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From Citizen Developer to Pro: Online Resources for Mastering Low-Code

UI Bakery Team
By
UI Bakery Team
February 29, 2024
From Citizen Developer to Pro: Online Resources for Mastering Low-Code

You’ve probably heard of low-code development, but you don’t know where to start in this process. In this article, we’ll dive into what low-code development is and share resources and best practices to help you master low-code.

What is Low-Code Development?

Low-code development is a fast-rising software development approach that enables users to design and develop applications with minimal coding effort. It relies on graphical user interfaces and configurations (mostly drag-and-drop) instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming. 

Simply put, low-code development helps you build websites without using any of the traditional coding languages that most programmers and developers know and use. Low-code platforms aim to simplify the application development process so that developers of varying experience levels can create applications quickly and more efficiently. By 2025, it’s predicted that over 70% of the newest websites and applications will have been built by a low-code platform.

Features of a Low-code Platform

Low-code development can significantly reduce the time from application conception to deployment. And much of that speed comes from several features that make using low-code platforms much easier than building sites and apps from scratch. 

Here are a few of low-code’s key features:

  • Drag-and-Drop Interfaces — These user-friendly interfaces allow developers to build applications by dragging and dropping components into a workflow or a layout. This makes designing the user interface, defining workflows, and setting up data models easier without writing extensive code.
  • Visual Modeling Tools — Low-code platforms use visual models to represent the logic of applications, making it easier for developers to understand and design complex processes without deep technical knowledge of coding languages.
  • Reusability — Many low-code platforms offer pre-built templates, components, and functions to reuse across different projects. As a result, it significantly speeds up the development process.
  • Automation — Low-code development often includes automation tools for testing, deployment, and integration with other applications or databases. When you use these features, you greatly reduce manual effort and potential errors.

Pros and Cons of Low Code Development

Here's an overview of the pros and cons of adopting low-code development:

Pros of Low-Code Development

  • Low-code platforms significantly reduce development time with pre-built templates and drag-and-drop functionalities.
  • It can lower the overall cost of application development and maintenance by speeding up the development process and requiring fewer specialized resources.
  • These platforms enable non-technical users or citizen developers to create or contribute to applications.
  • Businesses can quickly adapt to market changes or new requirements by easily updating applications without extensive coding efforts.
  • They facilitate collaboration between business and IT teams by providing a common platform to work on.

Cons of Low-Code Development

  • Low-code platforms are great for developing applications quickly. Still, they may offer a different customization and control level than traditional coding.
  • Applications built on low-code platforms may only sometimes perform as well as those built with traditional development methods.
  • Relying on a specific low-code platform can lead to vendor lock-in, making it difficult to switch platforms or integrate with systems outside the platform's ecosystem without incurring significant costs or redevelopment efforts.
  • Some low-code platforms may not be suited to scale applications to meet high demand or develop large, complex systems.
  • Ensuring that applications built with low-code platforms meet all security and compliance requirements can be challenging, as the underlying code and infrastructure are abstracted from the developer.
  • Overreliance on the Platform: Heavy reliance on a low-code platform for development might limit the technical skill development of the IT team.

Resources You Need to Learn and Master Low-Code

If you’re planning to learn low-code development, you can pull insights and knowledge from droves of online resources. Here are some of the best places to get low-code development tutorials and lessons:

1. Official Platform Documentation and Training

Most low-code platforms offer comprehensive documentation and training materials. That will most likely include tutorials, user guides, and best practices tailored to their specific environment. We recommend these popular low-code platforms with highly helpful documentation:

Starting with the official resources these platforms provide can give you a solid foundation in their specific tools and features.

2. Online Courses and Tutorials

Several online learning platforms offer courses on low-code development. These training materials will include all levels, from beginner to advanced. Some will share the fundamentals of low-code development, and others will share more advanced concepts and practices. Look for courses on:

3. Community Forums and Developer Communities

Joining community forums and developer communities can provide valuable insights and support as you learn. These communities are great for asking questions, sharing experiences, and staying informed about the latest developments in low-code technology. Some platforms have their own forums, while others can be found on sites like:

4. Work on Real Projects

As the old saying goes, “Practice makes progress” (no, it won’t make you perfect). So, practice projects will help. Start with small projects to apply what you've learned and gradually increase complexity as you become more comfortable. Many platforms offer free trials or developer editions that you can use for learning purposes.

Low-Code Best Practices to Make You a Pro

Adopting low-code development effectively requires understanding best practices that can help you maximize the benefits of these platforms while minimizing potential pitfalls. Here are some key best practices for low-code development to help you become a pro:

1. Clearly Define Requirements and Scope

Work closely with your stakeholders, whether bosses, teams, or clients, to clearly understand the business requirements and goals of the application. Doing so will help you align the final product with their business needs.

Define the scope of your project carefully to avoid scope creep. Low-code platforms make it easy to add features. But remember that unnecessary complexity can lead to maintenance and scalability issues.

2. Start with a Prototype

Use low-code platforms for rapid prototyping, meaning you should have some visual representation of the site before you build it. This allows you to visualize ideas and gather feedback from stakeholders early in the development process, leading to better-aligned outcomes.

We highly recommend using tools like Figma or Adobe XD to make your wireframes.

3. Emphasize Collaboration

Encourage collaboration between UX designers, business analysts, IT professionals, and end-users. Low-code platforms are accessible to a broader range of people. That will make it much easier to work together with cross-functional teams.

Many low-code platforms also have documentation, version control, and communication features. Use these tools to enhance teamwork and project management.

4. Ensure Scalability and Performance

Before committing to a platform, evaluate its scalability options and performance metrics to ensure it can support your application as it grows. Regularly monitor the performance of your applications, especially if they are critical to business operations. Be prepared to optimize or refactor parts of your application to maintain performance standards.

5. Focus on Security and Compliance

Security should be top of mind when creating a website or app today. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Over 66% of businesses have experienced cyberattacks in the last 12 months. Make sure your applications comply with relevant security standards and data protection regulations. Utilize the security features provided by the platform and conduct regular security assessments.

Understand the compliance requirements for your application and use the tools and features of the low-code platform to meet these requirements effectively.

8. Maintain Code Hygiene and Documentation

Even though low-code development requires less coding, you will still need some code hygiene. We recommend using naming conventions, clear workflows, and logic. Avoid unnecessary complexity in your codes. Less is always more. 

Document your application thoroughly. You should include business logic, integrations, and custom code. These records will all be invaluable for maintenance, troubleshooting, and future development efforts.

Keep Learning

Just because you can build a website without code doesn’t mean we should be complacent. An attitude and culture of constant learning will help you create better outputs and stay competent in the digital age. Consider picking up a fast track computer science degree to learn how to build a website or app. Yes, education still matters. The day you stop learning will be the day you stop growing.

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