Coding at a high level with low-code

How does low-code development fit into the bigger scheme of computer programming code?

Code is the backbone of most software programs and applications. Each line of code serves as an instruction—a logical, step-by-step mechanism for computers, servers, and other machines to perform an action. In computer programming, there are different levels of code. Computers understand binary code, which is a series of 0’s and 1’s. Binary code is low-level code, and is also referred to as machine language.

The higher you move away from machine language, the easier it becomes for humans to understand the code, but the more difficult it becomes for computers to understand. To make computers understand, code has to be interpreted or compiled (basically converted), potentially through various layers, until it gets to the level of machine language. 

In a low-code development environment, the “low code” refers to the fact that there is a low (read minimal) amount of coding required of the developer. It does not refer to the level of the code. In fact, the development or design actions taken by the developer, like drag and drop, setting configuration properties or adding components with a click of a button, are at a high “coding” level.

These actions create underlying code in a programming language like C# or Java, which will in turn be interpreted or compiled to eventually become something the computer can understand. Just like a C# developer does not have to understand machine language and how the C# code was compiled or interpreted, developers using a low-code development platform also do not have to understand the underlying code of what they have created.

Code, at whatever level and written in whatever language, is only one aspect of programming. In software development, what begins as low-level programming using assembly language has evolved to adding layers of abstraction to hide the complexities behind machine code, making programming easier for software developers.

Code is ultimately a set of instructions written in a specific programming language that aims to do something specific, most commonly to solve a specific problem. Just as important as code, if not more so, is the algorithm that the code is attempting to implement.

An algorithm is a systematic logical approach used to solve a problem. Any developer, including users of low-code development platforms, must be skilled in systematically and logically solving problems.

In application development, what does this entail?

Basic problem-solving skills

When trying to solve a problem, consider this:

Define your problem carefully – know what it is that you have to address. The symptom is not the problem, the cause of the symptom is the problem.Start with the end in mind: what is your objective?Continue to focus on the resolution of the problem: don’t stray, don’t over-complicate, don’t include anything that is not required.Identify the things you need in order to solve your problem (both the things that are in existence and things you have to create as part of the process).Know what is available in your ‘toolbox’ to solve the problem.Be aware of the interdependencies within your system. A change in one part of your system will likely impact on some other part.Select an action path that will solve your problem without creating new problems.

Systems Development Life Cycle 

An SDLC involves breaking down the overall development

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