Have you ever wondered how biogenesis or the evolution of life happened? There are 6 elements called the biogenic elements. These are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, hydrogen and phosphorus. These six represent about 99% of the composition of all the atoms in a living cell, including proteins, nucleic acids, and cell membranes. Life does need these six elements, but it only works if the elements have combined into molecules. Let’s consider what happens if we put two or more of the elements together in a compound. Carbon and hydrogen, for instance, become hydrocarbons, and the hydrocarbon chains in cell membranes are an essential component of life and also provide the energy to sustain life in the form of fuel. A combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen yields carbohydrates like sugar and cellulose. Five elements—carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur from the amino acids of proteins, and if we exchange phosphorus for sulfur five elements also compose nucleic acids like DNA. And then there is the combination of oxygen and hydrogen to form the compound that makes earth so suitable for life, water.
But why, you wonder, is a technopreneur talking Biology & Chemistry in the blog.
This is because this stitching of resources to make newer and better resources is not limited to abiogenesis. As Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a NEW IDEA. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old pieces of coloured glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
When two ideas are combined to form a new one, two plus two does not need to be four, it can be redefined to mean five. Combining two minor inventions – the coin punch and the winepress – gave birth to the mighty printing press.
The trick is to take a product and make it work in an absurd way. Trevor Bayliss is the English inventor who conceived the clockwork radio. What a strange combination! Radios need electricity and clockwork mechanical. Surely batteries or mains electricity are better ways to power a radio. However, in the developing world batteries are expensive and mains electricity is unreliable. Bayliss built a reliable radio that people could wind up by hand. It transformed the availability of information in many of the poorest regions of the Earth.
Similarly, when it comes to startups and businesses, a lot of the ideas are a kaleidoscope of multiple ideas. A lot of new businesses take existing ideas from one industry and improve them using techniques from another industry.
Closer to home, when it comes to product building ideologies for software, while the world’s spotlight might be on Agile, large companies have not let go of the waterfall model for their software cycles. In fact, in a quick journey to value, the smartest minds combine the waterfall, agile and DevOps ideologies to create a system that’s the best-best for their use case that is. Because, for every problem, there will be a unique blend of approaches to create the best one.
Why then, when it comes to building enterprise software, this methodology is not a default way of operation? Is it because there are not enough solutions to stitch with each other? Is it because we only value what we create? Most definitely not, ask any analyst, developer or project manager and they will tell you that any problem that they have faced is nothing new and that every problem has already been solved or is being solved. The problem here could be of a mindset. When faced with a problem we tend to directly jump into building a solution rather than assessing the approach towards resolving the problem...
ProDT solves this by bringing the philosophy of nature to building software. Using a unique method that allows us to construct the entire solution in an accelerated way depending on the problem at hand. E.g. one of our startup clients have not yet found a product-market fit and one of their requirements was to do a video integration. So rather than building a core video engine, we suggested to the Founder, to look for a video engine. This improved our time to market for the launch, reduced costs & the need for highly specialized skills. We blend this philosophy into our execution.
Our platform accelerators reduce the complexity of implementation which often is one of the reasons for projects to fail. We are proud to have our partnership with WEM.io that is the key enabler for this business kaleidoscope. We promise 5x results with this methodology, giving great & predictable results every time with each customer.
But why us? If technology building is just a process of stitching existing technologies, surely anyone can do it, right? Well, even a tailor designing clown’s costumes make clothes right, but you would not be willing to wear them daily. Similarly, stitch and build require a certain approach and technique. For example, elasticsearch, a service traditionally used for technical logs, was used to record business transactions in one of our solutions simply because we could see that business transactions were essentially logs of a business. This approach has helped us build the required transformers. To know more about these transformers and our other projects, feel free to reach out to us in messages or comments and stay tuned to understand more about our stitch and build a methodology of building software.
