What do we call the users of Low-Code or No-Code platforms that work for the IT dept?
Across the board, business and IT is seeing a transformation that is being driven by Low-Code and No-Code technologies. There is clear change in the job titles around development although the new terms have not yet stabilised.
Historically problems like this, are the indicator of genuine profound change!
Low-Code and No-Code is definitely not a replacement for developers or an IT department, and we will never be out of jobs (who will develop the Low-Code tools, who will design and build the surrounding complex architecture?). However, there are some great side-effects:
- Business employees are learning the basics of
- Development processes – the how-to and why they are beneficial, as Low/No-Code processes need to be constrained to stop ballooning and undocumented code.
- Code and processes are more easily aligning with business processes.
- Programmatic thought.
This is an exciting time, not only because we are seeing those at the forefront of the new technology explosion see their ideas come to fruition, but also because IT departments will see more understanding from business (as they learn more about IT as they onboard with the LCNC applications and processes), and this is driven by business and economics.
The language problem
Across many eras in IT there seems to be one thing that stands out about true – long lasting and permanent changes to the IT landscape break the language used in the current IT ecosystem. So any “language break-down” emerging is evidence of a strong of a probable trend being confirmed as profound change!
Some changes are fast and have “epoch moments”. Some are slow and creep up on us, leading us to say “this has always been known, but we never said it before in that way”.
Economists note that the one thing that stands out about genuine large scale change, is that the new activity will change what people do, how they are specialised and the job titles that describe it.
A good example of this is web-design. Initially we just had “web-designer”, before shattering that role into multiple disciplines, as we came to understand that improving the interfaces on a website was inherently complex, and architecture was only half the problem. We now have roles like (Sven Jenzer, 2023, Typical UX disciplines, [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenthetical_referencing, Accessed 27 January 2023):
- User Research
- Information Architecture
- Interaction Design
- Usability Evaluation
- Accessibility Evaluation
- Visual Design
We need new job titles in development, so that Low-Code enabled developers can be classified in a way that reflects any extra value that they bring. While distinguishing them from citizen developers who, whilst they are not IT people, are doing ad hoc IT tasks to improve their role and also need a way of classifying their extra skills.
What is the solution?
Let’s look at the typical range of developer roles that we currently have:
- IT Manager
- Technical Architect
- Technical Lead
- Senior Developer
- Junior Developer
- Trainee Developer
We currently have no way of expressing the extra values that trained Low-Code developers and No-Code citizen developers bring. So, let’s break this down, essentially we are trying to express:
- Experience level
- Value to the business
- Potential leadership role
- Area of expertise
Using these taxonomies, we could potentially create new titles to express these, such as ApiOpenStudio Developer, Senior RapidAPI Developer, Junior Zapier Architect. However, this does beg the question, are users of Zapier or RapidAPI developers or architects? To be honest, not really, and they are definitely not architects. So this will not suffice.
I’m not posing a solution to this yet, and just want to open the floor to a problem that is likely to surface very soon, when those that have spent the time learning these skills want to express their new-found knowledge recognised by the business, or businesses want to find workers with the assets and skills that they want.