March 30th 2020
Like any other story, they all start with a point in time. Mine? In 2015 when I met Plant an App team (DNNSharp at that time) over a simple AngularJS interview.
Long story, short: I’ve got the job, working part-time as a front end developer, part of an 8 person team that was tasked with fixing bugs. Just to clear some things before I go any further: I studied AngularJS and Bootstrap 3 for two days until the moment I got employed. Now, looking back I don’t think I was nowhere near skilled or prepared for this job. But there I was struggling to deliver the only code I knew how to write: Spaghetti Code.
Now it all went like this for a while, mainly because I wasn’t working full time and the only work I was getting were side jobs no-one wanted to do. And the reality was you will never see a Senior developer modifying the color of a text box. That was a task for me.
When things started to change
With great power comes great responsibility and with great products comes a need for support. Long story short I was the chosen one to build a new Help Center solution for the company. 20 years old in charge of building a ticketing solution all by myself. Did I mention I had no experience in delivering this kind of solution? So I’ve started with the tools the company had. The plan was simple: have a Form builder to submit a request and a Grid to list the comments. After two months I came up with a solution so overly complicated that I wasn’t even able to explain why I did it in that manner, BUT a working one. In those two months I learned SQL to perfection (at least this was my feeling, definitely my skills could be improved), my CSS HTML JS got also better. I was feeling so happy and full of joy for the first time that something I have done by myself was going to be used in production with real Customers.
A full-time job?
I think at this moment I was two years already with the company, I graduated college, I was a full-time employee and after the Help Center Solution success I became more confident in the capability of the products to deliver what you need when you need and I think other people felt the same. The idea was simple: My main job was to implement Solutions for customers who didn’t have the skills or the time. This was actually the tipping point when I had this feeling that being a programmer doesn’t necessarily mean to code on a daily basis.
And I was struggling with that: What is the job title of someone that codes by not coding? Funny problem to have when you think about it because somehow I was thinking all my friends are coding in C# and Java and dreaming of working for Google and Oracle. On the other side, I found something that was making me happy and was easy and impactful. F#ck that! I kept going on even, to be honest, I still had these mixed feelings but why not?
The full-time job
After 2 years of delivering solutions alone, a decision was made by the team. We had to expand the implementation team. Implementation and Team in the same sentence? Well, you know what that means? Interviews for what it became known today as low-code, training and being a leader for people that their entire life trained for only one thing: be a good coder.
And in a time frame of 1 year, we got six new colleagues and one left, in total five new people joining the Implementation Team. Not only that those numbers made my mixed feelings disappear because I could validate the fact that people really enjoy doing low-code but now I knew this is what I want to do and I want to build as a career path.
How do I feel today?
I know coding supports the fact I don’t need to code today. The code is for complexity and Low-Code is speed. The issue (and this is me being subjective) is coders don’t want to take a look at low-code because it seems like a toy and low-code engineers just don’t want to code anymore looking at the horizon.
I think today being apart of the low-code movement is part of keeping up and it became a necessity like a car. You still can walk to the destination but the car will be faster. The car is not designed and assembled by you but in the end what are you trying to achieve: complexity or speed?
– Radu N. , Customer Success Manager @ Plant an App (Mar 2020)