P.S. This article too, was conceptualized and written using the stitch and build philosophy, combining various ideas and thought processes into a new one ;)
Containerization is a simple way to separate personal and workspaces within a single machine, with each not being able to access the other. It does so by creating a separate secure area called containers which is accessible only by the admin and which cannot access anything outside it. All the interactions between the user and the corporate data take place within this encrypted container and the bounds of the permissions granted to the user.
A container is an isolated, lightweight silo for running an application on the host operating system. In contrast to containers, Virtual Machines (VMs) run a complete operating system–including its kernel–on this host hardware. If you had to ship 2 t-shirts from one place to another, a VM would load on a ship (hardware) two unnecessarily large containers (OS with its kernel) and keep one t-shirt (applications) in each. While what containerization would do is, load on the ship one container and then have separate locked boxes for each t-shirt. Using this method of containerization provides speed, lower costs, portability, easier deployment, maintainability and if need be, deletion.
How do containers reduce cost and time to profit?
Containers need fewer copies of the operating systems, meaning lesser licenses, and also fewer resources to run. The machines will get more amount of useful work done too. Easier and automated management techniques also mean cost-effective maintenance. Decomposing things to the level of containers means easier development and deployment, making human resources more cost-effective too. Most importantly, containers make your move to the cloud easier, and moving to the cloud means paying for only what you use in most cases.
Containerization not only leads to lower costs but also increases profits by reducing the time to profit. It removes the roadblocks between development and deployment by making the dependencies between the two smaller and easier to handle. These roadblocks are a major factor of a slowdown as developers want to create the best product and the operations team want to create the most stable one, leading to a deadlock sometimes. It also increases operational velocity as it becomes easier to add new features to applications in containers and test them. This is possible because containers are discreet and developers only need to update one thing at a time without caring about how other processes are affected.
Netflix also uses containers to test its features on 10% of the customers and check the response.
How do containers help with predictability and dependability?
These factors come from the way containers work. Each application has a separate environment with everything it needs to run and all of these container environments are independent to avoid affecting or altering each other. Moreover, the containers can be moved from one place to another, without affecting the application functioning. It is easier to set the rules and conditions of the container and once set, the can’t be changed thus avoiding non-standard systems. Debugging the issues is faster since the sources of the issues are not many.
It’s become increasingly important for business leaders beyond the technical side to understand application containerization. The same features that make containerization an important tool for developers also create immense, and often untapped, business value and I hope that this article helped you with understanding that. Comment down below if you think containers can help your business and as the title track of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. says, “I’ll be there for you”.
Let’s start today’s piece with a simple question. Why do people travel when they want to do soul searching? Sure, some like me go to their nearby meditation centre for a week and some backpack through western Europe (hi, Joey *wink wink*). Why has there never been a story of someone finding their purpose in their own house, on their bed? That’s because, as the saying goes, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
But, we do not see this happening frequently at companies after a point, and probably rightly so too, since, at a company, there is a lot more at stake. But, once in a while, there occurs a black swan event that forces companies to go outside their comfort zones and think, and disrupt. The covid-19 pandemic is one such event. This event has made companies rethink their structures and working styles overnight, but we do not think that this is the end, we think this is the beginning of a paradigm change. A change from ineffective remote collaboration to effective communication, remote or otherwise. A change from a mismatch in demands from business and the delivery capacity of technology teams to technology teams who deliver faster than the businesses can even expect. A change from high attrition rates to retainment of skilled and in-demand resources. A change from technology teams that are resistant to different demands to ones that embrace them.
So what can you do?
The traditional recipe
Or, take a pause and equip teams with force multipliers on the path of digital acceleration
What are these force multipliers we talk about? They are tools and processes that help you make your processes faster, more efficient and tolerant to failure from the human and machine side.
We have already talked about a few of these in our previous articles such as DevOps and agile methodology, but today we talk about the NoCode Revolution.
But why are we calling it a revolution?
Because this part of the technology industry is booming like never before. Faster adoption, bigger and bigger funding rounds with crazy valuations and most importantly happy customers.
And why now?
