What is Low Code?

Written By: Thomas Ware

Explaining what I do is hard. I usually stick with something like, “I build apps.” Anything more complicated than that invites a lot of questions and usually leaves someone confused. If I say I’m a developer, or a consultant, or a software engineer, people dig deeper, asking about what I work with or what field I’m in. They’re looking for “I’m a front-end developer,” or “I’m in cybersecurity.” These are areas that most professionals have at least a passing familiarity with, the kind that you can pretend you’re interested in before nodding, smiling, and moving on with the conversation. 

The problem is, most people don’t know what Pega is. In fact, most people don’t even know what kind of thing Pega is, the way you know that Python is a language even if you can’t code, or you know England is a country even if you’ve never been to London. Let’s clear up the confusion with a primer on Pega, low-code, and how to use it. 

Let’s say you’re a business in the market for a new technology solution. Traditionally, you have two options. You can buy something ready-made for the purpose, or you can build it yourself. Most organizations opt for the former, because coding is hard and engineers are expensive. You have to hire new people, decide what languages to use, set up new infrastructure: it’s a lengthy process that can take years. Even once your sparkly new app is complete, you have to keep people around to maintain and upgrade it and start the whole process over if your business processes change.  

On the other hand, ready-made applications aren’t always a good fit. Every business is different. The best software in the world for Walmart may be totally useless for Kroger. You run the risk of buying a fancy new software, onboarding your whole organization, and then realizing that it just doesn’t do what you wanted, and now there’s no way to change it. And for specialized businesses, there may just be nothing on the market that fits your use case.  

Low-code sits somewhere in the middle, between an expensive custom-made solution and an inflexible premade product. Pega is a low-code platform: It’s a software that builds software, or an application that creates new applications. Users can get started immediately with a default front-end portal that is flexible enough for most apps, but can be extended easily with React, Angular, or Vue. Common use cases like routing from one department to another, encrypting personal information, and integrating with other applications are built-in, requiring no more than a few clicks to set up. More complicated requirements may take a little longer, but anything that’s possible through regular coding is also possible through Pega.  

  The real strength of Pega is that it can match or even outperform a custom solution, but in a fraction of the time and cost. A Pega developer can launch a full-fledged, made-to-order application in weeks or months, exactly to the client’s specifications. The goal isn’t really to build quickly and leave; lots of traditional dev teams can move at lightning speed too. But because the hard work of syntax and architecture is mostly taken care of by the Pega platform itself, srcLogic consultants are free to focus on understanding high-level requirements and designing solutions in tandem with clients.  

 You may not have heard of low-code before, but it’s growing fast. Some of the largest and most successful companies in the world use Pega or other low-code solutions. You probably use Pega every day without realizing it. Hopefully now you know a little more about what I do and about how it impacts you.