Low-code: we're getting there, people!


Just learned a new term called “low-code”. Huh? I love how often new vernacular is created and leads you down a road less traveled (aka learning!). Call me trendy if you want, but I always want to be in the know regardless of my immediate use or practical application.

There’s general purpose meaty coding languages, specialized side dish coding languages built upon those and then at the diet (easiest) level, there is a CMS (Content Management System) which allows the most basic user to get their hands dirty and adapt freestanding code to suit their needs, e.g. WordPress, Drupal.

A weird combo is the next step of bringing to life an interface for coding which is a friendly colorful world making the life of a coder simpler and less drab. Some may call it preschool, but what’s so wrong about utilizing support tools that make your life easier? I’m certainly happy to be labeled a purist in design tools, but put the ego away and use what’s most efficient for your needs. Low-code platforms reduce code blindness, syntax flubs and redundant code writing. It helps you use common forms of a structure and then build tweaks on top of that to suit your own needs.

Lo(w) and behold…Low-Code! Outsystems describes it well:

Low-code describes a family of tools that helps developers create complete applications visually using a drag-and-drop interface. Rather than writing thousands of lines of complex code and syntax, low-code platforms allow users to build complete applications with modern user interfaces, integrations, data and logic quickly and visually.

See video of what a typical low-code development platform looks like. It contains:

  • A visual IDE: An environment for visually defining the UI, workflows, and data models of your application and, where necessary, adding hand-written code.

  • Connectors to various back-ends or services: Automatically handles data structures, storage, and retrieval.

  • Application lifecycle manager: Automated tools to build, debug, deploy, and maintain the application in test, staging, and production.

Watch various 29-minute videos demo-ing the Outsystems platform for those new to the idea. A useful one for the software noob like me is “How to build and use APIs with Low-Code”.

I may be late to this nugget of knowledge, but there also may be plenty of you who will want to know this concept. It may be mentioned in your business conversations and you’ll want to know what’s up. Go ahead. Show that you’ve been doing your homework!