Fudge Sunday - Our Low Code No Code Past, Present, and Future

by Jay Cuthrell
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Start the week more informedThis week we take a quick look at the past, present, and future of Low Code No Code + Developer Evangelism Relations Advocacy. Buckle up for a ride!

Getting Informed

I'm sensing a trend! Now if we can just all agree on spelling...I’m sensing a trend! Now if we can just all agree on spelling…

Low Code and No Code spelling variations

Software applications (apps) are typically created by software application developers. So, if we are to live in a world where “there is an app for everything” then it will take a lot more software application developers.

Or, creating apps will need to require fewer software application developers over time. Software application developers write code, so perhaps a way to require fewer software application developers is to consider less code, lowered amounts of code, or no code at all.

Creating apps for everything even if you aren’t a software application developer sounds like it might be a very big deal one day. Gee… If only there was a way to explain this less code required concept with an inconsistently spelled new terminology?

Good news!

If you’ve heard of low code, low/code, low-code or no code, no/code, no-code then you’ve experienced a neologism that can’t decide how it should be spelled. Don’t worry though, Gartner says that by next year more companies than not will be using Low Code in pursuit of productivity gains from their largest employment ranks — people that are not developers.

yes, that’s ( — ) an em dash

Four years ago, Gartner published Enterprise High-Productivity Application (EHPA) reports. EHPA had a magic quadrant with three (3) companies in the “Leaders” quadrant such as Salesforce, OutSystems, and Mendix.

Three years ago, OutSystems took ~$350M in funding and a few months later Mendix was acquired for ~$700M by Siemens.

Two years ago, Gartner began publishing Low Code Application Platform (aka LCAP) reports. LCAP has a magic quadrant now too.

Most recently in 2021, Gartner has added more LCAP “Leaders”. Joining Mendix, Salesforce, and OutSystems are a rapidly ascending ServiceNow and Microsoft.

In short, LCAP is a fast growing market to help companies empower people that are not developers. So, what does that mean for the companies that have been investing heavily in… Developer Evangelism, Developer Relations, and Developer Advocacy?

Let’s think about that next.

Developer Evangelism Relations Advocacy

When I think of Developer Evangelism, I think of 1990s era sweat dripping executives on stage remixed with industrial house dub sensibility. Maybe that’s just me though but evangelism has more of a direct selling connotation that goes for land and expand goals vs. adoption of a platform through the Marketing organization.

When I think of Developer Relations, I think of the companies that seek to enable adoption of a platform. Fundamentally, the goal is to align to the success of the developers through the Sales organization.

When I think of Developer Advocacy, I think of the individuals that are organized for maximum impact by leaders in Developer Relations. As such, the Developer Advocacy function is a resource to Sales that is focused exclusively on the success of the developers using the platform.

This Twitter thread from the Director of DevRel at Microsoft is worth the ride.

You can count the P’s:

  • Pedagogy
  • Proxemics
  • Presentation
  • Performance
  • Practitioners
  • Pandemic
  • Proficiency
  • Profundity
  • Positioning
  • Positivity
  • Perturbed
  • Progress
  • Passion
  • Protégé
  • People

Ashley Willis

@ashleymcnamara

If you work in DevRel how has the pandemic changed the job and what impact do you think it will have on the future of developer relations?

2:50 PM - 23 Nov 2021

So, how does an organization attain DevRel success?

Jeramiah Dooley, now with 50% more mRNA

@jdooley_clt

You know how you balance metrics and magic in DevRel?

Good leadership.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. https://t.co/eRjXgUMV6c

4:23 PM - 2 Dec 2021

Let’s circle back though to the Low Code topic we started with earlier.

  • How do you widen the aperture of access to the ways of developers?
  • How do you reach those that are not developers?
  • Will courses help for those that are not developers?

Christina Warren

@film_girl

Would anyone be interested in a course about version control, GitHub, and Markdown for non-developers?

7:37 PM - 2 Dec 2021

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

If you’ve ever followed @film_girl then you know she is usually far far ahead of the curve. So, seeing a call out to non-developers is definitely something to pay attention to and think about more.

Now we’re going to get back to the Low Code and No Code…

How did we get here?

Let’s look back a decade or so then look forward.