And why exactly should I care about this? Because you want to take this black swan of a pandemic with optimism and start doing things in 2 steps instead of 5. Your focus as an organisation should only be on one word, AUTOMATE!
Automate everything, automate every process that needs a manual action. Do you have a 5 step procedure to reconcile sales? Automate it. You press a button every day to download a report? Automate it! We usually don’t realise how much time we can get back from our schedules till we do this. Organisations with small business IT teams can plan to adapt no code and blend them with specialized API driven products. Those with medium-sized teams can use it to tailor the specialized business process and differentiate from the competition.
Those with a large team should have a specialized DevOps team so that change management is automated. This will help you deploy a no-friction ecosystem. There is an urgent need in the industry to stop friction in execution. And the no-code philosophy can help you do it!
We know that you have a lot of questions in your head, like, how are businesses currently using and benefiting from no code, when should you plan to go from code to no code, why transformations fail, what about your current IT teams and a lot more. Don’t worry, we have an article coming up on each of these topics and you can follow us to stay updated.
Shameless Plug: We, with our technological philosophy and specialised stack, help organisations in digital acceleration Feel free to reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick assessment.
In our previous articles of this series, we talk about why the stitch and build philosophy of developing technology solutions is the way to go forward and where no-code fits in this philosophy. Today, continuing on that, we shall delve deeper into why it makes sense as a business to adopt no-code in your organisation.
Businesses now more than ever have increasingly fast-evolving requirements and traditional programming has responded with frameworks and solutions for faster execution. We have witnessed framework, runtimes, COTS, DevOps all contributing towards the success of modern application development. However, we have also witnessed that developers’ learning for each of the platforms and the challenges thereof are multi-varied uncontrolled aspects that still lead to slow execution to complex business processes. In all this the business analysts are often removed from what actually is happening underneath the hood. . With no-code and low code solutions, business and domain experts can sit with developers and share the same visualization of the business logic. The definition of a developer itself is changing.
Let’s have a look at where exactly can No-code help businesses.
Due to no-code capabilities, organisations will be able to work without huge IT capabilities and yet deliver better results in an agile manner. This means a direct cost saving as when companies have to outsource tasks or hire professionals, they incur costs while when using a no-code platform, the same requirements can be fulfilled with a smaller yet efficient team.
More Robust Solutions
If no-code enables the ones with relatively lesser expertise to design technical solutions, what do the expert developers do then? They design architectures that run these solutions for you and work on specialized use cases thus leading to robust solutions. These developers now focus more on the logic development of the core business processes, elegant user experiences and change management.
Fast Application Delivery
With the agility that no-code gets in due to the developers not hand-coding each line, businesses will be able to create applications quicker as compared to conventional coding methods. No-code also offers built-in bullet tested, gold class non-functional aspects of an application like security, single sign-on, integrations, data management.
Integrate Changes Quickly
With the evolving nature of demands from the end-users, coders have to change the code midway while creating an application. This costs both time & money and creates frustration among developers as it leads to rework & wastage in time. With no-code, integration of changes becomes easy and enhancement of functionality can happen on the go. With this, the development process is streamlined thus reducing time to market and forming a better customer experience.
Reduction In TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
These platforms can also help you significantly reduce the cost of ownership. The no-code platforms are a very cost-efficient alternative to conventional coding. Since a no-code platform does not require the same efforts and skills as a conventional platform, an organisation can reduce a lot of its burden and think of optimizations and automation at the enterprise level by developing solutions for specific needs.
No-Code and Uncertainty
No-code has also led to fluid teams as developers get more and more involved on the business side and business analysts on the development side. This dislocation leads to a team with higher awareness of things at a higher business level as well as in different teams, leading to readiness for change and empathy for each other make your organisation an overall better organisation. Up to 90% as per 451 research which makes dealing with uncertainty much simpler and tolerable when measured by both time and money.
No-code has also led to fluid teams as developers get more and more involved on the business side and business analysts on the development side. This dislocation leads to a team with higher awareness of things at a higher business level as well as in different teams, leading to readiness for change and empathy for each other make your organisation an overall better organisation.
