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How low-code software paved the way for a flood of new custom apps

July 16, 2021, 9:10 PM UTC

Gone are the days when companies had to settle either for off-the-shelf software or sink big money into hiring a company (or an in-house team) to code custom software. Now companies can turn to low-code or no-code solutions. Think of them, says Laela Sturdy, a general partner at Alphabet’s CapitalG, as the “drag-and-drop” of coding.

Low-code and no-code are a visual way of configuring applications instead of having to code them from scratch, she says.

Sturdy joins co-host Brian O’Keefe and guest co-host Robert Hackett on Fortune Brainstorm, to discuss the challenges of developing self-driving vehicles. The podcast explores the ways technology is reshaping our world.

“This is a trend that’s got a lot of momentum behind it,” says Hackett. “Gartner, which is a market research company, released a report at the beginning of the year, that said the market for low-code development technologies is projected to grow over 20 percent from where it was in 2020.” 

Also on the show is Veronica Soto, director of the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department for San Antonio, Texas. At the start of the COVID pandemic, her department had one week to digitize the workflow that provided people with emergency housing. They hired a low-code software company for the task, allowing them to greatly increase the program’s efficiency and, as of this month, approve people for housing within three days.

Rounding out the show is Michael Beckley, founder and CTO of Appian, a low-code platform.

On “an iPhone with a combination of a lithium ion battery, a multi-touch touchscreen, and an internet connectivity device…you put it all together, and suddenly the world changes,” says Beckley. “And that’s exactly what’s happening with low code, when we’re able to put together all of these new different technologies, we can actually understand what you want to do, execute it brilliantly, and keep improving it over time.” 

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