Low-code application platforms like Mendix have transformed the world of software development. More and more organizations have chosen a low-code-first strategy. The speed, agility, and efficiency it brings have become the new standard. The low-code market has rapidly matured, with Siemens' acquisition of Mendix being the final piece. The last, unjustified doubts around the possibility of building the most complex and secure applications disappeared and have been replaced by trust.
Low-code platforms clearly play a critical role in accelerating the development of any single application. However, low-code platforms can also be too much of a good thing, especially when organizations don’t have the right processes in place to manage simultaneously developing lots of complex applications that need to be deployed at scale.
Low-code platforms can also be too much of a good thing
The issue organizations face today is that, while it’s getting simpler to build and deploy applications, accomplishing that goal consistently at scale remains a significant challenge.
The new normal
The pressure is on for developers. Everyone in the organization is looking to developers when it comes to delivering high-quality applications at high speed. With the new standard, stress to keep pace with the speed of low-code has become the new normal. The benefits in terms of speed of application development that low-code development inherently provides can easily be lost when development, testing, and management processes are out of control. It is a paradoxical problem that needs a solution. Developing complex applications at scale without compromising speed and quality requires organizations to think through the tools and processes they're using across the entire development chain.
The 3-plus-1 low-code QA approach
Developers need to be equipped with the right tools to beat the new normal. Mendix recognizes the power of our tools, which are exclusively designed for its platform: ATS (to automate testing) and APD (to rise performance challenges faster), in combination with AQM from Software Improvement Group (to deliver highly maintainable applications at speed). There is one tool missing in this combination: ACR - Application Code Reviewer. This tool simplifies the code review process for low-code apps built with Mendix. That’s how the 3-plus-1 low-code QA approach was born. It covers the optimization from code creation to testing, as well as the bigger picture of maintaining a new application in the context of the whole application landscape.
QA tools for testing and maintenance are crucial to ensuring quality, but to simultaneously speed things up, it's even more important to improve code – and low-code – creation. You have the opportunity to accelerate in the early stages of the development process. Almost all development teams do peer code review, even on a low-code platform.
The real challenge IT leaders face is finding a way to make the code review process as painless as possible for everyone.
The only way to achieve that goal is to ruthlessly automate as much of the peer review process, whenever and wherever possible. Developers who want to beat the new normal need to embrace code reviewing.
Even though Mendix's low-code platform reduces the amount of code that needs to be manually developed, developers still need to check each other’s code. The issue is finding a way to achieve that goal that doesn’t slow down the application development process. The best thing about platforms like Mendix is that more applications can be developed faster than ever. Of course, that also creates more code that needs to be reviewed. Application Code Review (ACR) is a cloud-based tool developed by Mansystems and specifically designed to accelerate the code review process for low-code applications using the Mendix platform. ACR is a personal assistant for developers and provides real-time support during coding.
Consistent code that different developers can understand quickly accelerates the development process. Continuously reviewing other people’s code only to find the same errors over and over isn't just discouraging; it also has an adverse effect on morale. ACR solves this problem by providing a platform that automates much of the code review process using the same best practices defined by the Mendix platform. ACR is available directly on the commit, which means a developer can immediately check the code they wrote themselves, long before a potential issue is discovered by one of their peers.
The benefits of finding errors faster
Too many organizations underestimate the business value of getting code right the first time. High-quality code not only improves the speed at which applications are built, it makes them easier to maintain and support. If organizations want to reduce costs, it's important to start checking the code as early as possible. After all, the sooner errors are found, the less painful and expensive it is to fix them for all concerned.
By embracing the 3-plus-1 low-code QA approach, developers can beat the new normal of deployment stress that the speed of low-code development brings.
Thanks to the real-time feedback on coding, the developer learning curve is steeper than ever before. Improving coding skills has never been this easy. By using ATS, APD, and AQM in combination with ACR, you can guarantee quality without sacrificing development speed.
Say good-bye to the new normal and welcome to the world of right the first time.