2011

The beginning…

Back in late 2011, a 2010 startup called If This Then That caught the attention of several tech blog outlets such Daring Fireball and Laughing Squid. IFTTT had a simple mission: Connect, integrate, and automate your favorite apps and devices.

www.techmeme.com

2012

Taking care of business…

Zapier (YCS12) is viewed as an “IFTTT for business users”. Later that same year, IFTTT raised ~$7M in funding from A16Z and others.

www.techmeme.com

2013

Catching the wave…

Forrester summarizes a growing body of trends around low-code development platforms in areas of business-process management (BPM), web content-management, and general-purpose apps.

www.forrester.com

2014

ESTEEM is STEM plus Ethics plus EmpathyESTEEM is STEM plus Ethics plus Empathy

By 2014, you couldn’t go very far on Internet or modern media before the term STEM is mentioned or extolled as a target to reach. STEM was the backronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I like word games so I wrote a blog post about two important missing letters.

fudge.org

Around this same time, Forrester doubles down on the categorization of Low Code platforms.

Alpha Software

@AlphaSoftware

[email protected]forrester report on the benefits of low-code platforms. @passion4process @johnrrymer http://t.co/xkqrEaTjo0 http://t.co/MXyBjbD6CN

10:20 AM - 24 Sep 2014

2015

By 2015, you might recall the STEM movement was in high gear. While not all STEM leads to the creation of professional software developers, the decide to widen the aperture of access to software development was already well underway as the “the creator economy” of 50 million people sought greater access to productivity tools.

Knowledge

@Know365

Low code, no code, or professional - all are welcome to CreateNow! #CreatorCon #Know15 -Pat Casey http://t.co/aMr97nkEkH

12:45 PM - 21 Apr 2015

So, at this point, it might be fair to say “This May Be A Revolution”.

🤓

Irma Vermaat

@irmavermaat

Low code platforms https://t.co/wwkpoR8h2d

8:15 AM - 7 Dec 2015

2016

[ Microsoft has entered the chat… ]

Microsoft launches Flow as an IFTTT-like automation tool that can be used for a variety of cloud services.

www.techmeme.com

2017

[ Microsoft has re-entered the chat… ]

By 2017, Microsoft Flow is updated with improved workflows for groups, and PowerApps platform Azure Functions integration.

www.techmeme.com

2018

By 2018, we see Low Code appear next to topics like robotic process automation (RPA) within the fintech circles that ensure compliance and regulatory elements of the business.

Ying Chen

@YingChen42

Great insight from Reetu Khosla on pragmatic #AI & #RPA within #KYC #banking and how low code/no code changes the game @Pegasystems https://t.co/uPLHKKwQGL

7:23 PM - 19 Oct 2018

2019

By 2019, companies that are fully exploring the extended capabilities of Office 365 are already starting to adopt Low Code approaches.

Microsoft Teams

@MicrosoftTeams

One of the core value drivers within #MicrosoftTeams is its extensible and customizable platform. Learn how to build low code/no code approval workflows for your team using @MicrosoftTeams, @SharePoint, and @MicrosoftFlow: https://t.co/mpBFRKQJIl https://t.co/hX2GSIstbq

2:15 PM - 2 Apr 2019

2020

By 2020, you could see the Low Code story take on a new dynamic with the emergence of ML/AI turning a descriptive line of text into an application.🤯

Sharif Shameem

@sharifshameem

I built a todo list app simply by describing it to GPT-3.

It generated the React code for a fully functioning app within seconds.

I’m becoming more impressed and aware of its capabilities every single day. https://t.co/QGrClar03s

5:35 AM - 18 Jul 2020

And yet…

Not all Low Code stories have happy endings. For example, by 2021, Google would eventually shut down, G Suite App Maker which provided a low-code environment for building custom business apps.

www.techmeme.com

2021

By 2021, there are now SaaS metrics like monthly active users (MAU) trumpeted in quest to reach the ~50-500 million people that are not developers.

Frank X. Shaw

@fxshaw

Power Platform is the clear leader in low code/no code development, with more than 11 million monthly active users

5:37 PM - 26 Jan 2021

CIOs are discussing topics like robotic process automation (RPA), integration platforms as a service (PaaS), as well as Low Code platforms in an increasingly strategic manner.

