A woman with brown hair wearing a black blazer leans against a bright wall.
Derya Sousa. Image: Kianda

How low-code and no-code tech can bridge the skills gap

7 Sep 2022

Kianda’s Derya Sousa explains the importance of low-code and no-code platforms for employers and employees who want to future-proof themselves.

With digital skills becoming more important to every business, tech professionals are increasingly in demand and the world is facing a serious skills shortage.

Furthermore, those who already work in areas such as software development are getting bogged down in the weeds with little time to focus on ‘deep work’. According to a survey from application development platform Retool earlier this year, engineers have only about 10 hours a week of deep work time.

However, one area of tech that may offer a solution to these challenges is no-code and low-code technology.

These platforms provide users with a toolkit approach for building software, as opposed to creating software from scratch.

This can be ideal for non-technical users, for example, allowing them to create simple apps for use within their own departments if needed. It can also give tech teams a productivity boost, freeing them up to focus on more complex challenges.

Kianda is one example of a no-code development platform. Earlier this year, the Dublin-based company launched the Kianda Academy, an online learning platform for citizen developers and professional developers to become experts in modern digital process automation and no-code application development.

The benefits of low-code and no-code

Derya Sousa is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Kianda. She told SiliconRepublic.com that today, everyone needs digital skills to do their job and that employees need to know how to collaborate virtually, automate processes and leverage data and artificial intelligence.

She said that while programmers are needed to achieve success in digital transformation, only a small percent of the world’s population actually knows how to code, which is where the skills gap comes in.

“This is because programming, learning how to code, is not easy. Just like learning any type of foreign language, it is not necessarily easy to master,” she said.

“This is where low-code/no-code development approach becomes critical to tackle this challenge, most importantly enabling greater inclusion in the enterprise digital transformation journey.”

Sousa said the low-code/no-code approach is “a bit like using building blocks to create solutions”, where the platforms provide pre-built blocks of components, business rules and actions in a reusable way, with an intuitive design environment that can be used without the need for coding.

“Instead of building software by using a programming language, people with or without programming skills can use this type of flexible toolkit approach to build the logic and easy-to-deploy interfaces they need,” she explained.

“This approach typically is used by citizen developers who are business users, knowledge workers. Also, IT teams are leveraging this to deliver digital solutions a lot faster and easier compared to building them from scratch with traditional development approach.”

Continuous learning

Sousa said that while the economic value for companies is important, she’s most passionate about the low-code/no-code approach because it “empowers people to skill up” in the digital arena.

“For me, there are three critical things for business to succeed: digital transformation, hiring a digitally capable workforce and continuous training,” she said.

“It generates direct and indirect jobs by empowering users to easily create enterprise applications without the need for coding.”

With the speed at which technology is moving, Sousa said that building business software over months using traditional development techniques may not always be the best approach, as this software “typically has a shelf life of three to five years” and the talent pool for developers is already small.

“What I advise to companies is to start with small steps with low-code/no-code approach, which is same as introducing any new technologies. Also, ensuring information security and governance are really important. Just because the technology is available to everyone does not mean that they should not be following a set of rules.”

While the low-code/no-code approach removes a lot of skills barriers for employees, Sousa warned that there is still a learning curve, but it’s a lot more approachable than learning how to code from scratch.

“The learning curve can depend on the flexibility and ease of use of the low-code/no-code platform. Training and hands-on practising are critical to skill up.”

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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