Who knows, in future this change in workflows will lead to a change in hiring patterns and processes and lead as requirements shift and new roles evolve.
If you think of it, no-code is like riding a bicycle. Once you experience the speed, energy-saving and gush of the wind, why would you ever go back? We would like to know your thoughts on how no-code can help or has helped businesses in developing more robust, quick and cost-efficient solutions. Don’t forget to leave your comments.
As a work-from-home Digital-Factory-styled company, PRODT connects on a camera-on, NSA (no-strings-attached) Zoom session every fortnight. The theme of these sessions vary from playing online multiplayer games like Pictionary or Dumb Charades to movie reviews to light-hearted conversations. Our objective is to connect our staff with the organisation and vice versa. I encourage all my team members to spend this time with the organisation irrespective of how their week/fortnight went. We try not to judge each other as our personal sides are reflected in these meetings.
The meeting on 14th August 2021 was extremely different as Jyotsana, our HR lead, came up with a seemingly unassuming topic to speak about our childhood and our favourite memory. I expected it to be a casual/carefree atmosphere and it indeed was that for most of us. We reflected on how we were as children with some interesting and funny incidents along the way. Although some were able to narrate incidents with clarity and some could not, I felt this was an important step where our team members began to express and learn the art of expression. The more we express, the more we will find ways to improve.
One of our team members reflected that he was not blessed with a great childhood as he was forced to leave school and work as a kid to meet basic needs of his family. Vimal achieved this with a lot of ease and he showed zero negativity about his childhood. Today, with PRODT he has found and grown new wings and he has thanked me for the opportunity. I was aware of his past however his narrative was extremely moving and that led me to write up this short blog. We have all gone through highs and lows in our childhood and I have read a lot of material that talks about how what we are today (our abilities, mindset and well being) is a reflection of our experiences of our childhood. Vimal spent around 10 years as an office boy in a bank running errands. He earned everything that he is today and he also made decisions for every aspect of his life. WOW, this should be a real confidence booster. He has gone through hardships, but he is indeed a leader in the making.
Vimal was referred to me through my cousin as banks were closing down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I required someone to maintain the company books. My simple breakdown of what I wanted to ask him was clear as he has been with money and numbers for 10 years and he would understand form filling and compliances. I also asked him questions to validate this. My analysis was fair, he came out with flying colours. I also suggested that he do a desk job instead of a job which required moving around. It was important to mention that it will take him conscious effort to learn to sit at a place with concentration. Finally, I felt that accounts would require some English skills and he was not all that great. We started simple English lessons for him.
It has been a year and Vimal is managing company books, generating invoices, family books, GST payments, payroll computation and tax computation. He also writes follow-up Emails for all ageing ARs and keeps things tight. All this with applying baseline Agile principles, democratic execution, daily SCRUM, fuelling passion, allowing some mistakes to be made and allowing to correct those, thus giving him an environment and a coach. There is a lot left to be achieved as we are in an early part of Vimal’s professional career. He also feels that he is changing for the better and I am delighted to have Vimal as part of our team and on the path of transformation. In addition, I also feel blessed that I could contribute to someone's life journey.
I also reflected on my childhood and narrated a few of my funny incidents. While I was writing this blog, I felt that I was blessed to have great parents, well-wishers, and experiences without which I would not have experienced the joy of transformation. This is one of the ways for me to acknowledge all those who supported me and lifted me when the chips were down. Tasmay Shri Guruvay Namah. I bow down to all people and experiences that have made me what I am today. I am proud of what I am today.
At PRODT we are trying to build a culture that is reflecting, caring, and transforming in all aspects. The journey is not easy and the culture is difficult to develop during this pandemic, however value can only be created only if challenges exist. I am trying to build this company with a transformative impact to each stakeholder in PRODT and starting with ourselves and then as an organisation, therefore to our clients in the end.
We need all the blessings and luck to endure this journey!
