What is low-code?

The emergence of low-code platforms leads us to ask, is the Holy Grail of software development truly within our grasp? Have we entered a world in which coding can be done without developer knowledge?

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August 29, 2020

Before we set out to answer any of these questions, let’s have a look at what “low-code” is. The textbook definition suggests that these platforms provide the use of applications without any traditional, formal coding or graphic devices. As a result, this allows individuals who have no traditional coding skills to be involved in the process.

From this point on, we will treat the concept of low-code to include the concept of no-code, the reason being that in its current form, this definition is not correct. We don’t live in a world without a need for basic programming, program design, mathematical or logical knowledge or where anyone can create functional software with a few clicks of a mouse yet.

So what’s the truth?

In short, instead of a formal programming language, you have to learn a formal modeling language, which allows the conceptualization (specification and implementation) of the task on a higher level of abstraction. Not writing the code by hand, line by line, but being able to fully understand what the platform does and how it does it still requires expertise, yet one of a slightly different nature. At the same time, however, it is a huge advantage that these devices make the work much faster and allow you to devote your time to designing tasks closer to high-level, business fields instead of forcing experts to write and test low-level code. It’s no coincidence that low-code platforms have quickly become a popular solution and we now have a wide range to choose from when looking for such devices. Apart from Mendix, Outsystems, Appian or PowerApps, we can also use BlackBelt’s own platform, JUDO. Although there are an ever-increasing number of devices, the truth is that there is still room for improvement in this field.

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