The Down Low on Low Code and No Code

Confused man at a desk sitting in front of code written on a blackboard

Upheaval and change define the recent job market. According to a CNBC poll, 50 percent of US workers say their workplace is understaffed, and 33 percent have seriously considered quitting in the past three months. This workplace unrest, a trend designated “the Great Resignation,” presents hiring challenges for employers.

The Great Resignation complicates hiring for programmers, always a difficult position to fill, to begin with. Without needed employees, existing hires face overwork to meet current business needs. To maintain workplace morale, employers should consider alternatives for traditional coding methods.

For programming needs, it’s worth considering Low Code (LC) and No Code (NC) tools. LC platforms allow for a system to be primarily built without coding knowledge. Similarly, No Code tools permit users to create a system without any coding knowledge whatsoever. Both LC and NC systems function with point and click, pulldown menus, or other visual interfaces that reduce the need for manual programming.

Widespread uses for LC and NC includes automating workflows, building business apps, and programming chatbots. Power Automate, workflow automation from Microsoft, allows users to easily create automatic workflows within the Microsoft Office Suite and other products. Power Apps, a LC app development tool also from Microsoft, helps empower users to design their very own business apps. HubSpot, a content management system, even offers a free NC chatbot integration for all its users.

Both LC and NC applications can allow quicker development and users to program what they need instead of hiring a development team. It also saves the hassle and cost of finding programmers in a tough job market. Allowing users to program their solution, making them “citizen developers,” cuts out the middleman and empowers the people most familiar with the problem to code the solution.

LC and NC options do have drawbacks, however. If the NC/LC option involves existing critical systems for the project, there will still need to be IT involvement. There’s also the worry for Shadow IT, the risk of incorporating unfamiliar, external IT solutions into existing internal business systems. That means that while these unique tools offer a new approach to software development, it’s not going to replace the IT department just yet.

Both development approaches saw popularity at the onset of the pandemic. During the crisis, governments needed to develop websites quickly for scheduling vaccines, distributing health information, and accommodating a remote workforce. There wasn’t time to run out and hire a bunch of developers, so governments made do with what was at their disposal.

The future of coding involves everyone, from Marketers to IT professionals. LC and NC tools present a promising opening for more avenues of programming.