What does a software developer do? It’s simple: they develop applications and software, don’t they? It’s not that simple anymore. Whereas previously developers were restricted to writing software – a specialized skill – they are now expected to collaborate more with the company. And that requires communicating and better understanding the different aspects of the business in which they operate.
About the Author
Malcolm Ross, Vice President of Product Strategy and Associate Technical Director at Appian.
The business / IT landscape is changing. Developers now need to communicate about projects in a clear, easy-to-digest way, and they need to collaborate with people far beyond the confines of the IT function. Fortunately, there are tools that make this collaboration easier, and they are changing the face of coding forever.
Appetite for change
But why is this change happening? First, there is widespread disillusionment among companies that have invested heavily in custom software that takes too long to materialize or takes too long to generate value. I know of companies that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on projects that took years to build, but were disappointed when they were finally completed.
Businesses are right to be unhappy when such a large investment does not keep its promises. The worst part is that it is often too late to right the ship when the software is ready, because the stakeholders of the company did not have enough visibility into the development process as it is. product.
It is true that the ability to deliver software projects faster is constantly increasing. Look nimble, for example. The use of agile development techniques over the past decade has enabled users to access software faster by working in shorter sprints and driving iterative improvements. However, agile doesn’t do enough to tackle the fundamental problem at the heart of successful software delivery, which expresses logic.
Profitable software is not just about time to market, it is also essential that the business is able to express what it wants and the developer is able to express how it is complying with it. And, as businesses increasingly rely on software to run their businesses, a developer’s ability to speak the language of business, rather than just technology, is important.
All hands on the deck
A traditional software developer had to master the art of creating IT solutions through extensive knowledge of .NET or Java. A modern software developer also needs to know how the business works, the latest regulations and compliance obligations in their country, region and industry, and much more. This makes software development more complex and a team sport that requires multiple inputs. Fortunately, everyone involved in delivering a project can now sing from the same hymn sheet that everyone understands.
Developers and even business analysts with little programming experience can now use low-code automation to create and implement software without being an expert in the programming language.
Low-code is a visual approach to software development. It summarizes and automates the application development lifecycle and reduces developer reliance on traditional coding. Now, app building tools are even more accessible to non-coders to build high impact enterprise software applications.
But if low-code has helped the entire company look under the mantle of a wizard, is the role of a software developer becoming obsolete? The role of the developer will evolve, instead of disappearing completely. Whereas previously they were isolated and heavily involved in the tactical product development work for the company, developers can now be better integrated and more strategic.
And as .NET and Java will continue to run software applications, a low-code automation platform will increasingly become the preferred tool. This will make coding faster and more collaborative, which is good news for everyone.
Low-code is not a new approach, but the massive drive towards digital transformation has proven to be a catalyst in recent years. According to Gartner, 75% of large enterprises will use four or more low-code development tools for IT application development and citizen development initiatives by the end of 2025. The adoption of low-code automation is increasing and the people responsible for developing the software will evolve just as quickly.
Take a seat at the table
The change in software development and the increased reliance on digital tools in many companies are contributing to the rise of the corporate technologist. This is important because technology decisions will now be better understood during development, and not just after deployment. Meanwhile, developers will focus more on delivering business results through technology, instead of getting bogged down with the heavy responsibility of arduous line-by-line coding.
It is a collision or harmonization of worlds that existed in parallel. Now, the application development process has the synergies necessary to prioritize results without being hampered by logistics. Low-code means that the code itself won’t get in the way and the whole company can understand the process and be involved in improving the software and tailoring it to goals from the start. The IT management team is now an integral part of the business. Now that everyone can speak the same language, nothing is lost in the translation, and everyone has clear visibility of the project at every step.
Experiment with change
With everything changing so quickly, where should a developer start? Well, an essential part of seeing the benefits of low code automation is to experience it firsthand. Some will be skeptical at first, but it’s not just a coding change; it’s a change in the way technology relates to the rest of the business. This change is inevitable; we have known for years about the inefficiency of software development in isolation. Everyone wins in a world where apps are coming to market faster.
Low-code is expected to move from a niche delivery method to the preferred enterprise development mode this year. The ability to work in this new way will allow developers and IT teams to gain relevance in key business functions. It is time for the business at large to get involved in application development. It’s a win-win in every way.