The Tech Skill Shortage and the Rise of Low-Code/No-Code

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With the ongoing developer skill-shortage compounded by the Great Resignation, businesses are struggling due to their increased reliance on enterprise technologies. However, this is the perfect time for low-code/no-code platforms to rise, giving employees the ability to develop powerful applications with little previous experience. This article by Vara Namburu, co-founder and CTPO at Whatfix, explores the advantages and disadvantages of these platforms and how they will be used in the future.

As we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic, it’s evident that the last two years have had a significant impact on the job market. Besides remote and hybrid work becoming the norm, 3.95 million people quit their jobs in 2021, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest exodus of employees on record. On top of that, according to Gartner,  64% of IT executives see the skill shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to emerging technologies, compared to just 4% in 2020.

Enter Low-Code/No-Code

To overcome the tech skill shortage, the adoption of low-code/no-code has been on the rise as it greatly reduces the barrier to entry in app development. Conventional software development requires an in-depth knowledge of programming language(s), hundreds if not thousands of hours of continuous training, deployment processes and proper testing protocols to ensure the app is running smoothly. However, these platforms eliminate many of these intricacies and do the hard work behind the scenes, enabling users to make software programs that logically work for their teams with very little coding knowledge needed.

You and your team may already use these programs without even realizing it.  Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint are nearly ubiquitous for many businesses nowadays, and most non-engineering employees have basic knowledge of these programs to solve everyday problems in their departments. Imagine every sales team needing a data scientist and graphic designer on hand to do their job daily. This is not only impractical but also unsustainable for most business models today.

The Rise of Citizen Developers

With workplaces generally short on staff during The Great Resignation compounded with the IT skill shortage, low-code/no-code platforms and the citizen developer have become critical during this time.  Citizen developers are the people who are closer to the day-to-day business with non-technical roles such as operations, sales and HR. By having these citizen developers create an app for their own team’s use, the program would theoretically be even more effective since they are on the front lines and know what issues need to be solved.  An outside developer, while more skilled, may not know how exactly a team will use their program or what related issues may arise unexpectedly.

See More: Risks of Decentralized Tech: The Lowdown on Low-code

Drawbacks of Low Code/No Code

On paper, low code/no code sounds like a universal solution that all businesses should adopt immediately.  However, there are some disadvantages to consider when implementing these platforms.

Many platforms still require prior programming knowledge and can’t be deployed to a team without training.  Training teams to become citizen developers can take precious time when implementing these platforms is to increase overall efficiency. Even the resources needed to learn these specific platforms can be limited as they aren’t as universal as well-known programming languages that developers use. The overall simplified nature of these collaborative platforms also means these apps may not be as customizable or powerful as the team needs to suit their needs.

The Future of Low-Code/No-Code

Despite these drawbacks, the rise of low-code/no-code is inevitable due to several factors.  The IT skill shortage will continue to be an issue moving forward, as businesses require more enterprise technologies than ever before. The platforms will grow more powerful, customizable and refined to be more accessible for people of all skill levels.  

Between laptops, smartphones and IoT devices, it’s nearly impossible to avoid technology everyday, making people smarter on technology overall in their personal and business lives alike. Five years ago, using Google Home or Amazon Alexa seemed foreign to many people, but now voice assistants are seamlessly integrated into many people’s lives, and that’s the predicted path for these platforms in the workplace.

With GartnerOpens a new window predicting that non-IT professionals will build most tech products and services by 2024, low-code/no-code is here to stay, and businesses should consider adopting these platforms soon.

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