IT trend low-code – easy programming with clicks and boxes

Programs or automation solutions for routine tasks at the workplace simply click together with the mouse – that is the concept of “low code”. (picture-alliance / dpa / Hans Wiedl)

“Low-Code” or even “No Code” – what is that anyway?

What is meant is a programming method with which software can be created in an intuitive way, supported by visualization and graphical user interfaces – without having to write classic, text-based program code. The term low-code was coined by the analyst John Rymer of the market research company Forrester. With “No Code” one could even speak of simply clicking programs or tools together with the mouse.

For which tasks and problems is low-code suitable?

Rather for routine tasks, for example for certain specific work flows in companies – which may have always been automated by experienced “power users” with macros and scripts. Creating low-code is often referred to as the middle ground between configuring and real programming.

Who is a candidate for low-code programming in companies?

Users with basic IT skills that they may have acquired as digital natives on the side, as a hobby, at university or at work. Mostly experts in the non-IT area are thought of, but who have a certain understanding of IT – administration and sales specialists, for example, who can then use low-code to solve their user problems themselves.

Which providers actually operate such low-code platforms?

These are specialized providers such as Servicenow, but also the large corporations that develop business software such as Salesforce and Oracle. Their standard software has to be laboriously configured and adapted before it can run – the transition from configuration to coding is fluid here. Microsoft is also currently testing whether it is not possible to program in natural language – by the way, power users wrote low-code with the appropriate Office tools long before the term was coined.

The providers advertise low-code as an important instrument for accelerating the digital transformation and for the “democratization of software development” – what is it about it?

At least according to some market researchers, two thirds of all programming work should be done on low-code platforms by 2024. The alleged emancipation of users from professionals in the IT department is part of the marketing of the provider companies. Many employees will certainly welcome being able to “help themselves” at work and expand their field of activity. On the other hand, with the low-code trend, the pressure on employees to acquire IT skills is growing – and for every job.

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