It's a Tech World
How fast can apps be built?
The way that people make software has changed over the years, advancing as new tools become available. One thing that stayed the same is the steps that developers go through to build software with their customers.
By Abe Challah & David Kristensen
The early way to work when developing software was called the Waterfall Methodology. With Waterfall you attempted to plan and get everything right the first time. Developing using the Waterfall meant the development cycle could take months.
When Agile development came along, it shifted developers’ focus on communication. This way of doing things acknowledges the reality of building software, that it is often a moving target. Agile development has led to higher quality software, but the cycle itself hasn’t really changed.
No matter what comes next, the overall cycle of communication will most likely stay the same, only looping faster. If our tools can enable us to build things in real time, we might be able to move to a new form of interactive development. Imagine sitting with the customer and building software in real time, getting immediate feedback and making changes in minutes.
This trend is starting to happen for visual aspects of web development. New tools make it very easy for anyone to design the look of their web or mobile applications. Real out of the box stuff that takes a matter of clicks and no technical knowledge to set up. Just one look at Webydo, one the hottest professional web design platforms on the market, will prove how advanced these tools have become. They let users create pixel perfect websites without code.
All these website builders are so simple anyone could set up something functioning in no time. But building the code that will connect a website or mobile app to databases and do all
the complex server interactions (described in the industry as Back-End Development) has remained out of reach to non-techies.
Anyone trying to build a back-end for a piece of software needs server-side coding expertise, database expertise, and architectural experience. They have to hire expensive developers which is still a big bottleneck for anyone with a great idea who wants to build any kind of app.
New products which focus on non-technical consumers like Zapier and IFTTT have emerged on the market to let users build and automate productivity interactions between apps and services that speed up daily repetitive workflows. They’re awesome tools, allowing people to design logic in minutes without writing code, but they still don’t solve the problem of building complete commercial applications.
The missing piece in all this is a way for people to build the back-end of any mobile, web or enterprise application extremely fast, make changes in real time in front of your customers with no coding.
That’s what simplicityEngine has done, this Montreal based startup lets anyone build back-ends without technical knowledge. They give you a canvas where you can plan and develop your idea and build back-end logic and interactions without writing code.
The idea for simplicityEngine comes from the founders’ own experiences working on projects around the world and meeting many people with ideas for applications they want to build. They saw the potential for non-technical people to have successful ideas and implement them with little to no coding skills. They also saw this as a problem not only for individuals who want to build something, but also for established companies.
“As an enterprise, you cannot wait months until Accenture or another vendor develops a custom built product for your business. There’s a huge problem out there and no company has yet been able to solve or address it well,” they told us.
It’s exciting to see where software is heading, opening the door for new developers and helping seasoned developers deliver their ideas faster than ever before.
Follow simplicityEngine.com on Twitter at @simplicityEng