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Low-Code Generation Z

02 May 2024
💬 EN

Table of Contents

I’ve seen a lot of handwringing about Generation Z not grokking hierarchichal file folders and directories.

At the other end of the spectrum, software engineering professor Dimitris Kolovos wrote:

“a growing proportion of the workforce are digital native and, while they may lack a background in programming, they are well-versed computer and web users and skilled with non-trivial software (e.g. office/mobile applications). Low-code software engineering aspires to leverage this increasingly computer-savvy workforce”

So which is it as the old PC-raised software application implementers retire and youth replace them? A bunch of technologically helpless fresh faces or “well-versed and skilled computer users?”

Still not enough formal education

As I wrote in “In defense of Salesforce Flow,” I strongly believe that computer education for the masses needs to catch up quickly with the explosion of flowchart-based programming languages.

I want to see more computer science and software engineering best practice books, blogs, and self-help videos that teach intermediate and advanced programming concepts from the 1970’s-2000’s, but entirely demonstrated in flowchart-based programming languages.

I’m horrified that in 2024 with enterprise workers working magic in Salesforce Flow and Microsoft Power Platform, I Googled “low-code software engineering” today and still didn’t find anything useful on old-school software engineering principles.

Hope in tablets

Maybe the tablet generation’s relative ignorance of certain details about desktop user interfaces is going to help them – and the educational leaders shepherding them – avoid missing the forest for the trees as they enter the workforce and become low-code software application developers.

Maybe teaching the TikTok generation (many of whom have more hands-on-experience-driven intuition about film lighting, reasons to choose a certain type of scene cut, etc. than I learned in 2 semesters of college-level film studies, so I suspect playing around on a tablet has, as Dr. Kolovos suspects, still rendered them a “computer-savvy workforce” at a business objectives level) about “D.R.Y.” software application implementation is going to be the desk job world’s 2030’s equivalent of teaching the Oregon Trail generation Excel.

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