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Adopting Low Code for Developers: 4 Best Practices

by ideaschedule

Even if they continue to be popular among so-called “citizen developers,” low-code tools have advanced to the point that they can now serve more complicated applications. At the same time, they are gaining increasing acceptance among professional software engineers. However, the two different groups of customers won’t be happy with the same collection of features.  

Some low code development tools, such as those offered by Salesforce.com and Zoho, were initially designed for business users. In contrast, others, such as those offered by Outsystems and Oracle, were designed with developers in mind. Although the types of applications you produce with each may appear identical, there are significant distinctions in the experience of developing them, which significantly impact the adoption of each.  

The development of software using low-code methods will not be the best option for every application or business. However, when the strategy is, teams must take particular actions to ensure that the implementation goes off without a hitch.  

The use of low code technology has increased in frequency during software development. This modification has the potential to throw open the floodgates for IT departments to develop and manage their very own applications. However, several typical programming methods, like version control, issue tracking, and requirements management, may be too complex or involved for low-code tools to handle effectively.  

Low-code technologies require organizations to establish ground rules around how and when to utilize them. These guidelines should be applied to everything, from selecting personnel and tools to the design processes, code releases, and production. These four best practices for low-code can provide organizations with assistance in getting started. 

1. Begin on a modest scale by utilizing low-code technologies

Before beginning to deploy low-code tools and platforms, it is important first to identify simpler tasks that are a good fit for the potential advantages of low code. For instance, simple projects that can be completed quickly, such as those with isolated data, lend themselves nicely to this development style. 

In most cases, low-code tools operate using compartmentalized software supported by an internal database. Choose a proof of concept that is a true portrayal of future projects but is a miniature version of those initiatives. Using this method, you can put low-code tools through their paces to determine whether or not they will give value to your company before scaling them up to larger deployments.  

Begin by working on no more than two tasks at once, and if feasible, steer clear of taking on additional projects at once. When programmers work on four or more projects at once, they risk spending so much time switching focus that they effectively make no progress. 

2. Hire based on ability rather than experience

Programmers who have trained often struggle to navigate difficult programs and the dreaded spaghetti code. Low-code tools allow developers to construct various applications with a reduced amount of code centered on rules. These applications may, for example, have a visual or database representation. Validating a Social Security number or estimating when an item will be delivered are just two examples of how straightforward these principles may be.  

Low-code software typically has far less code than its competitors and is structured into well-packaged functions. These kinds of programs often only perform a single function at a time. Self-taught programmers are a great fit for this project because there is not a lot of code. For instance, an employee from the company’s business side who is familiar with coding but not a lot of it would be an ideal candidate for a low-code project.  

However, it would help if you didn’t put all your eggs in the basket of a single self-taught programmer who claims to possess the keys to the kingdom regarding low-code technology. A single programmer represents a single potential weak spot in the system. Ensure that at least two individuals, preferably three, can utilize the tool and understand the full creation process. This is another one of the best practices for low-code. 

3. Select tools that can handle the complexity of the project

Software tools have progressed to the point where they can solve virtually any issue a technical team may encounter. Some applications help with planning, tracking bugs, doing constant rebuilds, and measuring metrics, in addition to integrated development environments (IDEs) that bring all of this capability behind a single interface. Your team may or may not require this particular range of competencies.  

Integration is a crucial point to think about while dealing with low code. Modern programs typically use APIs to communicate with one another and collaborate. For instance, a low-code application might have a function for tracking employees, and this employee tracker might need to interface with a low-code warehouse stock manager. In this particular instance, the app requires some tooling and functionality at a higher level.   

Utilizing a low-code programming tool and gradually adding free, open, and low-cost components for software engineering is still another way to take. Teams could use a word processor to develop requirements and a spreadsheet to monitor defects if, for instance, an organization will only utilize a low-code project once and requires very little maintenance.  

Determine, based on usage and budget, whatever additional tools are required to be paired with low-code applications. When determining whether or not a project requires more advanced tools, a good rule of thumb is to look at the number of staff members it will require and how long it will take. 

4. Ensure you have a different plan and a schedule for low-code projects. 

 When creating a timeline for a project, development teams strive to strike a balance that works for everyone. You will not be able to spend a whole month breaking down each one-hour work increment on a Gantt chart. And you can’t just give the team a deadline and a general direction and hope for the best results; that won’t work. Your information technology project management should adhere to the rolling wave planning mentality.

Establishing a distinct vision for a project is an essential best practice for low-code development. When estimating the duration of the new project, you can use the timeframes of past projects. The next phase is to make a plan to work in one- to three-week increments, presenting samples of the software’s functionality at each stage of the process. 

Before moving on to the next increment, ensure that the present task has been completely defined, that the next increment has been planned (leaving some wiggle space), and that there is a general theme for the next few increments. Leave yourself some room for improvement, perhaps during the daily check-in that lasts fifteen minutes. 

While the programmers are in charge of the development and implementation of the software, the product owner is responsible for ensuring that the software achieves its intended purpose. Begin making preparations for finishing the project two-thirds of the way through the process with a built-in buffer. 

Create a document that outlines what aspects of the project will be developed throughout each iteration. This framework guarantees that a project will have time to develop and advance while simultaneously setting appropriate deadlines for the project’s conclusion. 

Teams can finish low-code projects ahead of schedule because low-code development is often more efficient than traditional, manual development methodologies. If that is the case, you might want to consider cutting the length of the project increments. 

In Summation-Getting Started Quickly Using Low-Code Tools  

Begin using low-code tools for a more manageable project. In particular, you should focus on doing this on technically representative and relatively few projects. Take some time to reflect on and evaluate the potential value to the company before moving on to more complicated tasks.  

Also, ensure that various team members possess the appropriate knowledge; there should not be a single point of failure. 

 Pick tools that can handle the intricacy of the job 

Create a planning strategy that combines detailed documentation with room for the plan to develop further. And collaborate with information technology to set up test environments and establish a reliable rollout procedure. It is important to plan for saving points just before the code is moved into production so that you can roll back to previous successful builds. 

This is because professional developers have developed these practices throughout their careers. 

Businesses must adopt low-code platforms that support how their developers prefer to work and modern practices.  

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