Let’s do a small thought experiment. Think about a time when there were no printing presses, no huge machinery that could print tens of thousands of papers a day. Instead, you had blocks and dyes that were used to print papers. Suddenly, someone says that there is a printing press. But, you, as a publishing house owner, are worried about the 1000 things that can go wrong in this transformation and are naturally worried about it. Yet, you take a leap of faith, and make the change in a single night without a plan, and fail. You then tell your friends from the industry this story. They are naturally worried about this and don’t adapt to the new technology easily.
The story of digital transformations is similar to, and no code is no different. There are a lot of failures in adopting this technology, but there is one thing that is different. This time around, there are well-documented case studies and blogs (like the one you are reading right now) to give you a list of things you need to avoid, so read on to find out 5 major reasons why no code transformations fail.
1- The Resistance (friction)
No code, to date, sees a huge resistance not only from developers but also from project managers, DevOps teams and even from the business itself. While the worry on the developer end is about their jobs being taken away, on the project management end, it is purely about the complacency of adapting to the change.
The newness of the methodology that shows up as complexity is overwhelming to the people involved and this builds up resistance, a side product of which are frustration, demotivation and annoyance.
Having said that, we do see resistance in any change. In my last 20+ years of the technology transformation journey, it is seldom seen that resistance is towards anything that is not mundane. One of the ways to overcome resistance is to develop a friction-free execution culture, and in one of the points below, we will see that no-code allows for seeding this culture.
2- Leadership Decisions
When timelines and expectations are unrealistically set by the leadership from day one, the impact is exponential. Given the uncertainties of traditional execution, there is significant anxiety about a successful outcome. This creates pressure to set unrealistic expectations. No-code is not a shift from one tool to the other, it is a shift in the paradigm and the way your business thinks and operates. Due to this, not only setting timelines but also picking the right people has a huge impact. Failing to choose the people who understand the intent and the philosophy is a grave error that needs to be avoided.
3- Change Management being an afterthought
All discussions around transformations talk about technology and yet the most impacted are people. This is exactly why in the digitization era, change management is at the forefront. Not only having the buy-in of the people but also involving them with decision making will make their worries around the uncertainty in the need of their role go away and be a key differentiator in the failure or success of the transformation. This also gives you an opportunity to identify the resistors and address their concerns. It is also important to understand that change management needs proper investment and experts instead of just handing this over to project managers due to its intangible nature.
4- Silos being an accepted reality in the system
No-code is inherently about focusing on what needs to be done rather than the exact code that needs to be written. The focus, in no code, shifts towards logic and the outcome that businesses need. Additionally, another advantage that is advertised is rapid changes being possible, but this can not happen if your organisation is working in silos. If the developer does not go outside his cabin, both figuratively and literally, to understand the pain points from the sales team and the customer feedback from the support team, they will not be able to empathise with the requirements that come in. So, this organisational change of breaking down silos is necessary for a successful no-code transformation.
For example, one of our customers’ IT team faced tremendous pressure from their business teams and market to deliver a solution in a matter of 3 weeks. Whilst, it took us 1 week to understand the user stories however in the next 10 days we were able to deliver an end-to-end solution, and still have a few days left for incorporating user feedback and changes. No-code helped us to complete the user stories ahead of the expectation.
5- Expecting exponential value
This factor might have an indirect but significant impact in the transformation. Organisations depend on big bang methods to achieve success in gaining gradual and continuous improvements with progressively decreasing time to market. Sounds counterintuitive, right? A common trap in this method is to get stuck in analysis paralysis as you want the “best outcome”. There is nothing wrong with incremental value. In fact, we’d say incremental steps are preferred as they give you more opportunities to reflect, introspect and most importantly, correct them without major impact, since, if they are recognised and corrected at the very end, they might have a higher time and money impact.
