Democratising software development
By Rohini Sharma, Industry Lead for APAC,
Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Democratising software development

With Australia’s international borders having reopened, some may think a flood of tech talent is headed towards our shores, but this is not the case. Technology shortages are systemic, but in Australia it will take years to overcome the skills shortage and balance out emerging new technologies with less technical expertise. A survey released by Ai Group in February found that one-third of business leaders expect the skills shortage will constrain their company’s growth during the next year.

So how do we ensure that Australia’s tech talent is doing the highest value jobs? By enabling the rest of our non-technical workforce, or low-technical workforce, to meet goals and objectives by utilising no-code, low-code technologies. This way, businesses can focus on high-value work, provide employees with the independence of building and improving apps, and increase overall business results.

Lack of bandwidth

Developers are inundated and do not have the capacity to keep up with internal demand to build custom applications. According to a developer survey from ActiveState, 61.5% of developers spend four hours or less per day writing code, with the bulk only getting between two and four hours a day to do so. This means that organisations are paying top dollar to keep technical talent, but not using them effectively. If developers are being pulled in different directions to manage dashboards or reporting requests, they are not providing the best value and outcomes to the business.

The good news is that there are ways in which organisations can help bridge this gap. By running company-wide boot camps, organisations can turn an operational workforce into a team that performs technical tasks, ensuring developers are not inundated with random requests. This lessens the need for the overall workforce to wait on the technical team to move forward. The adoption of no-code, low-code technology alleviates some of this demand on developers and IT departments while simultaneously giving employees autonomy to create tools that best suit their needs.

Skills gap

An estimation by Deloitte predicts there will be 300,000 more technology workers in the Australian workforce by 2026, but there is currently a cap of allocating 160,000 permanent skilled visas each year in Australia. This gap is putting a strain on the current technical workforce and needs to be addressed. For CIOs, on the one hand it’s important to make sure the current tech workers feel fulfilled in their job to retain technical talent, but on the other hand it’s important to create experiences and technologies to build the future of the company.

The non-technical workforce, or low-technical workforce, can assist in helping to close the skills gap over the next few years. However, one of the biggest challenges for non-technical business users is the lack of knowledge and experience required to build the code-intensive apps they require in their daily workflows. According to a study by WalkMe, 74.1% of employees said poor software training is the biggest barrier to usability. A mere 14.5% said they are very satisfied with the usability of their workplace software. By helping to boost the autonomy of non-development teams with no-code, low-code technologies and training, larger enterprises will be able to fulfil their own need for business applications without relying on or waiting for IT to get around to it.

Need for speed

Even with effective DevOps in place, the speed of development itself is often slow because of its complexity. As a result, maximising developer productivity amid rising demand for enterprise applications is a major challenge. Research firm ADAPT conducted a study based on interviews with over 650 senior Australian executives about their attitudes towards tech investment and how technology is being deployed. The ‘Embracing the Future: Top 12 Strategic Priorities for 2022’ report found that due to the pandemic, developer teams are pushing further into the world of AI, robotics, AR/VR, cloud, blockchain and IoT to stay ahead of the pack. AI can help to deliver efficient, quick and lockdown-ready experiences.

If we have learnt anything through the endless pivoting of the last couple of years, it is that organisations need to be agile in the face of change. Through the adoption of no-code, low-code technologies, there is an opportunity to retain your top technical talent and developers, upskill your non-technical talent and still drive overall growth for the business.

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