code Accelerates Software Engineering
There are several reasons why LCNC is the key to faster engineering.
Ease of use
One of the biggest advantages of LCNC development platforms is they are much easier to use than traditional coding environments. This is because they provide a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to drag and drop components to build applications. No-code platforms take this a step further by not requiring any coding.
This ease of use means users don’t need to be skilled programmers to build an application. It opens up the possibility for anyone to create working applications without any coding experience.
LCNC development is a powerful tool for software engineering teams. It speeds up the development process by allowing developers to create sophisticated applications visually. Users can accelerate requirements gathering, prototype faster, and save time on wireframes and complex coding. In addition, LCNC development tools often come with prebuilt libraries of code, which can further speed up the development process.
The ability to quickly experiment and test new ideas is essential to maintaining a competitive edge. Open-source, low-code development platforms enable web developers to prototype and deploy new applications with minimal effort rapidly.
There is no need for lengthy development cycles or complex code; developers can add new features quickly and easily. This makes it possible to experiment with new ideas and get feedback from users rapidly, making it easier to improve upon them.
Easy data integration
Developers can quickly and easily build applications that connect to, work with, and consolidate data from various sources. This means they can spend less time worrying about the technical details of data integration and more time focusing on building great applications.
Lower costs and easier scalability
Another advantage of using a LCNC development platform is that it can save money. No-code platforms, in particular, have the potential to reduce development costs by allowing businesses to build applications without having to hire expensive developers.
In addition, LCNC platforms are often much easier to scale than traditional coding environments. This is because they are designed to be modular, so users can add new features quickly and easily.
Mobile experiences optimization
LCNC development platforms make it easy to optimize applications for mobile devices. For example, they allow developers to create responsive designs that automatically adapt to any screen size.
Thus, users can quickly and easily create applications that look great on any device without worrying about coding for specific devices.
Better application life cycle management
LCNC development platforms often come with built-in tools for managing the life cycle of applications. This includes features such as version control to keep track of changes to code and collaboration tools to work with other developers on the team.
This makes it easier to manage the development process and ensure applications are always up-to-date.
SaaS integration without programming
Low-code development is often associated with app creation, but it can be useful for much more. Low-code platforms offer an easy way to connect data and operations, making them ideal for integrating with software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. This is especially important for businesses that rely on customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing solutions. With a low-code platform, users can quickly and easily connect applications to the tools needed without spending hours coding custom integrations.
Limitations of Low-Code Platforms
We would be remiss if we failed to mention some of the limitations of low-code platforms.
Limited capability for complexity
One limitation is that low-code platforms are inadequate for complex applications. This is because they often lack the flexibility of traditional coding environments. They are typically suitable for customer-facing applications, web and mobile front ends, and business process or workflow applications but are not ideal for infrastructure deployment, back-end APIs (application programming interfaces), and intensive customization.
Many tools are not enterprise-grade
Another limitation is that low-code platforms are not always suitable for enterprise-grade applications. This is because they often lack the security and scalability features required for large-scale applications.
Getting Started With Low-Code and No-Code Development
Despite these limitations, all indications are that these tools will keep getting better and better. And as they do, they will become more and more popular. So, if you’re looking to start low-code development, now is the time.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when getting started, such as:
- What type of application do you want to build?
- What is your budget?
- How much time do you have to build your application?
- What is your level of coding experience?
If you can answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right LCNC platform for your needs. However, if you’re unsure where to start, check out this low-code cheat sheet.