No-code software development tools have been gaining popularity in recent years; these are sometimes referred to as low-code. Although they started being a simple solution for people who wanted to learn the principles of coding, they are now considered a proper development tool on their own. It is common to see how some of these alternatives are being used to make simple apps.
As coding becomes an essential work skill and the code itself something that powers much of our daily lives, there are many questions surrounding no-code tools. Will no-code apps replace traditional coding methods? Will everyone become a developer? Will traditional developers become obsolete? The answers to these questions and their consequences are not trivial. Whichever way the code world goes, it will have a deep impact on the technology industry. In particular, it will impact app development.
As an app development company, we believe that, although useful, no-code tools are not going to replace traditional software development practices. In this post we discuss no-code apps and how they really impact the world of app development.
Knowing how to code is becoming an essential work skill all over the world. There seems to be no doubt about it. Many discussions on the future of work revolve around the need for an upgrade in the workforce. Even schools are teaching children how to code from a young age while focusing on STEM career paths. This paradigm shift can be explained in part as the result of a growing digitalization and automation of the world.
With technologies like Machine Learning and IoT becoming part of our daily lives, the global workforce has seen a steep increase in the demand for tech-savvy professionals. This has impacted the demand for software developers. At the same time, we’ve also seen how no-code development tools have been increasing in popularity. This has triggered important discussions regarding app development. For many, the rise of low cost, no-code apps is imminent.
This is not a minor issue. Simplifying the learning curve required to develop an app can signify a major revolution. Empowering individuals to build their own apps, to a certain extent, is analogous to the period in modern history where entire populations learned to write.
No-code Is Not the Solution
As good as this sounds, one important question arises: is a world where everyone builds their own apps really possible? There is a lot of optimism around this topic as new tools are making it easier to develop apps, but the reality shows otherwise.
At Koombea, we believe no-code solutions are nowhere near to replace existing app development best practices. As a result, no-code apps are unlikely to disrupt the status quo. There are good reasons to support this argument.
Building an App
There is a fallacy surrounding app development. Many people believe that the only thing necessary is knowing a programming language. The reality is that this is only a part of what is needed to develop an app.
Building an app is not rocket science, but it isn’t a walk in the park either. It requires a wide variety of professionals and skills that go beyond coding. Even if it were possible to develop such powerful no-code tools so that developers could leave aside coding languages, many other elements would still need to be considered in order to build an app. These are some of them.
An app is not only what occurs in terms of the programming language. Users need an interface that allows them to interact with an app’s functionalities. Making this happen in an outstanding way requires a specific set of skills.
Even more important than the interface is the broader concept of User Experience. This refers to the overall engagement that the user perceives when interacting with an app. It encompasses a wide variety of aspects like notifications, configurations, features, customer support, speed, ease of use, and reliability, to mention a few.
In general, there is a lot of design going on in terms of building an app. From the implementation of design thinking to researching what constitutes a great functional design, there is much more to an app than just code. A no-code tool may be useful, but it is still a long way from solving design problems.
Computer science isn’t just about the code. There are many other aspects to it, and DevOps is one of them. As more technologies are deployed within the cloud, developers need to know how to make sure that an app works properly. This means not only uploading an app so that people can use it, but also updating it, making it secure, guaranteeing data privacy, and making it scalable.
When it comes to app quality, there is a lot that no-code tools can’t deliver. This is a highly specialized field where highly qualified professionals are needed. Guaranteeing quality in terms of software needs people with a solid background in computer science or related fields. That’s why the best Quality Assurance tests are done by engineers rather than regular analysts.
Even if it were possible to simplify all of the previous aspects of the app development process, Agile is something that humans would still do best. The reason for this? Agile can’t be easily put into code. It is a working philosophy that depends not only on technical knowledge but also on human creativity. The best app development companies know this and that’s why they embrace Agile as their mantra.
The Future of App Development
There is still much to do before the entire app development process can be simplified to the point of a no-code tool. As app developers, we welcome these initiatives. They are very useful for building simple apps and can draw people into the exciting world of software development. However, it would be naive to think that these tools have a chance in replacing existing practices. This becomes even more true when it comes to building world-class apps.
This last requires a team of professionals with a wide set of skills, and most importantly, it demands the necessary experience. Like many other things, developing an app has much of a science as of art. Creativity is one of the most important elements, something that, no matter the tools used, cannot be bypassed.
The Koombea team has been developing world-class apps for more than 12 years with outstanding results. We embrace our craft as artists do. This has led us to various international awards for our work. If you want to develop the perfect app, contact us. We’d be happy to help.