A computer code performs the function of communication; creating a set of instructions which tell a computer software what to do and how to do it in a fast and efficient manner.
Coders or programmers or developers are persons who acquire specific skills in writing code using either one or a combination of several programming language. Through coding, a number of software are created for a wide range of use and without coding, we cannot have websites, online platforms or mobile apps.
In terms of classification, we can characterize codes into three types; low-level, high-level and object-oriented coding languages.
Low level languages are dissimilar to human language and require in-depth knowledge and experience to write due to the complexity of the machine language. On the other hand, high-level programming languages are very similar to human language making easier to code.
A third coding language uses object-oriented languages which designed to convert large data sets into modular objects through segmentation; making large-scale programming possible.
What is low-code and no-code?
Overtime, some elements of traditional programming evolved into rapid application developments (RAD), which provided the tools for software development with reduced levels of coding.
This evolution became complete with the birth of low-code development platforms (LCDPs) and no-code development platforms (NCDPs). Low-code/no-code development platforms can be described as visual software development environments based on user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI), meaning a user can drag and drop components in the build process.
Low code and no code approach is based on a modular approach which means the developer does not need to write code line by line as required in traditional programming environments. Further, in low code or no code approach a developer can configure different components with third-party application program interfaces (APIs) to create a number of software applications.
How do low-code and no-code work?
LCDPs as the name suggests, require some level of coding skills to develop or customise applications, whereas NCDPs do not require any coding skills or knowledge. The basic principle around NCDPs and LCDPs is a form of democratisation of coding, enabling greater participation of non-programmers in the process of software and related product creation.
For example, if you want to build a website, traditionally you needed to learn a coding language such as PHP, CSS, Ruby, to enable you develop this website. Using the NCDPs option you can build this website without having to learn how to code.
NCDPs are suitable for use cases which require simple functions whereas low-code can run somewhat complex software developments. As a bridge between no code and coding, low code removes complexity in the build process, making it possible for fast and more efficient build process especially in contexts where adaptation is key.
Also, since low code platforms require some level of coding, they are suitable for developers who have learnt some coding, whereas no-code platforms are aimed at non-technical persons who are interested in developing software but don’t want the burden of learning how to code.
Furthermore, no-code platforms tend to be designed for a specific line of business, and are therefore generally more difficult to use across multiple domains seamlessly. Low code platforms, on the other hand require some level of coding and so can be used across a number of related domains since the code can be modified to align to a peculiar context.
The growth of low code and no code platforms can be explained by the lack of skilled software developers, the need to develop software applications within shorter periods of time and the increasing availability of tools which are automating the coding process.
In conclusion, the future of software development is firmly linked to low code and no code approaches. Even traditional developers are increasing using low code approaches to build software solutions due to its efficiency. That said, there are always going to be software solutions that require extensive coding, therefore acquiring coding skills remains invaluable.
Kwami Ahiabenu, II (Ph.D.) is a Technology Innovations Consultant
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Note that any programming tips and code writing requires some knowledge of computer programming. Please, be careful if you do not know what you are doing…
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