Do you really need to “learn to code?” Why anyone can be a developer with low-code platforms

October 18, 2019
 • by 
Tessa Austin

Not too long ago, the phrase “learn to code” was tossed around the internet, namely towards those whose jobs are being slowly phased out as the Digital Era progresses, and was used as a way to state (rather harshly) that coding was an obligatory skill in modern age and superior to other hard skills which ensure employment. But maybe it was actually the internet who was a bit behind in the times regarding this matter; in the world of business at least, software and application development is not exclusive to those who “learn to code” anymore. With the help of low-code platforms, anyone in a company from sales reps and marketers to business analysts and HR managers can become a bona fide developer.   

Up until recently, expensive IT experts were needed in order to develop the necessary applications and tools used to enhance and automate the labor of various departments in an organization. This practice reveals an unfortunate truth as time goes by, however. The harsh reality that business moves too fast to wait for the limited number of IT experts available, and the pace is only quickening; the rate of technological advances and requirements within the global business world doubles every ten years, and IT departments have limited time to develop new tech at this rate. In fact, some IT departments spend upwards of 80% of their time just maintaining existing tech within a business. Efficient business requires automation in this transformative era, and the rapid change required of companies is not possible when it depends on the extensive scaling of IT departments working on endless code scripts.

That is why forward-thinking businesses are looking towards so-called low-code platforms to enable organizations to effortlessly build apps and processes, close the IT delivery gap, align business-IT units, and accelerate process and app delivery. Despite the name, low-code software is capable of creating very complex systems. It has another huge advantage for companies as well; the capability of developing additional apps that can be added to the platform by the employees who use and need them most. Low-code platforms circumvent the need for complex coding skills – accountants, marketing managers, sales teams, and anyone else in an organization can create and modify their own tools with easy to use visual interfaces and if-then conditions.

These unique capabilities of low-code software allow for “citizen developers,” i.e. any skilled or non-skilled person developing apps, to create the features, apps and processes they need to automate and optimize their work in a fraction of the time traditional coding and software development takes to do so. Low-code can erase the communication gap between professional developers and users, as they are both developing on the same platform. The boundaries between IT and non-IT are erased when using a single platform, meaning that miscommunications related to the development of needed apps are diminished significantly as everyone begins to speak the same language. 

Furthermore, with low-code software, the tools and features necessary for the entire company no longer need to be disjointed and stand-alone. In fact, low-code platforms allow for the development of these features to exist on a single platform, unifying departments and simplifying workflows. The sales team may have a completely different workflow than the service team, but with low-code, they do not need a completely different platform to help automate their workflows. This also allows information to be passed from one department to the other both faster and easier; the marketing department can pass on all the needed info for a SQL to the sales team as all this information is on a single database, despite the two departments using different functions on the platform. This unifying aspect of low-code platforms helps align the various departments within a business, leading to better collaboration and communication between them.

Considering the numerous advantages to low-code software, it is no wonder why businesses around the globe are shifting their focus from traditional software development to encouraging the rise of citizen developers in multiple departments instead. As a matter of fact, the low-code market was estimated to be worth $4 billion this year and is expected to grow to a worth of $27 billion by 2022 as businesses continue to adopt the technology.

All this being said, it’s clear the internet misspoke when telling the world they absolutely must learn to code. The future is low-code, where everyone can be a developer using platforms such as Creatio without deep coding skills. The world of business doesn’t require the expansion of IT departments, it needs the creation and encouragement of citizen developers via the implementation of low-code platforms. An advanced low-code platform saves time, resources, and enables employees to automate their daily tasks so they can tackle bigger and more creative assignments. In the modern era, anyone can be a developer – a citizen developer – and the companies they work for will reap the benefits, no coding required.