More Low-Code Development Requires More Low-Code Developers
As low-code platform adoption and use rises, the need for low-code developers continues to grow. While Forrester recently argued that embracing low-code can mitigate the general shortage of developer talent, hiring a low-code developer remains tricky. On one hand, the relative newness of low-code development and the continued evolution of low-code development platforms means that low-code developer roles remain in flux. On the other, firms rarely hire for a “low-code developer.” Rather, they hire for a “Platform X developer.” Thus, the hiring landscape can appear balkanized by platform. Finally, all our research shows that high-performing low-code developers have a different set of nontechnical skills than their traditional counterparts. For these reasons, we believe that firms seeking to add low-code development talent via an external hire or internal reskilling process should prioritize candidates who have the following attributes.
Low-code developers do more than just develop; many also lead the projects, gather and analyze requirements, test the applications they make, and do implementation or training work (i.e., take responsibility for the business outcomes of software). When hiring a low-code developer, you must look for candidates with relevant subject matter expertise or industry-specific experience.
When hiring a low-code developer, focus on platform-specific certifications and experience and not just generalized credentials — such as a college degree in computer science. Maximize your applicant pool by crafting a job listing that encourages nontraditional candidates to apply. For example, don’t just define the educational requirements as “BA in relevant field or equivalent experience” — spell out exactly what that business experience might look like. Identifying specific certifications creates an on-ramp for candidates who attained those certifications outside of the traditional post-secondary educational system.
Low-code developers wear many hats. Unlike most traditional developers, many low-coders work on fusion teams that include non-IT employees. Additionally, low-code developers may be called on to support low-code-empowered citizen developers. Low-code developers may also be expected to play a more significant role in robotic and digital process optimization than their traditional application development peers. In short, low-code developers need to be able to collaborate across the organization in new ways. When hiring a low-code developer, look for evidence of interdisciplinary and collaborative success.
Looking to hire a low-code developer but don’t know where to start? Check out our recent Role Profile: Low-Code Developer research. It breaks down the key things to look for when hiring a low-code dev and provides actionable guidance on developing a job posting.
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(written with Zachary Stone)