This helped a lot with framing the pillars of what good software design and implementation mean, but it inadvertently sharpened my view on what actually makes great business for the end customer. It also made me less concerned with concepts such as delivery times, opportunity catch, time to market, expansion and that ‘something’ that makes even species survive: the ability to change.
Those core values haven’t fundamentally altered in my case, yet in more recent years I have added something essential on top. And it all begins with questions.
- What if the software solution you are building now won’t be relevant in a couple of years?
- What if you need to target markets operating on different rules?
- What if you must build the product this year?
- What if regulations change?
- What if you change?
Nimble business at scale
The composability and versatility of a business are key in any of these situations and if you went through them all alongside an army of developers, then I would like to hear from you and learn how you achieved it. With solutions that need to be delivered yesterday, time and resources are never enough. Adding more developers to a late project will only make it slower. That is a fact, regardless of how savvy the developers are because common approaches generate way too much knowledge transfer, overhead and maintenance. And speaking of more and more developers, you’ll tap way before you find enough.
A nimble business at scale can only be quickly built by connecting the best software that already proved reliable. That’s it. With any other variation, the business or the software on which it is based is either not nimble or not scalable.
The solution today comes from employing Low Code platforms, represented in Mambu by the MPO (Mambu Process Orchestrator), a tool based on patented technology which is able to put together virtually any custom product out of web services. I am part of a team that is building productised solutions which we call connectors, and I can see the magic happen. The infamous problems caused by lack of flexibility, time, resources and deep technical knowledge can be overcome in a matter of months, provided a clear business objective is set. Everyone in the team had a steep learning curve in spite of a quasi-technical background and were able to meet the initial demands and expectations.
We keep on building and changing at an unprecedented pace. Solutions that would have taken years with common development practices were put on a plate in a few months with the help of our partners, and that includes reviews and testing.
Low Code doesn’t mean no code
The platform wields the ability to transform data and make changes using some code. Basic built-in libraries are at hand and GitHub repositories can be used if you need to go the extra mile, but using too much of those overrides the whole point. Structures such as queues, state diagrams, maps, delays are there to blend with your business logic and you can always equate to code execution.
Remember, business logic comes first.
Programmers, be cautious
I speak coming out of the trenches, having rolled up my sleeves and gotten my hands dirty. With a Low Code platform such as the MPO, those who know what needs to be done can become those who do it. For the software developers reading this: you either are or become outstanding, or you’ll be disposable soon. The Low Code movement gives little room for mediocrity and is founded on the selection of the optimal, on business knowledge and previously proven solutions. Ten years from now, the best engineers will probably develop the microservices that integrate via Low Code platforms, offering bespoke solutions to a variety of businesses.
If you can’t tell me a negative about the product, then I don’t trust it
Every solution that promises to become the silver bullet will eventually meet a wall that is thick enough. An orchestration engine, such as the MPO, is bound to what services you integrate can offer. So, for the most part, you are confined to the APIs exposed by the systems you are connecting. But this puts the supposed limitation more on the microservice side, doesn’t it? However, that API is augmented by the tool via a set of nice features that give freedom of customisation to a significant extent, making up for many of the shortcomings.
Automated testing can be a challenge too, though you should keep in mind that instead of testing every single service, it's only their integrations you have to check. In theory, the microservices are already thoroughly tested. Nevertheless, we overcame this with creativity and mocking as sole ingredients!
Low Code aims high, and, no doubt, it is the right move towards giving businesses what they needed to succeed. A Low Code platform is an adaptable, open environment that is resilient and flexible enough to incorporate new technologies that are emerging at a furious pace. To succeed in the Low Code world, however, a platform alone is not enough. It is imperative to ensure that how and what you’re working towards always aligns with your business objectives.