3 Ways Low-Code Side Projects Spur Developer Creativity and Speed

Author: Amit Chauhan, Appian Enterprise Architect, Macedon Technologies

Software development is evolving into an increasingly creative venture. As business requirements become more and more complex, software developers must think outside the box to solve their stakeholders’ problems. But how can you encourage developer innovation in such a technical field?

Side projects can serve as creative outlets that help shape software developers’ careers. The benefits of working on side projects for developers include learning new skills, fueling motivation, and developing novel solutions. Leaders in the tech industry are actively encouraging these projects, citing similar merits. So, what tools are available to help developers itching to turn their ideas into passion projects? Low-code is a great place to start. Low-code platforms act as a virtual sandbox where developers can get their hands dirty.

The benefits of low-code development for businesses are numerous. Many of these benefits also apply to personal projects, where developers are often pressed for time and resources. Here are three advantages to using low-code platforms as a canvas for side projects.

3 advantages when developers work on low-code projects:


1. Developers learn how to prototype and develop faster.

The term “agility” is almost synonymous with low-code development. The speed at which developers can build applications is one of the most cited benefits of low-code development and process automation. When using low-code, project teams are much more efficient when compared to traditional coding. Developers can prototype, develop, and deploy features much faster without being bogged down by the minor details of traditional programming.

Developers can use these advantages when working on their side projects, too. They can rapidly bring their ideas to life by designing their interfaces using drag-and-drop workflow tools. These tools help developers avoid wasting time fine-tuning every line of code. Instead, they can focus on the flow and functionality of their projects.

The best low-code platforms are mobile-compatible. Their drag-and-drop components work across various devices, preventing front-end issues. These components are another example of how developers can optimize their development time on personal projects.

Like a sandbox or container of building blocks, low-code platforms give developers the space and freedom to experiment with fresh ideas. They spend less time configuring their workspaces and jump right into developing and innovating. Cloud-hosted platforms in particular enable developers to begin working on their personal projects in a matter of minutes.


2. Integrations become more simplified.

Low-code development platforms should excel at providing a unified way to access data. You want data to be accessible without complex migration efforts. Simplified access to these data sources is the foundation for building reports and dashboards.

A typical side project can involve integrating with systems housing exciting and unique data. When developers gain access to these data sets, they often feel inspired and eager to begin using it as they build their applications. But integrating with these systems can be an imposing task for developers when starting out. Rather than waste significant time figuring out how to access and prepare the data, developers can utilize the power and speed of low-code development to integrate with these systems quickly.

In the rare case that a custom integration is required, advanced low-code platforms offer collaborative development. Developers using these platforms are encouraged to share their custom integrations publicly, and these shared components can kickstart other individuals’ side projects. These platforms foster a collaborative environment for everyone to learn and grow their skills.

[ Want to learn more about how to solve your data silo problems and speed up innovation? Get the eBook: The Data Fabric Advantage. ]


3. Accessibility to all is increased.

Low-code platforms are designed for developers to build their applications while abstracting the complexity of traditional programming. This level of accessibility to individuals with few technical skills is crucial for digital transformation. A new user can be onboarded to a low-code platform in minutes and begin development.

Side projects are a fun, hands-on way to experiment with ideas and bring them to life. Low-code platforms provide that access to anyone who wants to play in the digital playground. Traditional coding can be daunting to those without a programming background, but low-code platforms offer an interface that anyone can easily understand. This interface makes it easier for individuals to work on their own projects without requiring a lengthy start-up time.

Instead of building everything from scratch, low-code platforms have libraries of prebuilt components. Developers can use these components to their advantage to jump-start their projects. This repository of prebuilt artifacts is an excellent example of how removing barriers to entry can give individuals without a technical background a space to learn and develop their own projects—a net benefit for everyone.


Harness the power of low-code development to galvanize creativity.

Side projects are a fantastic tool for helping foster creativity and innovation among developers. When individuals are free to explore new ideas and concepts, they can think outside the box and come up with unique and valuable solutions to problems. However, many developers have limited time and resources to work on these projects.

Low-code platforms provide significant advantages over traditional programming and can support developers’ ability to engage in side projects. These advantages include rapid development, ease of use, and streamlining complex integrations. With low-code, developers can start up projects and bring their ideas to life faster.

[ Learn how to successfully use low-code tools as part of end-to-end process automation strategies. Get the Process Automation Guide. ]

Date: April 7, 2023

Amit Chauhan

Appian Enterprise Architect, Macedon Technologies

Amit Chauhan has been working in the Appian ecosystem for over a decade. At Macedon, Amit provides technical expertise to project implementation teams, advises clients on digital transformation initiatives, researches emerging technologies, and helps refine Macedon’s extensive training program. He has developed complex solutions in several industries, including life sciences, insurance, and the public sector.

Low-Code Guide

Low-Code development is the way to build apps more quickly by reducing the need to code.