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InfoQ Homepage News Recent Appian Survey Unveils Worst Aspects of IT Developer Jobs

Recent Appian Survey Unveils Worst Aspects of IT Developer Jobs

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Low-code provider Appian recently released a survey conducted among IT developers to gauge their satisfaction at work. According to the survey, the three worst aspects of IT jobs are time spent troubleshooting application issues, pressure due to time constraints and deadlines, and time wasted on repetitive coding task.

Appian's survey also gives a rough idea of the kind of applications IT developers are increasingly asked for, namely those aiming to integrate emerging technologies with legacy systems. This effort is often aimed to improve customer experience and engagements, to optimize internal processes, and to enable innovation.

Being Appian itself a provider of low-code development solutions, it's no surprise that, among respondents to the survey, 80% stated that low-code can help improve their satisfaction at work by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up time to work on higher-level projects. InfoQ has spoken with Malcolm Ross, vice president of product at Appian, to learn more about how low-code can help accomplish that.

InfoQ: According to your survey, a large portion of surveyed IT developers think that a low-code platform can positively impact their work. Would you please summarize what the benefits of low-code are and how it can be used by IT developers?

Malcolm Ross: Appian’s recent survey shows that nearly 80% of IT developers say low-code can improve key aspects of their job satisfaction and it’s with good reason. Often times, the development of applications required in today’s competitive business climate calls for extensive coding knowledge and effort, meaning organizations must invest far more time and resources than they can manage. That’s why low-code platforms are becoming so important in the developer world; low-code is essential for removing the barriers that stand in the way.

By lowering the requirement of extensive coding and replacing it with visual, drag-and-drop tools, low-code simplifies the development process and strengthens the connection between IT and meeting business needs. With traditional, code-intensive processes gone, developers are freed up to focus on more innovative and forward-thinking projects. In fact, Appian’s survey found that nearly 80% of developers believe that using low-code can free up time to work on higher-level projects. And 80% agree that low-code is useful for automation of repetitive development tasks, such as coding forms and business rules. Ultimately, this means faster development, more powerful and intelligent applications, and a lower cost.

InfoQ;: The promise behind low-code platforms seems high-valued. Yet, some people think low-code cannot scale within large organizations, and others even go so far as to say low-code platforms' promise cannot be actually fulfilled. How would you frame those claims? Have you got any significant use case to disprove them?

Ross: While it may be the opposite of what many think when they consider low-code, enterprise-grade low-code is what empowers an IT organization to fully meet the growing and complex needs of a business at scale while fostering widespread innovation. That may not be the case for every platform, but today leading enterprise-grade low-code platforms can manage complex processes and large data sets with high security, scalability and reliability. In fact, what we’ve seen recently with the rapid rise of widespread access to new applications, software and services in the digital marketplace is evidence of the scalability and impact that low-code is having on the industry.

Thanks to enterprise low-code offering faster and simplified development at a lower cost, organizations can scale applications for any project, program, or business, no matter how large, without sacrificing security, quality and reliability.

InfoQ: The IT world has been recently revolutionized by DevOps and containerization. How do you see the two trends coexisting? Are there any synergies or leverage between them?

Ross: Containerization is the modern way to deploy applications while low-code is the modern way to create applications. The two co-exist perfectly. In fact, Appian makes it easy to run its platform in Docker containers, allowing Appian servers to be easily scaled to accommodate higher load. Pairing low-code with containers amplifies the benefits and allows for streamlined and cost-effective development processes, which ultimately equates to more powerful applications that meet growing business needs. Low-code is a technology that helps promote a DevOps approach to development. Once the “building blocks” are in place, developers can create apps rapidly and also make changes across all platforms simultaneously much more easily than with custom coded applications.

Conducted by IDG, Appian "Impact of Low-code on IT Satisfaction" survey can be downloaded from Appian website.

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Community comments

  • Developers like to write code

    by Javier Paniza /

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    80% of IT developers say low-code can improve key aspects of their job satisfaction...
    replacing it with visual, drag-and-drop tools


    I don't believe it. Developers like to write code.

  • Visual tools are a nightmare

    by Enrique Benito /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    A much better approach to "Low-code" is to split APIs into low-level (dirty and complex ones developed by experts or gurus) and high-level (clean and easy ones). For the high-level ones, just use simple and user-friendly languages like Python.
    This is exactly how data-science and machine-learning is working right now since professionals in those topics are not advanced developers (but they are not stupid and have no problem to learn Pandas, numpy or keras).
    Visual tools introduce two new problems for each problem they solve and my experience with visual-tools-IT proffesional is that many of them end up completely ignoring what is "behind the scenes", and that's really a big, big, big problem.

  • Re: Visual tools are a nightmare

    by Xunjin One /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Why is that a problem?! Let's create another "great" visual-tool that literally kills maintainability and a better understanding of the application itself, just to have a nice drag-and-drop experience /s
    Leaving the sarcasm behind I do agree with you, people think that simple solutions are "simple n easy" to solve.

  • Re: Developers like to write code

    by Sergio De Simone /

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    That is undoubtedly true when developers learn something they are interested in when coding -- at least in my experience. Imagine, though, to have to write the same kind of code time after time -- say a bunch of SQL queries, each depending on the result provided by the previous, with small differences between each case so that it is not possible to create some overarching abstractions (because you already have all the abstractions in place, you only have different domains where you apply those same abstractions). That would not be loved, possibly just tedious and error prone.

  • Re: Visual tools are a nightmare

    by Sergio De Simone /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I agree that visual tools bring their own bunch of problems with them and are not a panacea. Low-code is not being suggested as a solution to all kinds of problems, though -- at least not in this article. It may help to have, for example, a code generator that will give you an SQL query that you can later connect to a subsequent query. It's not that the tool has to hide the fact that you are dealing with SQL queries, only that it will spare you the trouble of going and look at the table schema, and then at the column names, and so on, or even to all the different tables that are there and that you have to connect. Or even, think of generating a form to edit data spread across 4 tables. This is the kind of scenario where I think this kind of tool can help -- and there are many more -- but they are surely not the majority of cases.

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