Why developers should embrace low-code
Developers like to write code. Good developers want to write efficient code. Good developers do not like to repeat themselves. That's why we have things like: object-oriented languages, design patterns, modularisation.
In this article we will focus on low-code platforms that require some coding. Platforms that allow users to build custom functions. We will not bother with no-code platforms that are intended to require no coding effort at all.
Here we will consider low-code as a way to build new and unique solutions with the minimal effort.
A typical project
When starting a new project, like building a web service or application, there most likely are common things that needs to be done. It may be things like logging, scheduling, reading files, database connections and so forth.
After working with a few projects a pattern emerges where the same things come up again and again.
It would be desirable to have libraries of functionality that most projects need and to be able to focus on the unique parts specific to the current project. Note that the libraries may be unique to the company or organisation but reusable by more then one project.
One very common thing in many projects is the simple fact that a lot of functionality deals with data. A very common flow may be illustrated as:
- Something initializes the flow. It may be a:
- Http request
- A file modification
- A scheduled event happens based on date and time
- Data is provided. It may be by the original event and/or retrieved from one or more data sources.
- The data is manipulated in some way. For example user data or a web page with form data is prepared.
- Data is finally returned to the original requester or saved somewhere. Think of a web form returned to the user or data saved in a database.
Given that a lot of applications work in this way the stage is set to take advantage of a low-code platform. A platform where many modules or plugins can be used to create a flow that manages the data.
What low code can do for programmers
A low-code platform package functionality into modules or plugins. It makes it possible to create new flows using these modules to quickly build new functions or applications. If functionality is missing there should be a possibility to create custom made modules easily.
What becomes obvious is that time can be saved by focusing on reusing existing modules and thinking only about what flows need to be created and which modules are needed to implement the flows.
A low-code platform should also provide an overview of the different flows and modules.
We have provided some examples of possible implementations and use cases in How it works.