There was a time when there was only one option available to companies who wanted to build an app – use traditional hand coding.
As a team of experienced developers ourselves, we know that there are significant benefits of using hand coding to build certain types of software. But there can also be drawbacks, and that’s why we have embraced the emergence of low code platforms too.
That way, we are able to offer clients the approach that suits them best – advising on whether to choose low code vs traditional development, no matter where they are in their digital transformation journey.
The pros and cons of traditional development
Traditional hand coding might sound old fashioned or archaic – it’s anything but. Talented and experienced developers use programming languages such as Python and Java to create software programmes from scratch. Good traditional development results in highly usable and useful software and it has transformed many processes and commercial offerings.
So, hand coding is far from unfashionable – it is just better suited to certain types of development projects. These include particularly complex or customised solutions, where developers need to have complete control over every element. Development can be completely bespoke, but with that comes additional time, resources and costs required in order to fully deliver the solution required.
These are some of the reasons traditional development might not be right for your project. So it’s always worth considering both sides before you decide on the right approach for you.
For example, hand coding takes a long time. When you are asking developers to write code from scratch, you are asking the team to invest a considerable amount of time and effort into your project. This can extend development cycles – particularly if the team is busy, or you have a change of personnel during your project.
It can also be expensive – you are paying for highly skilled developers, often with many years of experience behind them. This costs money, and so you should check whether your budget can absorb these types of costs.
And finally, as with all human processes, there’s the potential for errors in the coding. If you are hiring a reliable development team, these can often be avoided, but it’s easy to make a mistake in the code – one that you might not find during testing, but can cause trouble for your end users.
Considering the low code option
Low code development has been increasing in availability and popularity for several years. Don’t confuse this with no code development, though. No code is where all building is done by using pre-created elements. You don’t need any technical expertise to do it, and you might get reduced functionality because of that. It’s always best to have some development experience on your project, to make sure you are getting the best technology for your needs.
Why choose low code? There are several reasons, and for us, the benefits at the top of the list are speed, cost and flexibility.
Low code platforms have elements that help to minimise the amount of hand building needed for an app or software development project. They allow integration with other platforms, and developers are able to customise the basic elements to meet the project specifications.
Significantly reducing the need for traditional coding by introducing drag and drop modules and a range of other features helps to reduce both time and cost. This supports rapid app development, meaning you can meet new business needs faster, and get to market quickly. Both of these support business growth and good customer service.
Along with this time reduction come positive cost implications. Reduced development cycle time also reduces your spend. And because you don’t need a large team of developers, you’re not paying for all that extra expertise and experience. So your bills should be much more manageable on a low code project.
Flexibility is also important – not just during the development period, but once your solution is up and running. Low code allows for collaboration, so you can discuss and update the application quickly and easily. General maintenance is also faster, and you can build in scalability, so the solution grows with your business.
Learn more about how low code can support your digital transformation journey.
Low code vs traditional – which is best?
Although low code sounds like an easy option – and it is – if you’re thinking about low code vs traditional development, bear in mind that a good low code option will also include some developer expertise.
Talk to companies who have a strong development team, because they will take the time to understand what you’re looking for, and help you to design a solution that works technically as well as aesthetically.
If possible, choose a company that partners with one of the recognised platforms – for example, we are an OutSystems partner. You can learn more about the benefits of Outsystems here
This means that we have excellent knowledge of how to use the platform to its best advantage, whilst also having the development experience to give you the advice you need.
Contact us today to find out more.
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