The popularity of low-code platforms is increasing in the whole world, and the demand for experts in this field is growing rapidly. Nikolett Tarjáni-Dobos left her dietician career to become a software developer and has been working as a low-code programmer in Germany for almost 2 years. She first heard about this field when she was looking for a job. Yet, she now feels lucky that this became her new career. But what does a low-code developer do and how does a working day go? We asked Niki about these topics as well as about the misconceptions around low-coding.
I graduated as a dietician, and later I studied C# programming at Green Fox. After the course, I worked for an automotive company, where I also developed in C#. Less than a year later, my husband and I decided that we wanted to move to Germany. Here I wanted to work with C#, as well, but I didn't speak German well enough, so my options were quite limited. I first encountered low-code programming as a job seeker. Finally, I was hired for such a position by an IT company working with food supply chains. All this happened almost 2 years ago. I learnt low-code development itself at my workplace, and, in hindsight, I'm really glad that things worked out this way because I love my job.
It is a platform-based development; it means that web applications are not built from scratch but by using pre-built modules of a platform.
This allows us, developers, to spend more time on creative work instead of the more repetitive tasks. It is, however, a misconception that little or no programming is needed.
I think the biggest difference is that you can achieve spectacular results in a shorter time. In low-code platforms, the visual editing interface and the interface used to create databases simplify some of the workflows of traditional development. For example, the time spent on custom front-end development is significantly reduced, so low-code development is in this sense more efficient. That is why a lot of companies are switching to this method.
It is very diverse and creative. In the beginning, I was afraid that platform-based development would have some limitations, but I was wrong. Any complex issue can be solved.
I am working on three projects at the moment. I am working alone on a small project to develop a simpler application. To put it in a nutshell, the idea is that users upload CSV files, and a structured HTML page is generated from them, based on various requirements. It also comes with a version tracking system and a separate admin interface where admins can configure various settings. I also have a larger project. This is an “effort tracking” website with a larger user base, where users can enter how many hours a day they spend on a project, and their managers can track how much resources they have booked for each project over a defined period. It means that there are multiple user roles here with several functions assigned to them. And the biggest project, which is more of a process, is about switching from the OutSystems platform we've been using so far to a platform called Mendix. We are currently working on the preparation phase and on the implementation of basic functions.
Mornings start with project-specific daily stand-ups, and we also held stand-ups on platform changes. Sometimes, if a project needs extra consultation, we also have a meeting in the afternoon, and we also have weekly project meetings. The rest of the day is mostly spent with coding: sometimes it is 20% of the time, sometimes 80-90%, so it varies a lot. But there is not a single day when I don't have to write code at all.
We work as a team on a website or application, and I am responsible for development and quality assurance.
If I compare it with the C# development I had studied, I see that low-code development is a bit easier. Yet, you have to learn it, too. Visual representation might make it seem a bit easier because you can easily follow what is happening in the flow. This, however, is deceptive because everything that is behind this visual representation needs to be coded and implemented in the same way. Low-coding may seem easy, especially at the beginning, but the same logical complexity can be achieved as with high-coding.
Low-code development also requires analytical skills, but solving business problems and creative teamwork are also part of the job.
I would recommend it for those who like to see spectacular results and wish to follow the whole development process. It's also worth a try for more experienced developers who want to do something else than high-coding because they need a new challenge. One thing is for sure: as there is a growing demand for low-code developers, you can get a job in this field in the IT industry.
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