Simplifying Development: Low-Code and No-Code in Future Applications
Published on April 4, 2024

Low-code and no-code tools are software development platforms that allow developers to build applications with minimal hand-coding and manual effort. As a developer, I can understand how low-code or no-code (referred to as ‘LC/NC’ throughout this blog) tools might feel a bit patronizing after investing so much time in improving our technical skills. However, LC/NC has proven to be excellent tools, even for experienced developers. There is so much potential for them in the future, and here are the observations we've learned while creating our own LC/NC tools that communication developers use everyday.

Impact of LC/NC Tools on Future Engineering Efforts

In software development, LC/NC tools like Vonage's Meetings API and AI Studio have proven to be beneficial for developers. There has been a clear shift where scalability and reliability don't require meticulous coding. I recently sat in a meeting with another internal team and learned that one of Vonage's customers, after implementing Vonage AI Studio, managed to reduce their engineering efforts from 5 people to 2. These LC/NC tools address the time-consuming aspects of traditional development, freeing developers from extensive coding for routine functionalities. As a developer, don't worry - AI isn't taking our jobs! There is always something to be built or improved, so LC/NC tools could help us focus our time on those projects instead.

Example 1: Vonage's Video API vs. Meetings API

Consider Vonage’s Video API and our Meetings API. The Video API suits traditional development, offering many solutions but requiring more development time. The Meetings API, a low-code alternative, concentrates on common solutions and simplifies the development process while retaining key video communication functionalities. It's all about efficiency to achieve similar outcomes with significantly less coding.

Example 2: Traditional Development vs. AI Studio

Consider the process of creating a chatbot or conversational AI application. Traditional development typically requires detailed programming and the setup of cloud infrastructure. You can build this using the Vonage Messages API, Javascript, HTML, and a lot of CSS - but why should you reinvent the wheel? As a neater solution, Vonage AI Studio serves as a no-code platform, simplifying this intricate process. It allows both technical and non-technical users to easily create virtual agents without the need for complex programming skills or cloud infrastructure expertise.

Impact of LC/NC Tools on Future Business Efforts

Looking ahead, LC/NC tools could play a vital role as the need for quick application development increases. These tools act as valuable assets in the ongoing challenge of fostering a collaborative environment within a company.

Let’s Get down to Business

A notable disparity often exists between engineers and business professionals in numerous companies. Engineers have to handle the tech infrastructure, while business people sometimes struggle to plan timelines without a deep tech background. As more companies take advantage of the simplicity of LC/NC tools, they can allow the less technical teams to actively participate in crafting functional applications, all without an overwhelming dependence on specialized IT teams. This shift in participation not only accelerates the development lifecycle but also ensures that those closest to business needs have a better understanding of the technical solutions.

Addressing the Tech Skills Gap

I've been in a scenario where my contract with a company ended, and I needed to hand off a project to a non-technical coworker. Since I used a LC/NC tool to build the application, it was easy to explain the infrastructure without oversimplifying the process. Don't get me wrong - my coworker was a brilliant employee with valuable business process insights but lacked traditional coding skills. By building with the LC/NC tool it allowed them to contribute meaningfully to the product deployment. When you lower the barrier to entry in tech, it fosters a more collaborative environment across teams. This points to a future where development becomes faster and more responsive to dynamic business needs.

A Balanced Approach for the Future

Our observations show that there is growing potential for LC/NC tools in software development. Instead of seeing them as a threat to our jobs, we should recognize the value they bring to us as developers, regardless of expertise level. LC/NC tools, shown through Vonage's Video API, Meetings API, Messages API, and AI Studio, optimize workflows without compromising the quality of the product. The key takeaway for developers is to adopt a balanced approach. Merging traditional coding methods with LC/NC strategies will only make us better and more efficient developers by adapting to the present while gearing up for the future!

Come Code with Us... Or Not?

Until we discover further advancements and ways to leverage LC/NC tools, feel free to join our developer community on Slack and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter. Do you have favorite low-code no-code tools? Please share them and tag me—I'd love to learn about them! Happy coding—or not, and just drag and drop instead!

Diana PhamDeveloper Advocate

Diana is a developer advocate at Vonage. She likes eating fresh oysters.

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