Low-Code, No-Code & DevOps
Over the years uptake of low code and no code has been relatively slow with the work of software development solely left to professional coders. With the high rise of cloud technologies, no code and low code is also on the rise in an attempt to unlock innovation.
Low code aims at users whose programming/development skills aren’t that deep. No code aims at users who do not have coding experience at all. Also referred to as “citizen developers”.
Low code and no code are slowly but surely influencing change in the world of technology and DevOps.
Gartner projects that the low-code technologies and tools market will be on the rise in 2021 to reach an estimated $13.8 billion market value. This will be a significant increase from 2020 with approximately 23% growth. Further research shows that of those who are using no-code tools, 71% adopted them within the last year. As for developers, research shows that they use no-code tools in one way or another.
The rising popularity of low-code / no-code (LC/NC) means that business requirements can be met quickly and in a relatively cost-effective manner compared to systems developed in-house.
And so what exactly does no-code and low-code mean?
These two terms have been used interchangeably but they are not the same thing.
Low-code development is rapid application development with an aim of high-productivity development, with an option to use code or scripting.
Some of the approaches used in low-code include drag and drop, model-driven development, code generation, component assembly and metadata-driven development.
Some of the providers of low-code platforms include Microsoft PowerApps, Claris FileMaker, Dwkit, Zoho Creator, Google AppSheet, Looker 7, Mendix, OutSystems, Robocoder Rintagi, Salesforce, Lightning, Sisense, Skyve Foundry, Temenos (formerly Kony), SIB Visions VisionX, Wix Editor X, Yellowfin9, Appian.
On the other hand, No-code is simply defined as a tool for non-professional developers to develop applications. This means that no programming language is used but this does not necessarily mean that no technical skills are required. From no-code developers, the term “citizen developers” was born.
Some of the providers of no-code include: Airtable, AppGyver, AppSheet, Appy Pie, AWS Honeycode, Betty Blocks, Bubble, Carrd, Glide, Gumroad, Kissflow, Memberstack, Nintex, Notion, Outgrow, Payhere, Quickbase, Shopify, Stripe, Umso (formerly Landen), Voiceflow, Zapier, Zudy Vinyl
The term no-code by itself makes the tool feel more approachable and exciting to non-programmers since they aim at making users not code and have limited customization. This is however not entirely practical, especially in a scenario where customization is required in your application.
Both low-code and no-code platforms use a friendly graphical user interface through which users can marry components and third-party application program interfaces.
Advantages of Low-code and no-code platforms.
The main aim of low-code and no-code platforms is to unlock innovations in the enterprise world. These platforms have the following impact on developers:
· Reduced workload/stress.
· Developers have a more strategic role in the enterprise.
· There will be new roles and opportunities created e.g. citizen developers, no-code consultants etc.
· There is accelerated innovation.
Disadvantages of no-code and low-code.
· There is a risk of shadow IT.
Since shadow developers may not have technical skills they may make some mistakes that developers would not make from a technical point of view. This brings about vulnerabilities and inefficiencies leading to disadvantage number 2.
· Technical debt
The inefficiencies caused would mean you will have to take care of them at one point or another. This will slow down application release and delivery.
What do low-code and no-code mean for the DevOps culture and methodologies?
DevOps has been in no doubt the driver of digital innovation and rapid transformation and the rise of now code and low code may be good news to everyone.
Currently, DevOps relies on the generation of code that can feed a continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment (CD) and continuous testing (CT) pipeline to enhance agility in applications.
As for low-code and no-code solutions, DevOps methodologies will still play a key role in the workplace. Applications developed will still use agile methodologies for faster software releases and iterations, continuous improvements and continuous delivery.
In conclusion, low-code and no-code are not going away, and so are the DevOps methodologies and culture.