Low-code is used in companies to drive digital transformation. Visual application designers and other graphical modeling methods are used instead of classic programming techniques. Business applications are developed by so-called citizen developers. But does this trend necessarily spell the end for the all-important profession of programming? We wanted to know from Andreas Forger – programmer at Brixxbox – how his attitude towards low code has changed.
Brixxbox: Tell us a bit about your professional past. What were your professional stations?
Andreas Forger: Like many people in my day, I started my professional life with an apprenticeship (at the age of 16 in the commercial sector). That was at a time when an electric typewriter with retrievable text modules was already “not bad” – the 80s, that is! So the first stand alone computers came out, which made sense for small and medium sized companies. To classify this: The 1st FIBU I worked with ran on a computer with a 20MB hard disk. But even then it was about optimizing processes. As a commercial employee, I had repetitive processes that had to be invoiced manually (by typewriter). When I tried to optimize this with a computer program, I was left as a frustrated user. I made the decision to write the programs I needed for my everyday life myself. This worked out quite well and I quickly realized that putting processes into software was my thing. This was followed by a switch from business administration to programming. Over the years, different jobs followed and the more or less obligatory attempt to create my own software product.
Brixxbox: What weaknesses do you think the field of classical programming offers? What are your experiences?
Andreas Forger: In my opinion, the weakness of classical programming is not so much in the programming itself. The problem is rather the overall context in which “classical programming” is used in everyday life. It is part of a software life cycle that is no longer appropriate for many use cases today. The “classical” way of the software implementation of the task admission with the customer up to the actual conversion of the requirement by programming is connected with too many friction losses. The “silent mail” effect alone leads to unnecessary loss of time, costs and frustration for all involved. The ideal situation is, of course, that the person with a problem/request can solve it himself or is directly involved in the implementation. This requires appropriate tools that enable those involved in the project to do so. But the whole thing should not sound like the “classical” approach has always been wrong per se. The current possibilities to work differently were hardly imaginable years ago. Only with today’s powerful infrastructures, which can be accessed almost anywhere, has the basis for comprehensive project work “on site” emerged at all. One should not forget: What everyone carries around in their cell phones today would have been called a “data center” years ago.
Brixxbox: Were you familiar with the term “low code programming” before joining Brixxbox? If so, what was your idea of it?
Andreas Forger: One aspect in all the years of software development: the number of emerging terms/keywords is inexhaustible. That’s why I’ve never been so concerned with the “fads” that go along with this profession. After all, the basic requirement has always been: to implement software solutions that are as practical as possible with as little effort as possible. In my opinion, however, it is only today that our technical framework is enabling us to meet these requirements. If we are currently using the buzzword “low code” to describe the objective, that’s great.
Brixxbox: How has your attitude towards the topic of “low code” changed?
Andreas Forger: Personally, my attitude hasn’t really changed. I have always been open to innovations and support everything that contributes to developing the most ideal software solutions with the least amount of effort. That’s why I’m grateful to be involved in Brixxbox, because it corresponds exactly to my ideas about software development. I know that many of my colleagues out there have prejudices. I would advise them to just take a look at it to be able to judge it. That is the case with all things in life. In many cases, the realization will probably come: Software implementation is actually easier.
Brixxbox: Thank you for the interview.
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