Hello, my name is Jessica D’Oliveira, and I am the newest analyst on Forrester’s application development and delivery team. I will be joining John Bratincevic and Rob Koplowitz in researching low code.

My Story

I am passionate about low-code development because it has had a profound effect on my life, my career, and my ability to help people. Coming from the era of floppy disks, dial-up, and “You’ve got mail,” I’ve been fascinated by technology since I first discovered an IBM computer at my aunt’s house when I was 15 years old. By the age of 21, I started working in hardware repair. Software seemed more interesting, so I eventually focused on mobile application development.

Unfortunately, I discovered that the usual ways into development — boot camps, etc. — were not realistic options for me. I could not afford to quit my job and pay for training in hopes of finding a new career.

In my frustration and disappointment, I turned to a trusted resource: Google. At the time, I thought it was a far-fetched idea, but I searched anyway: “How to make an app without knowing how to code.”

And in return, I found: no code.

No Code, Low Cost, High ROI

Eventually, I discovered Apps Without Code, a no-code boot camp that met me where I was in my life. Through this program, I uncovered a diverse range of no- and low-code development tools. While the program was a great resource for exposing me to specific no-code tools, I taught myself how to use no-code platforms and eventually how to integrate and automate services and functions to improve the capability of the apps. For instance, most apps need notifications, but most no-code web app builders don’t have web notification capability. So, I used Zapier, an integration platform, to automatically trigger and route email notifications to the appropriate admin based on the answers submitted by the user in the app. Once my classmates saw how I solved the notification issue, they wanted to learn more.

From Student To Instructor To Analyst

Eventually, I began to teach application planning and development, database structure, integration, and automation for Apps Without Code. As a student, I learned how to build no-code apps. As an instructor, I began to expand on the ways in which no-code platforms could be used. Teaching low- and no-code development brought me into contact with startup communities like Techstars and Y Combinator, through which I began to explore startup culture, marketing concepts, automation, and all adjacent areas of study.

Since then, I have helped create 50-plus no-code minimum viable products for or with entrepreneurs looking to launch digital businesses. These experiences led to more interest in supporting low-code developers, helping new low-code platforms mature, and creating formal standards for working with low-code development tools in the hopes of remedying the constraints of this modern style of development. At Forrester, I am excited to continue and expand these conversations.

My Research Plans

My research agenda grows out of my passion for no-code development and my interest in the startup ecosystem. This year, I plan to focus my energies on a few areas:

  • Standardization
  • Governance
  • Citizen development
  • New markets for low-code development

Touching Base

You can connect with me on jdoliveira@forrester.com. I’m available for briefings and inquiries and would love to hear your thoughts on low-code development.