With the explosion of needs, applications and help platforms are flourishing. Solutions created quickly and sometimes without a line of code, thanks to low-code technologies.
Since the start of the crisis, a real race has started. Against the clock to fight against the coronavirus, of course. But also to get out of the platforms and applications that facilitate this fight as quickly as possible. All this with limited means: many companies have used the partial activity system and members of civil society have many ideas but not always the code skills that allow them to carry them out.
The solution is all found: use a no-code or, more precisely, low-code tool. These are visual programming platforms that allow everyone to improvise as a developer without writing a single line of code, and thus quickly and easily create sites or applications. “These are fairly simple programming environments, with visual modeling logic. In a few clicks, it is possible to deploy them on the web or in application stores”, specifies Thomas Groc, co-founder of the editor of low-code solutions Intrafounders. Ideal when the needs are legion and the available resources are constrained. Like during this crisis, for example.
The crisis as a sounding board
“We have clearly seen an increase in the use of Bubble: since mid-March, the editions of applications have increased by 50%”, specifies Emmanuel Straschnov, co-founder of the visual programming platform. It is very targeted on solutions related to coronavirus, especially since we have made our service free for applications related to the crisis. Pierre Launay, co-founder of Intrafounders, confirms “there is indeed a digital surge with the crisis. This is quite new, the crisis has brought back all the symptoms of low-code, the urgency and the need for quick solutions”.
Low-code has thus gained its acclaim in record time, as evidenced by the success of the SupportLocal application, created thanks to Bubble then bought and propelled nationwide by the American media USA Today. It simply makes it possible to buy gift vouchers from local merchants, to be used after the crisis, in order to replenish their cash. “There is a viral effect. Some applications, created with low-code tools, work well. This arouses interest and users have time to learn to master these technologies", analyzes Emmanuel Straschnov to explain the sudden craze around low-code. “The rise accelerates a trend that was starting but was not yet very visible”.
For Pierre Launay, the crisis allows citizen developers - employees who have “a business cap but a product culture” - to reveal themselves. And lays the foundation for a small development revolution. “Low-code technologies address the heart of digital transformation and bring together business and IT teams. The demand for applications will explode in the near future and ways will have to be found to absorb this demand."
No way to throw away the code with the bathwater. But this unprecedented period can help development teams plan a new allocation of their time. "Low-code automates tasks and lets developers focus on high value-added tasks", explains Thomas Groc. Low-code can easily interface with current development teams. If the crisis has contributed to highlighting projects created by non-developers, it could thus permanently modify the profile of users of low-code technologies, as illustrated by Emmanuel Straschnov. "Initially, users were 100% non-technical profiles, because the products created by low-code platforms were not good enough compared to what you could do with code. Today, these are tools that coders can use".