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What Is Low Code No Code? And Why Is It Important?

 

Low code no code is a way to allow people without a lot of development environment experience to create software with minimal training. While it's getting a lot of attention now, it's not exactly a new idea. Many people use programs that depend on this exact type of environment every day; however, new platforms that encourage citizen developers to create their own solutions have shined a spotlight on it. The prevailing feeling is that low code no code is what will make software creation accessible to all.

It's not a process that comes without risk. On the contrary, it's a development environment seeing massive, rapid adoption by many individuals who aren't entirely familiar with security and compliance. It will be up to industry leaders to provide the tools and support low code developers need to create new programs safely.

What Is Low Code No Code?

Low code no code is not as new as it seems. A good example of it is Excel. Anyone who has ever worked in a spreadsheet, created a pivot table, or entered a formula has done low code no code. Over the years, low code no code has seeped into just about every industry, though it's been more about completing smaller specific tasks—like adding a column of numbers or putting a picture on a website.

Now, low code no code platforms are emerging. These allow organizations to develop entire software programs based on their own specific needs. They offer the following risks and benefits.

 

PROS

CONS

  • Access: No code low code has lowered the barrier for development. Now, citizen developers without a lot of coding experience can create their own software specifically for their needs.

  • Staffing: Talent shortages are a number one concern for senior executives, with 63% expressing issues with staffing for software development. Low code no code allows these organizations to use the staff they have to fill gaps.

  • Innovation: Not every developer is an ideas person, and not every creative individual knows how to code. Low code no code can drive innovation by giving development tools to those with creative skillsets.
  • Security: As more individuals without a lot of experience coding move into development, there will be security holes, as they aren't familiar with the tests and tactics that make software safe.

  • Overconfidence: There's a standard low code no code misconception that no code = no bugs. This is incorrect. There are still risks inherent in the coding process that must be addressed.

  • Over-saturation: As anyone can code anything using this environment, it stands to reason that creation will accelerate. This can result in a saturated marketplace that makes it challenging to choose the right software.

 

No code low code is a fantastic development, but rapid adoption will lead to increased risk. It's up to industry leaders to smooth the way by establishing processes that make security part of the environment.

Using DevSecOps with Low Code No Code Platforms

DevSecOps can still apply in a low code no code environment. This needs to happen at the platform level. Companies that provide low code no code environments must be aware of the risks and cater to their users. Someone who hasn't coded before won't necessarily know that most good developers write tests in conjunction with their code to verify its stability and accuracy as they go. This "test-driven development" allows creators to fix issues while they're small and minimize the risk of broken code.

Many low code no code environments do not natively support such testing practices. The Interfaces focus on drag-and-drop elements that the individual needs to build a basic program. It's up to the people who developed the platform to build the tests necessary to guarantee code efficacy and security. This is the DevSecOps best practice of automation. Creators of the platform can develop automated tests for each unit of code.

As this is a rapidly accelerating area with no clear best practices, someone must take ownership of security. The best, most reasonable solution is for this to be the domain of the creators of no code low code platforms. They can create the standards that all will follow and mandate their use through automation. The platform has inherent security, but custom pieces have to attend to their own security. This is where low code no code platforms become risky; they put people who are largely untrained in the driver seat, and there's usually little-to-no oversight of their work. Companies pursuing this approach will need to think about this reality and pivot their strategies accordingly.

Low code no code is what will allow entire industries to adopt new programs customized for their specific needs. However, as with any other rapid technology advancement, it's not without its threats. Those who provide no code low code platforms also need to comprehend the risks and be prepared to offer security. Sticking to DevSecOps principles based on regular and consistent testing will help facilitate the adoption of this coding environment while limiting risks.