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WSO2 2022 Predictions: Prioritizing 'experience economy' expertise and expanding adoption of low-code platforms will drive developer success in 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Prioritizing 'experience economy' expertise and expanding adoption of low-code platforms will drive developer success in 2022

By Asanka Abeysinghe, Chief Technology Evangelist at WSO2 

There's an estimated shortage of 1.4 million software developers and only 400,000 computer science graduates this year to meet this demand, a gap that will only get worse in 2022. This disparity is putting increased pressure and workloads on developers, which is leading to project delays and burnout. To help mitigate the ongoing developer shortage and the ever-increasing demands, savvy developers and their leaders will 1) realize the value of low-code solutions across their organizations and 2) build their expertise in the experience economy. 

Low-code will gain the respect of professional developers 

Low-code application development platforms combine attractive user experience (UX) with the promise of "doing much of the work for you" by abstracting away the inherent complexities of enterprise application development. Experienced developers traditionally have had a cynical view of low-code / no-code programming, and with good reason. It has hindered collaboration, prevented complex problem-solving, and reduced access to underlying code, extremely limiting their value.  

However, as the developer shortage escalates and improved low-code platforms emerge, the resistance will start to recede this year. Crucial to this change will be upgrades to existing platforms with greater customization and flexibility, such as allowing open standards, avoiding vendor lock-in, and letting users swap between working on abstractions and pure code, to support what makes developers productive.  

Instead of coding applications from scratch, developers will be able to shift their focus to business goals via reduced complexity and less effort, resulting in faster delivery, increased satisfaction, and leaner budgets for the C-suite. Developers will start recognizing that using these platforms lets them offload routine or repeatable tasks to focus more time on complex and exciting computing environments such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Web 3.0, etc. 

Forward-thinking CIOs will also help accelerate the adoption of low code among semi-technical business users. This will speed up the production of digital initiatives and help business users eliminate their own repetitive day-to-day tasks, such as data entry using automation. 

As part of their technology adoption, organizations need to choose the right platform to support all three types of developers-citizen, ad hoc, and pro-via low-code and pro-code. They'll also need to invest in training for business users to get them comfortable with using the solutions and ensure they're proficient enough to avoid making easy mistakes that pro developers will have to clean up. Low-code initiatives have often failed in the past by not considering how to support all three developer personas in this way and democratize application development. 

Developers need to become experts in the experience economy 

Modern developers require a wider range of skill sets, including cloud native engineering, API management, and security. Each of these skills are highly coveted, and yet developers that have those skills all are in short supply. 

Yet, increasingly, developers also need expertise in the experience economy: understanding how to build applications from the perspective of the end user. The modern customer and end-user expects the same level of quality with enterprise apps when using Instagram or Spotify: beautiful, continuous  and intuitive experiences with a short learning curve. The best developers code with this in mind and strive for a better understanding of who's using their applications, how they're crucial to organizational goals, and how they interact with them.  

Tech and IT leaders should be working to educate development teams in the experience economy. For example, they can start by connecting them with customers and members of their own organizations who are utilizing their applications for a better understanding of their needs. 

There's a new cultural shift for developers and their organizations 

The key difference between organizations that adopt these approaches and those that don't will be the ability to foster open communications between business siloes. IT and business leaders should be bringing in business users as part of product development teams, defining rules and domain experts, and ensuring these new tasks can be incorporated within existing job responsibilities. 

Leadership needs to encourage and create an environment where collaboration is part of company culture, employees are educated on these initiatives, and good behavior gets rewarded. Savvy organizations have developers that embrace communicating with non-developers-inside and outside of their organization-to improve their output. Those organizations are also encouraging business users to join these groups where their ability to offer perspectives outside the experiences of core developers will be invaluable.  




Asanka has over 20 years of industry experience - this includes designing and implementing highly scalable distributed systems, service-oriented and microservice architectures in the financial domain, mobile platforms, and various business integration solutions.

Asanka's expertise and experience is in helping organizations implement digital transformation programs that result in consumer-driven digital applications.

In his current role, Asanka evangelizes WSO2's technology vision and drives efforts to create, refine, and enhance WSO2's corporate reference architecture. He is also responsible for spearheading a thought leadership outlook that defines WSO2's corporate reference methodology for development, customer success, and implementation. He is a regular speaker at numerous global events and many tech meetups in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a committer of the Apache Software Foundation and a member of the Forbes technology council.

Asanka has a BSc in MIS from the National University of Ireland.

Published Thursday, February 03, 2022 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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