Click, drag, and drop. It sounds simple, and it can be. Can you imagine a tool that does all the heavy coding work and leaves the creative part and the development of the final solution to you? These tools exist and have been gaining more and more space within software factories. Low-code and no-code are agile solutions that save time and human resources to create better solutions for customers.
For those who use them, the result is positive. It has delivered what the agile movement has been promising for some time now: adaptability, flexibility, and efficiency, and it can fill a great demand for IT professionals who are increasingly scarce in the market.
Research by Forrester shows that by 2024, the US will have a deficit of about 500,000 software developers. In Brazil, according to a study by the Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Companies (Brasscom), to keep up with the growth of the software sector in the country, an additional 70,000 professionals will be needed per year until 2024, or approximately 350,000 professionals.
“This phenomenon of a shortage of IT professionals is not just Brazilian, but it is happening worldwide. The low-code and no-code tools emerged exactly to attack this issue; it is a natural evolution. Whenever the environment poses difficulties, we create tools to solve the problem. Since the invention of the wheel until today,” said Ricardo Gondim, partner and CTO at .add, a Software Development and IT consulting company.
In a conversation with AgileTimes.News, Ricardo says that today, using the tools, .add can achieve productivity gains up to 3 times higher than before. “Today, I am delivering a project that took six months with three developers; without the platform, we would have needed twice as many developers for a year, a gigantic gain in speed for our client,” he said.
The pandemic scenario has made agile transformation a necessity. Software factories can no longer turn back; besides quality, agility has become a prerequisite for new projects.
Ricardo Gondim – CTO of .add
“The pandemic, in my opinion, brought to the fore the digital weakness of many companies, and that bothered business. The good thing is that everything that bothers companies’ business objectives changes. The market has changed the mindset from digital transformation to digital acceleration. Today, having modern systems that support the companies’ business chains is no longer a desire but an inherent need; those who don’t accelerate will be left behind and become irrelevant in the future,” said Ricardo.
With the productivity gain, there is also an increase in the workload, the more projects the developer can handle, the more demands are accumulated.
“What I see in the market today is that the workload on development teams is only growing; overtime, weekend work, and huge backlogs are the norm in corporate IT. And this is because they still haven’t touched the old systems. Often, IT doesn’t modernize because the effort to do so is enormous, and they end up leaving the system aside waiting for time and money, which never comes,” said Ricardo.
In the end, it is the developer who pays the bill. Because even though these tools entail fewer problems, it is the IT professionals who make the business happen.
“The beauty of lowcode platforms is that they are always looking for new ways to increase productivity, so this process becomes more continuous as the capabilities of the platforms are extended, and a whole community of developers worldwide collaborates to create components. That, in my view, is the biggest differential for developers, knowing that a platform will support them, not now but for many years to come,” he said.
On the other hand, the tools have opened up space for new aspiring developers. Processes that were once carried out only by professionals, today, with tools that have ready-made code, or no code at all, it is possible for people who have little or no familiarity with software development to create their applications. It is the use of technology becoming more and more human in the participation of the creative process of solutions.
Citizen Development can help close this gap
And this tool market is not alone; through it arose Citizen Development, which shows that, with few technical resources, anyone can develop a project. Mainly business people who seek autonomy and cost reduction to solve problems that are generated by internal demands most of the time. A democratic development model for those who seek agility in business.
The Project Management Institute (PMI), the world leader for project management professionals, has once again come out ahead of the pack and released the industry’s first educational resource for organizations looking to implement citizen development practices. The PMI Citizen Development Body of Knowledge (CDBOK), which is scheduled for release this year, is a framework that promises to help individuals and companies to apply the approach. And its fundamental training course, an e-learning training program that introduces citizen development and outlines its best methodology practices.
Gartner, a leading research and consulting firm, estimates that the number of active citizen developers will be four times larger than professional developers by 2023. “As organizations look to leverage citizen development in their digital transformation programs, there are many pitfalls to avoid, including the lack of a comprehensive methodology and framework and adequate training to enable citizen developers to succeed. PMI is addressing this gap by providing a vendor-agnostic framework to support the need for practitioners to learn the basics and best practices and the need for organizations to unlock the potential of citizen development in compliance with IT governance and security. his will give IT the confidence to scale citizen development across the enterprise to accelerate the organization’s transformation efforts,” said Sunil Pashara, President and CEO of PMI.
But in Brazil, the steps towards the citizen development model are still slow. Technical difficulties are always a hindrance. Even if the business environment specializes in becoming more involved in developing solutions, this new model must not occupy a place that is occupied by IT professionals even if it is vacant.
“I think we are in the process of making this happen in the future, but there is still a long way to go to get there. Programming concepts are still very alien to business teams. But the path is paved, and the current business participation in agile methodologies has brought the business closer and closer to the developers. And from what I have seen in the market, people from the business teams understand more of the development concepts, and developers are getting closer to understanding the business. In the future, I believe these roles will get closer and closer,” said Ricardo Gondim from .add.