During TelerikNEXT, which took place in Boston this May, we introduced a new tool called Screen Builder. Screen Builder enables you to create cross-platform mobile apps, visually, using “no code” or “low code.” This tool is part of our long-term strategy to provide development tools to non-developers, as well as developers.
However, the emergence of low or no-code development is raising concerns among developers—our core audience--about the role of non-developers in software creation. This blog post will explore three good reasons why Telerik is working on “no-code” or “low-code” tools, and why this work is a natural extension of our core mission to improve developer productivity.
Reason #1: Too Many Apps, Too Little Time
The explosion of mobile usage, years of legacy technology, increasing user expectations and competitive pressures mean many organizations need to mobilize dozens of apps. And, when surveyed, IT leaders report “mobilization” as one of their top priorities. But these same organizations are also sitting on LOTS of existing desktop apps. Developers are stretched thin supporting these existing apps and have little capacity available to devote to building new mobile apps.
To move forward, organizations need to use every tool at their disposal. Yes, this means enabling developers to be more productive, but it also means tapping into other resources—even off-the-shelf apps and apps created by non-coders.
A Rapid Mobile Application Development (RMAD) tool--or “low code”/“no code” solution--is simply one more tool in an organization’s arsenal, because such tools enable organizations to leverage non-developer resources, when their developers are too busy.
Reason #2: Technology Belongs To Everyone
Not very long ago, IT departments regularly banned Macs from the network, and mandated employees use company-owned Blackberrys. In fact, whatever technology existed in the organization was fully controlled and prescribed by the IT department—they were the gatekeepers AND the bottleneck. But over the past few years, we’ve seen the role of IT dramatically evolve from being “prescriptive” to “predictive.”
Developers are beginning to experience a similar shift. Users are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and using software to find ways to move forward, with or without the development team’s blessing. This shouldn’t be scary though; any problem that can be addressed by non-programmers probably wasn’t very interesting in the first place.
Reason #3: Most Software Is Boring
Which brings us to the next point: Most of the code we write is, well, kind of dull. There is A LOT of boilerplate code required to do relatively simple things (for example, fetching some data and displaying it in a list).
From the very beginning of computing, we’ve looked for ways to abstract away the tedious ZEROs and ONEs understood by computers and instead shift towards human-friendly instructions. Each time our techniques and abstractions improve, programmers become freer to focus on bigger and more interesting challenges.
Modern day computing advancements sit squarely on abstractions from the past. And getting more people involved inevitably leads to innovations and progress.
The trick, however, is to equip non-developers with tools that empower them, while simultaneously generating results that enable developers to tackle the more interesting, more challenging problems.
Like It or Not, It’s Happening
At an executive level, organizations are facing immense pressure (from mobile usage, competitors and so on) to modernize their apps. Doing so requires more work than the average development team has time for. To tackle the challenge, organizations have to leverage every resource at their disposal.
In this scenario, organizations will end up implementing solutions without any involvement (or blessing) from the development team. Like it or not, that’s what’s happening! And like it or not, developers will encounter the consequences of decisions they had nothing to do with. Still, developers can be called upon to assist when non-coders butt up against the tools’ limitations. This can be a nightmare for coders when tools that don’t focus on developer productivity are being used.
Our core mission at Telerik continues to focus on developer productivity. We take a code-first approach, and only add non-developer features once we’ve already created a best-in-class developer experience. For example, we spent years evolving Telerik AppBuilder before we ever introduced Screen Builder. And, we go the distance to ensure the code our no-code solutions generate is high-quality code that will be easy for dev teams to inherit. In this way, our no-code solutions become a natural extension of our developer productivity mission, enabling organizations to build the apps they need, when they need them, with the resources they already have.
For more information about ScreenBuilder, visit the ScreenBuilder page.
Learn More About Telerik Platform Enterprise Edition
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