Will No-Code/Low-Code Platforms Democratise Software Development?

Learn more on the rise of no-code/low-code platforms and the benefits they can bring to your business

Tracie Binks
Tracie Binks

Published Sep 2020

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Tracie Binks, Developer at xTEN

Earlier this month, I spoke to Zandra Moore, founder of the No Code Lab and CEO/Co-Founder of Panintelligence, about no-code/low-code platforms and what they mean for the future of tech. This conversation was part of an event to launch the No Code Lab, an initiative to bring together Northern tech thought leaders and our community around one cause.

A lot of interesting points came up, so I wanted to put some of my thoughts down to share with anyone wanting to understand more about no-code/low-code platforms, how they could benefit you and my thoughts on what it might mean for our industry’s future.


What Are Low-Code Platforms?

These allow technical users to create applications faster through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional line-by-line coding, like Microsoft Azure Functions or SQL Server Integration Services.

What Are No-Code Platforms?

These are platforms that enable non-technical users to create applications without needing technical training, for example, Microsoft Power Automate.


Benefits of No-Code/Low-Code Platforms

These platforms can be fantastic for both technical and non-technical teams alike. For technical teams, they can springboard solutions and allow you to skip repetitive tasks, focusing on what you need. It can also be a more cost-effective way of building solutions.

Here at xTEN, I created my first low code solution using Mulesoft. It allowed us to get a solution for our clients up and running in a very short time, and focus our development efforts on the more complex parts of the project. Since the team are so strong with Azure, when the need arose for another application, we combined our experience and chose Azure Functions to get the job done. This allowed us to create a solution that was not only efficient but also scalable using a platform we are already experienced in.

For non-technical teams, no-code/low-code platforms can be empowering. Rather than requesting changes or providing report specifications to an already overwhelmed IT team, you can create it yourself, giving teams more independence and freedom for creative solutions. Who knows what is required better than the end-user? For me, this is a really exciting step that would bring greater insight into business data and drive innovation.


Considerations for Your First Low-Code Project

It’s all about your use case.

What might look right at an early stage might not work at scale. When we were building our solution here, about 90% was done using the code framework but had to be tuned for the solution to scale. When considering your options, don’t just think about the next few months, think about the next few years and plan for where you need your future solution to take you.

Do your due diligence.

When you’re researching no-code/low-code options, make sure you do your homework. Check whether the site is accredited, find out who else is using it and what they’re using it for. Ask around, speak to your digital communities – don’t feel alone. There are lots of these platforms popping up all the time, but you need to be sure it’s right for you.


What These Platforms Mean for the Future of Tech

For me, these platforms are an energising development for our industry. They have the potential to empower non-technical teams, driving a greater understanding of their data and bringing creativity, innovation, and freedom for more ideas.

For us technical teams, it’s another exciting challenge in an industry that changes constantly. Our ethos at xTEN is to focus on getting the right output for the client, rather than being heavily invested in the way we do it, so these platforms are just another tool on our belt.

My top advice for anybody interested in these platforms is to just give it a go! Get involved, speak to others that are doing it and try something. Even if your organisation isn’t looking at these platforms as an option right now, you could be the driver for change. These platforms open so many opportunities for us all.

Click here to watch the full event over at No Code Lab.

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Tracie Binks
Tracie Binks

Published Sep 2020

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