How going low code can help developers fit in

Jealous of your no-coder colleagues? Low code platforms are here to save the day.

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Michele Riccardo Esposito
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The no-code movement has brought programming capabilities to customer facing-teams. But while we’re over here dragging and dropping, spinning up content in a matter of minutes, our developer friends can still take weeks to build apps with Javascript, Python, and who knows what else. It’s enough to leave even the most confident of programmers feeling jealous, and we don’t blame them.

Drag-and-drop is just easier, so it’s no wonder that developers want in. Unfortunately, no-code can be somewhat limiting when it comes to building complex apps. So, how can developers speed up their processes without ceding control? That’s where low code comes in!

What is a low code platform, and how is it different from no-code?

Low-code platforms allow developers to create software faster with the help of drag-and-drop editors. We know it sounds a lot like no-code so far, but hear us out, because low code software then produces code that developers can tinker with to their heart’s content. It’s not exactly drag, drop, and done; it’s more like drag, drop, and mess around with a bunch of code until you get it just right.

This means that the best low code platforms can handle the production of business-critical applications that run complex integrations. No-code tools, on the other hand, are better suited to the creation of simple apps and various frontend functions.

Whereas anyone can use no-code tools, low code technology is specifically targeted to developers (or others with solid coding knowledge) who want to kickstart their programming. Beginning the process with a drag-and-drop editor means that a developer can create an app in a matter of days or even hours as opposed to weeks. Plus, low code solutions free up developers with specialized skills to work on other projects so that the entire Engineering department becomes more cost- and time-efficient.

Essential low code platforms for developers

Even if we don’t exactly get what our developer friends are doing, we get that sometimes their work is just too complex for no-code. That’s why we’ve selected some of the top low-code platforms, broken down by use case, to help make those tricky tasks less burdensome.

Build dashboards and make databases accessible

With low code, developers can deliver internal tools, like dashboards, to business teams faster, freeing engineers up for higher impact work. Not to mention that the maintenance burden decreases when everything exists on a single low code platform.

  • Memberstack — Created to remove the redundancy of building user authentication infrastructure, Memberstack lets developers use quick plug-and-play modals or customize their own.
  • Retool — Developers can use Retool’s building blocks to connect to most databases and customize it all with Javascript, transformers, or an API.
  • Metabase — Metabase is an open-source business intelligence tool that allows anyone to ask questions about their data with just a few clicks. When the questions get more complicated, those with coding skills can use the notebook editor or create SQL queries.
  • FusionCharts — With Javascript as its backbone, FusionCharts lets developers add charts, graphs, and maps to dashboards; render thousands of data points; and export dashboards in their entirety.

Create business apps

Low code allows developers to create an application once and deliver it seamlessly across all platforms and form factors, confident that it’s sound since powerful AI capabilities and automation check for problems before it goes live. Integrating it with other applications and with data sources is also a breeze.

  • Appian — A unified low code automation platform, Appian offers visual app building, multi-experience development, and no-code integration.
  • Mendix — While Mendix offers business users a no-code, web-based app-modeling studio, it also provides developers with a desktop-based visual app-modeling studio that can be integrated with coding IDEs.
  • Outsystems — Outsystems is a full-stack development platform that speeds up app building with a visual, model-driven approach and AI-powered tools.
  • Zoho Creator — As  a leader in the low code app space, Zoho Creator accelerates app creation, facilitates workflow automation, and simplifies system integrations.

Build APIs

Low code API solutions make it easier to build, share, test, and connect APIs to a constellation of other applications.

  • Canonic — This low code platform lets developers publish complex REST and GraphQL APIs with webhook workflows, documentation, and a CMS.
  • Postman — Postman speeds up API development and simplifies collaboration with an API client, automated testing, scheduled monitoring, a shared workspace, and more.
  • Segment — This customer data platform uses a single API to allow anyone to collect data from  web and mobile apps, and developers can connect that data to third-party marketing and analytics software with a little bit of coding.

We’ll stand by the idea that no-code tools are often the better choice, even for developers, because they allow for quick, easy, and continuous iteration in a way that low code can’t. But, for those apps that need a little more customization, low code sure beats building from scratch! Welcome back to the cool kids’ table, developers.


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