CIO.com

@CIOonline

Top 7 #ERP trends for 2021

📌 #Cloud migrations
📌 #AI
📌 Mobility
📌 ERP app stores
📌 Integration #PaaS
📌 Low code/no code
📌 Customer experience

➡️ Learn more: https://t.co/IK72Sv0nvk

@nealweinberg #CX #cloudmigration #lowcode

5:04 AM - 3 Feb 2021

Now, imagine the Global Head of Machine Learning Business Development, Startups & Venture Capital at Amazon Web Services being interested in this topic and…. oh wait… you don’t have to.

Allie K. Miller

@alliekmiller

I’m looking to meet with the world’s best low code/no code ML startups.

If that’s you or you know someone, reply or DM. Will try and reply to as many as I can.

Can meet with founders in any timezone, referrals encouraged 🌎

3:34 PM - 3 Feb 2021

Outside of the Enterprise conversation, there are consumer trends that the creator economy has been expressing as a window to the future of how work will be done in the coming years.

Zoe Scaman

@zoescaman

Great piece on how the rise of low code/no code tools is opening the floodgates for the democratisation of creativity, ideas, innovations.

From TikTok, to Fortnite creative mode, to Weta + Unity.

https://t.co/UUf3ctiapR

4:25 AM - 22 Nov 2021

The Cambrian Explosion in Software and ContentThe Cambrian Explosion in Software and Content

How Low Code & No Code Unlock Creation

digitalnative.substack.com

If you remember when a successful “blog” could unlock significant advertising revenues 20 years ago, just wait til you find out what Low Code is capable of enabling for an entire business today.

Karthik Sridharan

@KarthikS2206

Our $3 million startup is built on a $60/month NoCode stack:

  1. Marketing website: Unicorn ($10)
  2. Product: Airtable ($0 - credits), Bubble ($25)
  3. Misc.: Webflow ($25)

Building tech has become affordable!

I’ve shared everything I know about 7 types of NoCode tools 👇🏼

11:31 PM - 24 Nov 2021

[ AWS has entered the chat… ]

AWS announces Amplify Studio, a Low Code service using Figma to help developers build cloud apps, as an extension of its AWS Amplify service.

www.techmeme.com

Now, imagine if the CEO of a SaaS Observability company (Observe) built entirely on the platform of another company (Snowflake) was to weigh in on this Low Code topic from a revered industry pundit and…. oh wait… you don’t have to.

Jeremy Burton

@jburton

This 👇 I’m a fan of the low code movement (no code is just dumb). In late 90s - Visual Basic IMHO set the high bar in history for app dev productivity and since then nothing has come close to matching its ease of UI creation and declarative binding to database objects. https://t.co/ZA2RaqXFpX

7:35 PM - 4 Dec 2021

Grady Booch

@Grady_Booch

“No code” is an appealing phrase, but in the end, “no code” is just about raising the level of abstraction while hiding a myriad of pre-decided design decisions just below the surface.

Don’t get me wrong; there is good value here just as there was with @MrAlanCooper’s VB https://t.co/8uw0EYxQYi

6:43 PM - 4 Dec 2021

DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

@ThePracticalDev

In the past, No-Code tools were used by developers to prototype their ideas but now these tools are more user-friendly and you don’t need to be a developer to use them!

{ author: @Mark16593885 } #DEVCommunity
https://t.co/Zrje6SGD6e

6:08 PM - 4 Dec 2021

Past, Present, and Future: DevOps

At this point, you might ask “Wait, does this mean DevOps succeeded?”

Well, sort of.

  • The goal is to solve business problems with rapid app development via Low Code.
  • Low code is only made possible by developers and operations enabling and empowering a far greater audience.
  • The audience is people that are not developers.

First, consider the past and present of DevOps culture as captured in this video from GitHub featuring DevOps For Dummies author Emily Freeman.

(If you haven’t heard of Emily before, she is a Java backend engineer that channeled her developer experiences with pager weary operations teams into informative conference talks, educational articles, and a book!)

What is DevOps?What is DevOps?

Next, consider the future of DevOps culture to expressed as follows:

Empower and enable users to build apps for everything via Low Code

Will that DevOps future be realized?

Place your bets.

Disclosure

I am linking to my disclosure.

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✍️ 🤓 Edit on Github 🐙 ✍️

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