The rise of Low Coding

by / Wednesday, 21 November 2018 / Published in Blog
Low Coding

The term ‘Low Coding’ has been around for a few years now. It was first coined in 2014, and describes the growing trend for development platforms that allows users to build applications with very little coding. The term often covers systems that require no coding as well.

These low coding platforms are usually cloud based, and are growing in popularity. Research Company Forrester predict the market will grow by 500% between 2018 and 2022.

While both no code and low code software is covered by the term, there is a big difference between the two.  No code systems usually allow people without any programming or development skills to set-up a limited application. The software provides a visual interface to configure and set up the software, and allows ‘citizen developers’ to create or develop applications for their organisation, based on business needs.

There are limitations to what can be done through this approach though, and knowledge of system design can make a big difference when setting up a no code application.

One example would be the multitude of modern, cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. I’ve recently been setting up a new CRM for the TUC. Customising the core offering to meet the requirements required no coding at all, but my knowledge of Information Architecture helped when setting up the data structure, especially when it came to ensuring the CRM had two-way synchronisation with the TUC’s bulk email facilities.

On the other hand, low code platforms require some development skill. They are usually the preserve of professional developers and designers only. More bespoke elements can be added through code and programmers can get their hands dirty when they need to. However, the process is greatly streamlined as many of the standard features and functionality are already built.

The advantages of the movement towards low code solutions are clear. It can be much cheaper and quicker to be able to set-up software that meets an organisations requirement. Modifying the application can also be done much more easily, allowing the software to meet changing needs quickly and at low cost.

Also, it means that there are now more people who can develop applications, particularly those who have strong system design skills but with limited programming ability. It will be interesting to see how the opportunities around low code develop over the coming years.

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