Being a Low-Code Engineer – Interview with Armando Homann

1. Tell us more about the unique working environment at ProSolutions?
At ProSolutions we truly offer the full-stack development experience as you get to write applications using the latest frameworks with the flexibility to innovate whilst doing so.

Our environment is challenging and dynamic at the same time. Our developers and integration specialists do not only focus on a particular aspect of a project. They are exposed to all the moving parts, while adhering to our patterns and standards, delivering projects in an agile fashion.

2. What does a typical day involve at ProSolutions?
A typical day at ProSolutions starts with a strong cup of coffee followed by a game of foosball to get the creative juices flowing. This helps motivate the team and maintain a positive mindset for the day.

At 9 am sharp we have our team stand-up. This helps us manage our current projects, client expectations and aligns us for the day. Stand-up meetings also help us improve the shared understanding of our goals. If there are no shared goals, you have a group of individuals, not a team.

Client meetings take place throughout the day to make sure we deliver work on schedule and ensure we are aligned with client specifications.

3. What is Low-code and how do you implement it?
The low-code approach to software development relies on visual interfaces, drag-and-drop features, simple logic, and minimal coding in order to build applications and processes.

Platforms like these have become more popular as fast and easy alternatives to traditional software development. Using a low-code platform, both professional developers and “citizen developers” can build apps of varying complexity that address the demands of business, automate processes, and help organizations accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

4. In your opinion, how does low-code add value, as opposed to current programming methods?
Using traditional software development tools will always deliver value to your organization, assuming the correct delivery mechanisms and building methodology are used. However, if you are looking for quick-to-market delivery, design more solutions, and reduce maintenance and support costs, low-code is the way to go.

While traditional development requires highly skilled teams with in-depth knowledge of code, technologies and frameworks; low-code is more inclusive. The ease of building apps and the ability to translate business requirements into low-code, allows developers with varying levels of experience, as well as business analysts, to deliver apps within the required timeline.

5. How does low-code fit into the ProSol tech strategy?
ProSolutions has been using a low-code development platform since the inception of our flagship product, i-Con, in 2003.

In terms of our tech strategy, we aim to have a SaaS solution by 2022, supported by our Huawei cloud partnership. We are also adding more low-code components to the i-Con toolbox, assisting developer integration into other systems.

6. What is your opinion on the adoption of low-code implementation into an enterprise environment?
Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP) are designed and developed using low-code techniques such as declarative, model-driven designs and development, and their deployment is as simple as one click.

To integrate a successful “low-code app dev” strategy into an enterprise, business should start by implementing low-code solutions to streamline Business Process Management. Quick wins can be achieved by focusing on process management, such as automating paper-based business activities and managerial approvals.

It’s important to realize that without combining the right platform with a proper strategy, an enterprise could easily find itself perpetuating a siloed approach to development.

7. How does i-Con implement low-code?
i-Con’s implementation of low-code consists of a toolbox, offering drag and drop interfaces. Each component is configurable to perform certain tasks such as email, collecting file data, connecting to databases, or consuming API’s.

A modular approach was followed with i-Con, providing out-of-the-box functionality that works without any special installation or configuration. No development is required to configure i-Con components.

8. What advice would you give to a software engineer who is thinking of moving to low-code?
As technology has advanced, the need for lengthy coding processes has decreased in the field of software development. A number of low-code platforms have become available to automate large portions of the coding process.

More than often, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs, shorten development time, and speed up product delivery. A good solution to this dilemma is the use of low-code platforms. Low-code platforms are tools within the toolkit of a software engineer. Used correctly, low-code tools can dramatically decrease time to market and deliver high-quality custom apps under the right conditions.

It is important to understand that low-code is not anti-code. This will prevent engineers from getting bogged down with the boring work and enable them to spend more time on the fun stuff. The adoption of low-code solutions might mean software engineers aren’t building as many CRUD applications, but there will always be a need for Software Engineers who understand the inner workings of a system in order to solve unique and challenging problems.

Product teams that thrive in the age of low-code tools will embrace them when they make sense and build custom tools when they don’t. Low-code technology will enable software engineers to move faster, build leaner teams, and deliver greater value.

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