Industry experts compare the launch of AI to the invention of the printing press or the first personal computer. It has become one of the leading software development areas with vast growth potential. Over 50% of businesses have already adopted AI to their operations, and 76% of enterprises report increasing investments in AI in 2023. Statista’s data suggests that the...
Mentioning no-code development in a conversation did not make sense just a few years ago. Building software without coding knowledge – how is it even possible? But today, it is a matter of debate, confusion, and doubts at the same time. Does it mean we do not need professional developers to create software? Not exactly.
We live in an era when no-code, low-code, and traditional development can coexist harmoniously. Each method can cover a certain part of your development needs and bring the desired results.
Read on to learn the differences between the three development approaches and find out which will help you achieve the maximum benefit.
What Is Low-Code / No-Code Development?
As the name suggests, both no-code and low-code development do not require professional coding skills to get the work done. The only difference lies in the amount of such skill.
To start low-code (LC) development, a user needs basic technical knowledge, while no-code (NC) development can be applied by anyone with little to no coding experience.
The times when businesses had to hire developers for any software development need are officially over. Now even amateurs can delegate some technical tasks to special development platforms, leading to the emergence of the so-called “citizen developers”.
Who are citizen developers?
A citizen developer is a specialist who builds software products using their solid knowledge of low-code / no-code platforms with no IT involvement. Such employees do not have traditional development expertise but do have some excellent problem-solving skills.
This short introduction is enough to realize how popular no-code / low-code can become soon. The following numbers confirm our suggestions:
- In 2021, Gartner predicted that low- and no-coding usage will nearly triple by 2025: 70% of new applications will have some elements of low-code / no-code technologies inside, in contrast to 25% in 2020.
- It means that the market of low-code / no-code platforms is likely to grow significantly as well. According to Statista, the low-code development platform market will bring revenue of 32 billion USD in 2024 compared to 7.87 billion USD in 2018, with an impressive CAGR of 26.1%.
- Here is another striking prediction from Gartner. By 2024, non-tech professionals will be building 80% of tech products using low-code and no-code tools.
These stats may lead to the idea that traditional development processes will be replaced in the nearest future. But software development is not that simple and still requires a lot of creativity and resolution of many mind-consuming issues.
Low-Code / No-Code vs. Traditional (Custom) Software Development: Considering the Differences
When you decide to use LC / NC development platforms, you will deal with a web solution based on a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop principle. Such platforms mostly contain both low-code and no-code features so that literally anyone can use them.
Traditional development (also referred to as high-code development) is not so easily implemented. It requires some heavy manual coding and at least minimal practical experience to provide high-quality results.
These are some basic definitions, but the two approaches are fundamentally different, so we put more of their distinctive features in the illustrative infographics. Check it out below.
These characteristics show that building web and mobile apps with no-code / low-code development platforms is faster but can fail when detailed customization is required. Let us check implementation scenarios to make our comparison more straightforward.
What Are the Typical Use Cases of LC/NC and Traditional Development?
The more options you have, the better. We at CHI Software firmly believe that no coding / low coding can be applied along with the good old development workflow, depending on the goals you have in mind.
Use low-code / no-code development platforms when:
- You need a simple MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This option is great when you have just come up with a promising app development idea and would like to demonstrate how it works to, for example, potential investors. Young projects often have small budgets, so low coding can help hugely, offering less costly and stress-free development.
- You have in mind a static app or website. Imagine that you want to quickly build a landing page for a certain project within your organization, and there are only a few hours left before a project presentation. What would you do? The answer is simple: build a website within 5-10 hours using an LC / NC platform.
- You want to try out an innovative idea on a limited budget. Low code / no code solutions cannot do miracles and will not cope with, for instance, a complex machine learning solution. But if your idea concerns, let us say, some technical updates in your organization, you can start their implementation with no solid coding. And even more, you can roll back the changes with minimal costs and business risks.
Use traditional development when:
- You have detailed tech stack requirements. As a rule, low-code platforms have a prebuilt programming language under the hood, so you will not get an opportunity to choose a set of development tools.
- You have a sophisticated user interface in mind. LC / NC platforms offer some customization options when it comes to UI components, but they will not be enough if you need major code updates. Traditional development will go smoother in this case because developers will have complete control over the coding process from the very beginning and will be able to provide the desired quality.
- Some massive integrations and processing are required. In fact, you can implement quite a lot of integration using low-code platforms only. But “a lot” does not mean “all of them”. If you need, for example, to fetch data from a third-party source, process it on your site, and transfer it to other platforms, traditional coding is undoubtedly a better option.
The listed points show that the more customization and control over the development process you need, the more high-code development expertise you should use. Let us discuss it in more detail.
Questions to Ask Yourself when Choosing Between Traditional and Low-Code / No-Code Development
Just like many other spheres, software development has no one-size-fits-all solutions. Regardless of its simplicity, each project has unique features targeting a specific business need or a customer’s pain point.
So how can you figure out what type of development to choose at an early stage? How much code writing will you need? Use our infographics as a hint.
Answering these questions will give you a clearer image of the work to be done and will help development teams at the first stage of the discovery phase.
Will Low-Code Development Services Replace Professional Developers?
The short answer is no, they will not. At least in the foreseeable future. The stats we mentioned at the beginning of this article state that only low-coding elements will be used to create new software. It is only a helping tool, not a fundamental instrument.
Why are we so sure? There are several reasons for that:
- Not enough maneuverability in low-code application development. Only professional developers can scale your application with minimum negative consequences. Collaborative work and exchanging creative ideas are the only sure way to your business growth.
- Traditional developers have unique expertise. They can translate your business requirements to a programming language, pick an optimal range of tech tools to build your product, and suggest the best solution out of numerous options. Out-of-the-box platforms do not offer this level of personalization and in-depth knowledge.
- You cannot build one-of-a-kind software using only ready-made blocks. Low-code development will significantly help you with an MVP presentation or minor technical issues, but prominent software is derived from the human mind first. Low-code app builders, in other words, cover some of the routine development tasks so that human experts devote more time to creating complex architectures.
Software development automation is a natural part of technical progress, so, unsurprisingly, digital transformation becomes more accessible across all industries thanks to low-code / no-code solutions.
The IT industry is definitely one of the most dynamic ones. The changes take place every day, transforming other industries and market competition.
Now a big role in transformation processes is given to low-code / no-code development skills. But it is too early to say that traditional coding fades into the background. Instead, businesses should focus on balancing the two fundamental approaches and use the synergy of low and high codes to achieve their goals.
You can talk directly to our developers and business analysts if you have doubts about which approach to use on your project and in what proportion. There are no absolutely identical software products, so we will help you figure out how to accentuate the strengths of your development idea.
Polina is a curious writer who strongly believes in the power of quality content. She loves telling stories about trending innovations and making them understandable for the reader. Her favorite subjects include AI, AR, VR, IoT, design, and management.