One Important Truth – Many Will Not Agree

In his book Zero to One, Peter Theil (co-founder of PayPal) asks, “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” Here is what I know to be true:

It should be possible for ‘beginners’ to deliver equally effective applications to apps that junior and intermediate developers are developing.

Recently I have been doing a lot of study on No-Code and Low-Code solutions. I have also been learning about Citizen Developers. No-Code and Low-Code tools help people who don’t know anything about low-level coding (for that example, printf(“Hello World”); would print something to the screen if you were using a language called C++.) No-Code and Low-Code tools allow people who have a problem to solve that problem by simply providing the tool with some information and then letting the tool produce and manage the application.

I am also aware of what it takes to develop a fully functional, enterprise-level application. And learning more about low-code, I realize that much of the rote and repetitive tasks that people are doing can be done by low-code tools. Do you have to display data from a database, do data entry, or manage how data is transformed? All of this can be facilitated by a junior or intermediate developer. But using a low-code tool, a business analyst or techy admin person could easily achieve the same results.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we would eliminate junior or intermediate software developer’s jobs. Not at all. But let’s find ways to give them work that requires their specialty and education. If we can automate much of what they are doing through low-code solutions, then we should. And if you are a developer who feels that you are adding value by coding a data grid better than no-code solutions, you should consider what additional value you are adding. Let the no-code solution produce the data grid and focus on delivering more of the special sauce that is your superpower.

We’re in a place where if beginners can deliver intermediate-level quality apps, then the rest of us will all have to become better at the apps that we work on and deliver. It’s exciting times and a good place to be.