‘There’s an app for that.’
The phrase, coined in 2009, quickly became ingrained into society that Apple trademarked it to prevent other tech companies stealing it. And that was at a time when there were only tens of thousands of apps available. Since then, there have been a few more apps released … ok, more than a few – we’re now well into the millions on both Android and iOS.
But, with the average cost of building even the most basic of apps running at around £30,000 or more, how do small businesses that lack the knowledge – or budget – jump on the bandwagon? Even if it’s streamlining their own systems, as opposed to designing an app for public consumption, these costs are prohibitive in many cases.
What’s no code?
The most common method is no-code application development. No code platforms use visual modelling, allowing users to easily build software without the need for manual coding. Squarespace and WordPress are good examples. These content management systems (CMS) allow users to put together smart, functional websites by simply dropping elements into place, whilst building in features like e-commerce functionality and optimising for mobile devices.
Low-code is the halfway house – it combines manual coding with an element of visual modelling to speed up software development.
These platforms give non-technical businesses a helping hand, especially allowing entrepreneurs and SMEs to compete with the constraints of tight purse strings. They streamline business innovation and equip the workforce with the capability to solve problems. They prompt a broader perspective of how companies can operate more efficiently. They turn employees into ‘Citizen Developers’, facilitating less reliance on a dedicated IT function.
Good news for business, bad news for Software Engineers?
So, does this mean the end of the Software Engineer? Is it a dying trade?
In a word, ‘no’.
Quite the opposite, in fact. For starters, the development of no code platforms isn’t a process that is itself free of code. The easy journey that the end user enjoys is only possible thanks to sophisticated levels of coding in the back-end – users are essentially building with code, they just don’t have to do any coding themselves. There will also be constant scope for these platforms to be improved, much like any app Developer is always pushing to release its latest upgrade or ‘bug fixes’, and they require constant maintenance and repair.
And some apps are just too intricate for no-code development. The ‘drag-and-drop’ function is often rigid and companies who truly want to build their own brand can find themselves restricted by templates.
Long live the Software Engineer!
So, the Software Engineer lives on and those with the expertise can still take advantage of the growing demand for highly-skilled IT workers. You see, there’s a shortage of Software Engineers, and no signs of a shortage of job opportunities in the field any time soon.
But that doesn’t mean Software Engineers should be complacent – there is still competition for the top positions in the sector and candidates should be keeping ahead of the curve by continually honing their skills. Whether it’s learning new programming languages or exploring new technological developments, there is always scope to broaden your knowledge base and continue growing as a professional.
We work with tech companies around the world to help find them the world’s best Software Engineers, and to offer advice on their talent requirements. If you need help with your hiring plans, let’s talk.