These five (5) factors are in no way comprehensive or exhaustive. What other reasons could lead to a failure in no-code transformation as per you? We should mention
In today’s article, we are doing something different. We are not focusing on the concerns of the business heads and CEOs but focusing on your tech teams and their concerns. For the last few articles, we have been talking about how revolutionary no-code is and how it easies development efforts. But a big concern that developers have is that this revolution will take their jobs away.
This is not a new phenomenon. Whenever a technology looks like it could take away a job previously held by humans, people get worried. It has happened with printing, accounting and many more, so why not software development.
Answering the big question right at the start, no. No code will not replace developers. NoIn fact, today less than 0.3% of the world population is tech-friendly i.e devs, analysts, users etc. No-code is going to take digitalisation to next level
But today, there is massive adoption, acceptance and community around these.
But then why do developers see this new abstraction as less legitimate and yet worrisome at the same time? Do they not know that this has put them on the wrong side of history before? While we may not have the answer to that, here are a few reasons why we think developers need not worry about no code taking jobs away.
These platforms provide a wider array of integration opportunities by the day but as your apps develop into bigger systems and newer third party add ons emerge, you will have to go to code level and get these integrations without compromising the integrity of the software. Moreover, you can not use no-code to develop and consume the core of today’s complex application’s, APIs. However, this is not true for all no-code platforms.
Here, we would like to plug one of our No-Code partners wem.io which can consume any existing REST API and allow complex business logic to be built separately as well as consume existing logic.
So what should developers do? Like what the developers have done from the 1970’s onward, adapt and adopt. This tribe is the best at aligning to changes and blend a completely new outcome.
We think that the projections are that no-code is going to become more commonplace in the future. Thus, developers need to continue learning. They need to learn the low and no-code platforms out there so that they are more productive and keep adding value to the business. Their job is to solve problems and writing code will not be enough. Just like very few developers write machine code today, we may live in a future where only specialists write HTML and CSS from scratch and we should be looking at the concept of blending code and no-code together to achieve our goals faster.
Additionally, they also need to learn new and “hot” skills such as machine learning and blockchain. It won’t be enough to just understand programming fundamentals. The successful coders of the next decade will have skills that can not be replicated by the no-code platform as of now, and who knows, they may be working towards making exactly that possible too just like the current developers working on building no-code platforms.
Lastly, developers need to make sure that the products they build are not easily substituted by no code. And if a part of it is substitutable and yet they are not using a library or purchasing a subscription to a no-code platform but rather writing it by hand, they need to have a strong reason for it.
Developers need to focus their time on high leverage tasks and use existing solutions wherever they can. Businesses that adopt the no code wave earliest will create products faster and have the most time to extract value from the platform itself.
After all, product teams that have thrived have always used existing solutions where it has made sense and built custom tools only when it does not. Thus, they could move faster and produce more value for the world.
But now the question is to you. Are you a developer? Are you worried about no code or do you embrace it with open arms? Do let us know along with your reasons in the comment section.
Software Engineering at its core has always been a decentralized process where each individual is responsible to deliver the outcome via code. However, this starts to fail and break with increasing software scale, size, complexity, and business demands. In order to address the ever so increasing challenges, either software is broken down into smaller manageable chunks or size of the teams is increased.
Managing complexity in software projects
Not long ago, software team members used to collaborate at a specific time /date /periodicity to merge their changes to the code, compile the required software and release it for downstream lifecycle processes. With each slice to the software or addition of a team member, we now add the complexity to manage an increasing number of variables of a software project i.e. scope, time, cost, and clutter the execution. Increasing the risks to the success of software projects, changes, and outcomes. We now have to manage and spend a significant amount of time ensuring that the process of collaboration is institutionalized, executed, adhered to, followed, etc. So teams are now spending more time on the process, and governance rather than scope and scale. So now we are trying to fix the process and risks rather than the required outcome on an ongoing basis.
Digital Transformation is a company's transformation from a product-centric organization to a customer-centric one, by embedding digital experiences at the core of the company's culture. It is an ongoing process that has at its core a commitment to making a company's customer experience as simple, as personal, and as satisfying as possible.