Has low-code/no-code really replaced the professional (human) coder?
The rise of low-code/no-code platforms and applications has led to some nerve-wracking skepticism throughout the coding world, leaving people wondering whether it is a threat or an opportunity to the developer employment market.
Low-code/no-code, as Jason Bloomberg writes in a Forbes article, is not about whether people need to code or not.
People need to code, at least to varying degrees. But coders and software engineers have their place because, after all, someone has to write the code for the low-code/no-code platforms to exist.
When low-code and no-code tools first hit the market, developers were nervous.
Their fear, of course, is that line-of-business workers would be given tools that could allow developers to be replaced. Or worse, that they’d be called upon to fix the problems created by citizen developers when they tried to go too far and messed everything up.(Source)
Low-code/no-code is still a babe in the DX woods
Low-code/no-code is still an immature tech market. We're in the infancy of a new digital transformation that is already showing massive impact but has yet to reach its full potential.
Many in the tech world are still nervous about low-code/no-code. Like watching a scary movie, you know something is about to pop out and scare you. So far it hasn’t happened, but they continue to keep waiting for it to happen.
Pioneering efforts are always a little scary because of unforeseen obstacles or problems that haven't be solved previously.
Adobe was a babe in the woods 34 years ago.
In 1982 Adobe was born. They developed PostScript, which was to become the industry standard printer language. It could apply graphic arts standard to office printing, which was a far cry from original dot matrix technology. (Source)
Then came digital fonts. In the mid 80's, they entered the software market with Illustrator, a drawing program designed for the Apple Macintosh. In 1989, Photoshop was introduced. By 1993, came the PDF and Acrobat Reader. And in 2005, Dreamweaver, Flash and several other products boosted their product line. Most recently we have seen them move from a licensed software company to a cloud-based company.
Despite the company struggling through the dawn of digital transformation, where the road was sometimes rocky and full of skeptics along the way, Adobe are now an eye-watering $95 billion SaaS company.
Today Adobe caters to the digital workplace through low-code/no-code creative platforms.
The rise of low-code/no-code means developers are here to stay
It is vital to note that the developers behind the platforms are the lifeblood of the applications. It's impossible to build low-code/no-code platforms for citizen developer use without professional coders.
Over the past 6 years, Coactive has kept developing our platform with this in mind. Our goal is to have a platform that helps solve business problems. When a somewhat tech-savvy employee has an idea, we want them to be able to jump onto our platform, easily learn the tools and be able to build the application they need quickly and cleanly. If we worried about them (our citizen developer friends) putting us (the professional coders) out of business, well, we wouldn't be here today.
As professional developers and software engineers, we know citizens need us and we need them.
Leave it to the professionals
There are risks companies face if they're solely reliant on low-code/no-code applications but don't have the in-house expertise to manage it when things go wrong (because at some point it does go WRONG.)
Coactive is leading the way from RAD (rapid application development) with our proprietary IRAD (Interactive Rapid Application Development) technology. So, we know that citizen developers need professional coders to help on the back-end of the platform, as well as, on the front end with training, documentation, and help-lines in an "emergency."
With increasingly more applications available to help businesses run more efficiently, adapt to changing customer experiences (CX) and user experiences (UX) and influencing the diversification of revenue streams, creating or enhancing in-house expertise IS the future for coders and developers.
Digital transformation is happening at break-neck speed. Where would Adobe be today if 30 years ago they stayed focused on the printing business and gave up on their coders and developers instead of creating certifications to put expert teams in place in SMBs and enterprises?
Like all evolving technologies, at their birth people get excited. During the infancy phase, people get nervous and by maturity, we look back and realize that humans have found a way to adapt.