James Governor's Monkchips

A RedMonk Conversation: Low Code to Full Stack: it’s about the apps.

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OSLO, NORWAY – 26 September 2019 : National Oslo Opera House with water reflection in Oslo, Norway

I recently caught up with Matthias Steiner, chief product officer of Neptune Software, a low code software company that grew out of the SAP ecosystem. We profiled them here. A fund called Triton recently acquired Neptune, with a view to increasing its growth.

Given its heritage in terms of integration with SAP software, Neptune brings a particular worldview to its low code platform. Like a few others in the lowcode space, it began as a play to bring legacy apps to mobile platforms. Code gen can help get apps to market, but it can also create a lot of technical debt, particularly for professional developers that come along later.

As I said to Matthias:

I always worry that it’s the developers that are going to be left cleaning something up, cleaning up a mess. You know, if something is built by people that don’t really know what they’re doing. So that’s my initial thought. is that a good place to begin a conversation? Is that a myth?

Matthias replies:

It totally is. And I’m happy you bring it up right from the get go. I would start by saying not all lowcode platforms are created equal. When I am talking to you and the people that you know, that come with a technical background, I would always say let’s let’s forget about low-code and no code and just call it component centric app rapid app development. Because suddenly we have two things. We have the rapid app development, meaning it’s all about time to market, time to value. And we have component-centricity which, which I think all technology people would agree is the right way. How you build proper software by having a modular reusable components that you then use to accelerate the development process and governance. And I think that that’s the other thing that was implied by your statement. That’s most important thing to keep in mind because, yes, I just imagine what would happen if you have non developers creating software, the amount of apps being created will just go insane. And what do we do if we don’t have the governance to, to keep things under control, keep it manageable? It would backfire because the goal is to make, first of all, professional software engineers more productive. Secondly, freeing up some time and then helping others in the company to also build little small, lightweight apps that they need for their day to day business. And if suddenly we don’t do it properly and all those internal people suddenly also asking it for support, we just yeah, that’s that’s the the worst thing we want. So you have to do it properly. And yes, governance and central repositories for those. Building blocks or components. This is the key for success.

In the conversation then we discuss some myths about lowcode, how the real goal is productivity with component-based development, and how Neptune plans to address the market for rapid application development with good governance. Check it out. And if you find it interesting, you might want to attend Neptune Impact on June 21st. A mid summer conference in Oslo, which promises to be a very long day, in the best possible way. The location – at the Oslo Opera House – looks just beautiful.

Nwptune is a RedMonk client, and sponsored the production of this video.

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