Bridging the software skills gap with a low-code/no-code approach

By Suhail Ansari, CTO of Tricentis.

  • 1 year ago Posted in

Creating customized software solutions at scale has traditionally required large engineering teams to keep up with the pace of development without sacrificing quality. With the pace of digital transformation not slowing down amid today’s unstable economy and employment market, businesses are having to rely on smaller teams to scale the value of their solutions to a greater number of customers - or worse, do all this whilst also cutting back on budget. End-user expectations meanwhile have not been cut back. It’s therefore becoming critical for software development teams to focus on the speed and efficiency of releases - without compromising quality.

By using modular low-code/no-code frameworks, organisations can empower their employees to create workflows that fit their business needs. Departments gain far more autonomy and IT teams can focus on more critical and creative tasks. In fact, the low-code approach has been so successful that the market is predicted to grow by 19.6% in 2023, totalling $26.9 billion.

Although low-code applications don’t need a high level of technical knowledge, and they require less development and deployment time, they have also become more powerful, enabling users to create fairly sophisticated applications. As a result, they still need to be tested and meet the same quality standards as full-stack applications, which puts additional strain on quality and DevOps teams.

This is where the low-code/no-code approach can be used not only in software development but in software testing too. With recent advancements in automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), quality and DevOps teams are able to do more with less by streamlining their development processes, quickly and efficiently testing software against set requirements, and thus improving the efficacy of their releases.

Bridging the talent gap in the software development market

Although current layoffs in the tech industry bring fresh talent into the market looking for new opportunities, hiring developers with the right skills remains an issue, with more than 37.5% of enterprises listing developer recruitment as their top challenge of 2023.

The rise of low- and no-code tools is therefore a game-changer for businesses facing talent shortages. With more than 80% of non-IT professionals expected to develop IT products and services by 2024, the need for these tools has never been greater. By enabling business users to take on tasks that would typically require professional developers, low- and no-code software is revolutionising the way businesses operate, allowing DevOps to reduce IT backlog and keep operating costs low.

This also helps close the gap between DevOps teams and the rest of the organisation, allowing developers to spend more time on the areas that can’t be covered by low-code creation and testing. In return, organisations can upskill citizen developers to further bridge the tech talent gap.

This streamlined approach can also be applied to applications built on a platform where updates are controlled by an external vendor. Low-code automated testing solutions can significantly reduce the time spent verifying platform updates, allowing DevOps teams to maintain constantly changing workflows with the same levels of high-quality software. In addition, by leveraging low-code/no-code technologies to reduce complexity, teams can quickly identify issues, triage the underlying causes and get to resolution faster than ever before.

The challenges of fully implementing low-code/no-code

Despite the benefits, the adoption of these tools remains slow, and as with any technology, there are limitations and challenges that must be considered. Many companies have yet to fully embrace the potential of low- and no-code software development and testing, leaving them vulnerable to talent shortages and increased costs.

One of the most significant challenges is the limited functionality of low-code platforms when it comes to customisation. If an organisation requires unique functionality that isn't available in the platform, it may be necessary for a software development team to write custom code. This can be costly and time-consuming, negating the benefits of the low-code approach.

Another common issue is ensuring the application performs as expected in a production environment. Whilst it may be easy to create a workflow for a single user, the load characteristics of an application can be vastly different when hundreds of thousands of users are using it simultaneously. It is important to ensure that applications created using low-code platforms can scale effectively. This is where load and performance testing tools can be beneficial. By leveraging these tools, organisations can better understand their application's load characteristics and make adjustments accordingly.

By considering these factors and leveraging the right tools, organisations can maximise the benefits of low-code development while minimising the potential drawbacks. Those that do are poised to reap the rewards, empowering their business users to solve complex problems and drive innovation.

Successfully leveraging low-code/no-code across the organisation

The current economic turbulence influences the software development market, with teams being streamlined and reshuffled to different projects. However, as businesses prioritise cost-cutting whilst trying to meet customers’ demands, they can’t afford to compromise on quality or velocity. It’s clear that low- and no-code tools will play an increasingly important role in bridging the talent gap. By empowering non-developers to take on critical tasks, these solutions are helping transform how businesses operate and thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

By enabling developers to focus on unique, competitive features instead of commoditised functionality, low-code and no-code tools are helping businesses drive more value from their technology investments. Low-code/no-code software testing solutions now enable thinly stretched teams to do far more with less, achieving the previously impossible concept of quality at speed by simplifying and scaling test creation, orchestration, and execution in the cloud. Moreover, by leveraging these user-friendly, accessible technologies, they are able to bridge the talent gap and bring expertise from other areas of the business into play for a more efficient development process, granting developers more time to create value and advance strategic initiatives.

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