Low code development has emerged as a game-changer for organizations that need to develop quick digital solutions without having skillful resources. Low code best practices are guidelines that allow developers to create applications quickly and easily, without writing lengthy lines of code using the favorite low code development platform available in the market.
Typical low code best practices include defining clear user requirements, planning application architecture, usage of templates and libraries, creating reusable components, using agile methodologies, testing early and often, and finally optimizing for scalability.
From understanding user requirements to testing and debugging, these practices are crucial to ensure that the applications developed are reliable, scalable, and easy to maintain in addition to following up with the latest trends in this field. In this article, we will discuss seven low-code best practices that organizations should adopt to make the most of their low-code development efforts and overcome related obstacles.
What are the Key Low-Code Best Practices?
Applying these guidelines is crucial for organizations that are looking to enhance their development process and create high quality and secure digital solutions. By adhering to these best practices and understanding the technology limitations, businesses can ensure that newly created digital application are secure, easy to use, and reliable.
As the demand for low-code development continues to grow, the question of will lowcode replace traditional coding is being asked constantly. It’s more important than ever for organizations to adopt these best practices to overcome difficulties, remain competitive and deliver successful projects.
The seven low-code best practices are:
1- Define clear user requirements
In software development, the most importance aspect that define the success of the project is the ability to effectively gather business requirements from the stakeholders and prioritize them depending on the importance of these features to be available.
The first thing you have to do is to identify key stakeholders that you will be meeting with to gather the requirements. Not only that, but you also have to make sure that what they are requesting can be implemented using these technologies and how important is to have these features in the system.
After the requirements are gathers, you have to break them down into actionable steps that can be easily understood by developers and that each task contains the business rules that should adhere to.
2- Plan application architecture
After collecting user requirements, you should have a clear understand of all the score of the project including automation, integrations, and data storage. At this point, you should carefully design an architecture that allow you to scale in the future if needed without risking performance, security, or user experience.
A carefully thought-out design also guarantees that the application is modular, allowing for the independent components to be developed and tested individually. This is critical as it helps developers to work in parallel and easily fix issues without causing conflicts. This also reduces the time needed for the testing cycle.
3- Use templates and libraries
All well-known technologies available in the market are equipped with built in template and libraries that can be used to accelerate the development process and help you release new versions faster than ever.
Having built in libraries that facilitate integrations with other needed solutions you already have been using in your organization is a big added value that will reduce the time and efforts from the resources assigned to this task.
Libraries can provide a collection of pre-built code components that developers can use to create different features and functionality, such as a calendar, graph, or data visualization.
4- Create reusable components
In some cases, the built in libraries and components can’t satisfy a specific requirement and it requires from developers to create these components from scratch and use them accordingly.
Before creating new components, always think if you might encounter the same case in the future. If so, make sure to develop them as independent components that can be easily used in any other projects with little configuration.
For example, in one of the projects that I was working on. There was a need to develop a component to integrate with a document management system to store the documents collected from the users in it. Creating it as a reusable component was an excellent choice at the moment as we could also use it in another application being developed by another resource.
5- Use agile methodology
Adopting agile methodologies should be on top of the list of low-code best practices as it helps developers, stakeholders, and designers to collaborate together and release version of the product that satisfy all the requirements for the current version.
Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, prioritize collaboration, adaptability, and customer satisfaction. This approach allows developers to work closely with customers and stakeholders to continuously assess their needs and adjust the development process accordingly.
This iterative approach promotes early and continuous testing, which helps identify and address issues early in the development process, reducing the chances of errors and the need for rework later on.
6- Test early and often
Testing is the most boring yet critical step in the development process. Without good quality testing, you will likely lose users’ adoption and your digital portal will not be used by anyone due to the lack of trust.
Releasing a portal with major issues and bugs will cause user dissatisfaction and risk the project to be paused or terminated.
From my experience and following the standards, testing should start very early in the process by starting to write test cases to cover happy and bad scenarios and most importantly to have them automated.
7- Optimize for scalability
On numerous occasions, we began new projects as small R&D initiatives, only to realize later on that a significant number of employees in our organization started using them. However, we failed to consider scalability during the initial development phase, which created problems down the line.
It is essential to note that even when creating a small program meant for limited users, it’s crucial to consider scalability to avoid wasting a lot of time in the future. Therefore, it’s best to ensure that the application can be scaled effortlessly in the future, regardless of the number of users, to avoid issues that may arise later on.