‘Low code’: how to learn to program without knowing how to program | Technology
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The technology consultancy Gartner estimates that, in 2025, seven out of 10 applications will be developed with low-code programming (low code) or no code (no code), which allow non-digital professionals to create technological solutions that facilitate their daily work in companies. This data coincides with the forecasts of the directors of 25 companies included in the report Low-code analysis: new paradigm in software developmentprepared by Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital) and NTT Data, within the framework of Barcelona Digital Talent, the alliance to reduce the digital talent gap promoted by MWC together with the Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya, [email protected], Tech Barcelona, Foment del Treball Nacional, Barcelona Global, PIMEC, Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat de Catalunya.
Four out of 10 companies interviewed for this report state that they have already begun to train non-technological professionals in the use of low code software. Seven out of 10 are convinced that the use of low code will increase in the next three years. And almost nine out of 10 believe that the software of low code will facilitate the employability of non-technological profiles.
Low-code programming is one of the main solutions to the “digital talent gap”, at a time when “the need to adopt and implement technology is greater than ever”, highlights the director of Mobile’s digital talent program World Capital, Jordi Arrufi. According to Eurostat data, 55% of companies in the European Union face difficulties hiring specialists in information and communication technologies.
Faced with this shortage of technology professionals, more and more companies are choosing to train profiles from other fields to turn them into what has been called citizen developers, training them in the use of software low code. In this way, Arrufí points out, “more people can contribute to the implementation of technology”. In addition, this strategy has an added advantage, since it makes it possible to have “hybrid profiles who know the needs of their profession and learn to use technology to facilitate their day-to-day life”, since each citizen developer “continues in their professional field, but assuming a more technological role”.
One of these citizen developers is Adrià Bou, 26 years old and a graduate in Business Administration and Management (ADE). After three years working in the cost accounting department of the finance area of the Bayer pharmaceutical company, at the end of last year he received training in technology low code. “Before joining Bayer he had no knowledge of automation. Thanks to the training provided by the company, I have been acquiring a technical capacity that allows me to carry out applications in the area in which I work”.
Adrià Bou’s latest project at Bayer is a robot developed with UiPath Studio, which works under the system drag & drop -drag and drop in English-, which allows the user to interact with the software intuitively. The technological application created by Bou facilitates the analysis of the performance of one of the planning systems to carry out the annual budget, to report the data to the auditors, thus avoiding any failure of the system when transferring the information.
“My colleagues had to spend an hour and a half every day logging into the system to check that nothing was wrong. The robot takes only half an hour, which has saved them about 200 hours. The idea came from them, who decided to ask me for help to automate these daily checks. Being inside the area, it didn’t take me long to understand them and to develop this robot”, recalls Adrià Bou.
The advantage of forming hybrid profiles like yours is that “they know the business very well and with low code they can make small developments to improve the quality of day-to-day work and contribute new ideas, which do not necessarily have to be carried out by them if they are large-scale developments. The technician knows about artificial intelligence and robotics, but does not know each area in depth; therein lies the key”, explains Massimiliano Di Renzo, head of analysis and cross-functional applications – GTPM at Bayer, which already has more than 50 citizen developers in the world, of which 20 are in Spain. The company plans to double these figures in a year, in addition to “training the entire workforce so that they know the potential” of these solutions, in part, through the citizen developers themselves.
At Pepsico, citizen developers have the support of technology professionals and technical advice. As a curiosity, reveals Pepsico’s director of control for Southwest Europe, Esther Fancelli, “every time we make a bot, we give it a nickname”. Nina, for example, is “a bot that focuses on resolving outstanding payments. It performs filters, automatically creates a file of pending invoices and sends an email notification and fills in a daily report”, explains Maria Rosa Roda Aguilar, billing supervisor at Iberia PepsiCo, who at 58 years old works as a citizen developer after working more 30 years in the company.
“One day, the company offered us the opportunity to participate in a project that included training in UiPath and carrying out a bot. As passionate about these issues, I signed up and was one of the chosen ones. Our task is to achieve a significant reduction in repetitive work for the team and it motivates us because we firmly believe in streamlining manual work and dedicating ourselves to higher value tasks”, recalls Maria Rosa Roda Aguilar.
Beyond the initiatives promoted by the manufacturers of low code software and companies, Arrufí considers that there is a lack of more training in low-code programming, both in regulated and non-regulated programs, for which he also foresees that the introduction of this training content will increase rapidly in the coming years.
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