The question I hear the most as the owner of Clocklike Minds is:
What is low-code/bpm all about?
My friends and family, and even individuals working in the industry and candidates at interviews, are all wondering – who creates the applications on our platforms? Is it developers or maybe business people with appropriate technical training? Do you have to have a college degree or is it enough to participate in a few courses?
I will try to tell you what it looks like from the perspective of a person who has been involved with Pega technology for nearly 12 years.
In my opinion, the key quality that a developer of such applications should have is creativity and the ability to think computationally. Maybe this definition sounds a bit complicated, but it is simply the process of finding solutions to problems in various fields, with a conscious use of computer methods and tools.
This process consists of the following steps:
- Decomposition of the problem into its component parts
- Analysis, i.e., identification of regularities
- Elimination of irrelevant elements
- Solving the problem
I simply call it: the developer intuition or flair.
Programming languages and low-code platforms are just examples of the methods and tools you use to implement a solution which has already been invented. Of course, each language is structured differently and requires different methods/functions/techniques, so the entry thresholds for each technology are different. For low-code/bpm platforms, this threshold is much lower, compared to standard programming languages and tools. 🚀🚀🚀
You don’t have to think about the whole range of technical aspects which need to be taken care of when using standard programming methods. You are not creating a multithreaded code, you are not using semaphores and mutexes, reflections, filters, interceptors, annotations, and dependency injection. The greater level of abstraction that comes with using ready-made components and visual tools allows you to focus more on the business issues, for which you need to prepare an IT solution. This results in greater business awareness on the developers’ side. Our specialists are experts in the areas such as leasing, insurance, and banking, and they know most of the processes and products, as well as client-related matters. In addition, working closely with the people for whom we create IT solutions allows us to prepare them faster and better. This form of cooperation with business teams, however, requires appropriate soft skills, which is why openness, communication skills, and the ability to compromise and manage conflicts are extremely important or even essential qualities.
What about Pega? What does working with this technology look like?
Here, we have a lot of possibilities. Developers can create and configure simpler functionalities (process diagrams, reports, UI) but also perform very complex tasks (advanced integrations with various technologies, custom extensions in Java, configurations and implementations of security mechanisms). Pega enables versatile development and allows you to simultaneously develop skills on many levels: backend, frontend, integration, data analysis…. – no need to choose. The specificity of working on a low-code platform allows each team member to performs tasks from multiple areas, and smaller project teams increase each member’s exposure and their influence on the final shape of the solution.
What about IT studies and experience? Is it necessary? 🏫🏦
To start working with technology, studies and experience are not necessary. On the other hand, a person who has and appropriate degree and experience certainly possesses a significant advantage. Otherwise, the candidate has to learn about certain areas on their own, by facing more and more difficult tasks. The path through trainings and coding schools is faster (emphasis is placed on skills that are immediately useful on the job), but some homework will still need to be done. That’s why mentoring and building balanced project teams is so important, which is something Łukasz Bieniewicz writes about in his article (read it here)
In summary, the main selection criteria for people who want to become low-code/bpm system developers are problem-solving skills, an open mind, willingness to learn, and creativity. One should also like working with other people, operate skillfully in a team, and be ready to face different organizational cultures. Once a candidate meets these requirements, all that’s left for them to do is study, work, and continuously develop and improve their technical skills. This is inevitable in the IT industry, because technology alone, even the best one, is not enough to create good quality solutions. The human factor remains crucial. 👩💻👨💻