Low-code and no-code app development is becoming a popular concept. Google has their App Maker while Microsoft has a product called Power Apps. The idea behind low-code apps is that anyone should be able to develop apps that will help them do their work better. Even though there are new tools to do what is called citizen development, the concept of non-specialized people developing software is as old as computing itself. From the first day that I had access to a Commodore 64, I was able to use the built-in BASIC language to create software. Then as computers evolved, we were able to use MSExcel and MSAccess to create more complex data-driven spreadsheets and automated process steps. The next step to helping people quickly relieve a business or process pain they feel.
Even though more platforms will help people develop apps more quickly, three core skills will make you an effective developer, whether or not you are using a low-code or more complex development framework.
The three development steps that will lead you to success:
- Defining the problem well
- Imagining an effective result
- Getting to your imagined future
Defining the Problem Well
Often developers end up with sub-par results because they haven’t described the exact problem they are trying to solve. A request might come in for a ‘more efficient process.’ Hundreds of hours can be spent on development when all that was needed was to move the interface around to reflect the actual order of steps that a user was taking. Understanding where the true problem lies is the first step to finding a good solution.
Imagining an Effective Result
Even though people’s first impression is that app development is about technical skills, the ability to imagine a solution that doesn’t exist is actually needed in a good coder’s skill toolbox. If you can imagine and describe the perfect solution to your problem, you will be miles ahead when you are implementing a solution.
Getting To Your Imagined Future
If you know exactly what problem you are solving and the solution you want to implement, the most challenging part is execution. You can have the perfect plan, but you must also take the actions necessary to turn your plan into reality.
Whether you are doing complex coding or using low-code, defining the problem, imagining the effective result, and getting to your imagined future are the steps to creating a successful software application.