Mastering low- or no-code application development is a smart move at every stage of your career.
In May-June of 2017, Quick Base surveyed 231 customer organizations at the EMPOWER 2017 conference in Boston, MA. These organizations represent 115,000 Quick Base application builders and users across 30+ industries. Then, we surveyed 782 non-customer organizations (also across 30+ industries) that use traditional and low-code application development platforms, business point solutions or productivity tools for tracking people, projects and processes. Results from these two surveys formed the basis of Quick Base’s State of Business Apps 2017 Report.
By examining application development trends across generations, we were able to derive insights about how no- or low-code app building can enhance skills and grow opportunities throughout the career lifecycle. Here are some ideas for incorporating it creatively into your existing responsibilities whether you are at a junior level, a middle-management level, or an executive or senior level.
According to the report, most workers become involved with low- or no-code application development as a means of addressing a particular problem that is not easily or quickly solved through existing IT development channels. Millennials are especially adept at entering organizations and spotting holes that need to be plugged.
When you are at a junior level, however, it’s often not the best idea to identify a problem and then announce to everyone that you intend to overhaul the business to fix it. Instead, these professionals might consider the intermediary step of first modifying an existing no- or low-code app to meet their needs. Through this process, they’ll become schooled in the art of adapting existing forms, reports and workflow automations so that they’ll later be qualified to develop solutions from scratch. Our research showed that indeed, 30 percent of millennials take this approach.
Learning to use no- or low-code platforms also helps ambitious, junior-level professionals with the common goal of innovation. This type of application development encourages quick and easy creation and iteration, and tooling around with solutions so that they evolve to meet different requirements over time.
Of course, in addition to doing meaningful work, most junior-level professionals also want to get promoted. The sheer act of improving existing or developing novel technology solutions may well achieve that goal. Our research showed that nearly three out 10 earn a promotion because they have demonstrated a willingness and ability to take ownership over problems and find appropriate solutions.
By the time they reach middle management, most professionals face a host of business challenges relating to overseeing teams, projects and processes.
Whether they have a technology background or not, many mid-level managers feel the stress and pain of using generic point solutions. These offerings can be difficult to customize and integrate, and may not be able to keep up with the constant changes in business data and process needs. And, of course, poor user adoption and process adherence are perennial thorns in their side. Inefficiencies abound and resources are wasted.
Mid-level managers can take their companies and individual careers to the next level with no- or low-code application development. With a minimal amount of training and no professional development experience, these managers can (for example) create standard forms for capturing and reporting critical data, and automate how processes are initiated and managed with all the required data entries, approvals, and notifications. Whether they used the platforms themselves or prompted their team members to do so, nearly 70 percent of survey respondents who implemented no- or low-code solutions in this way were recognized for adding value to the business.
Baby Boomer leaders are far more likely to rely on traditional technology solutions to solve business problems – even if these legacy systems are clunky and not quite up to the task. Boomers can make a mark merely by embracing more agile development processes and being open to all they have to offer.
Senior leaders can get with the 21st century program by learning about the benefits of rapid application development, either through industry or IT resources or company mentors. They can work with younger teammates to brainstorm how these no- or low-code platforms can be used to streamline unwieldy and possibly ancient processes and improve project management functions, and then reward employees who contribute useful solutions. Ageism is a real thing in today’s business world, but Boomer leaders can defend against it by showcasing their willingness to be progressive and flexible. Swallowing their fear of new technologies and jumping in enthusiastically will automatically put them ahead of similarly-aged peers – and they will be far less likely to be considered obsolete and out of touch.
How are you using no- or low-code platforms to get noticed in your organization?