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2 Modern Methods to Break the Iron Triangle of Development

triangle-of-development

Have you heard the expression iron triangle?  Before diving in on how to break the iron triangle in development, let’s first define it.

Since a picture says a thousand words, please look at our graphic and see the triangle surrounded by three words, cost, speed, and quality.   The iron triangle is an illustration whereas legend has it, you can have any two of the three traits but have to sacrifice the third to achieve it.  So, one could have low cost with speed, but sacrifice quality.  One could likewise have quality with speed but at a high cost or they could have high quality at a low cost if they give up speed.

Software development, like most things, has been encumbered by the iron triangle for a long time because of the complexity of code.  To get good code fast, you had to pay a lot.  On the other hand, to get fast development at a low price, you had to sacrifice code quality.  The cycle was vicious and appeared impossible to beat until recently.

Breaking the Iron Triangle with Low Code and No Code Development

Developing custom software used to consist of thousands of lines of code and each line had to be perfect or there could be minor glitches to major errors.  One issue developers face is that there are a large variety of languages out there. Software isn’t just 0 and 1 as it turns out.  There are over 50 types of languages programmers can specialize in and that doesn’t count how many languages are used in each category.

In 1883, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage joined forces to create the Analytical Engine – a mechanical computer ahead of its time. With her understanding of numbers and their applications beyond numerical values, Lovelace wrote an algorithm for this groundbreaking machine which has since come to be known as the world’s first-ever computer program! Her code calculated Bernoulli numbers, at once cementing both herself and history in technology advancement.

Clearly, software coding and languages have come a long way since 1883 but again that adds to the problem when trying to get a good solution, quickly that doesn’t cost too much.  That is why no-code and low-code solutions were needed and frankly why they are so popular with IT staff around the world.

What is a No-Code Solution?

Read our previously published article What are no-code and low-code development to get a more comprehensive understanding of what these program-creating solutions are.  Simply put, however, they are alternatives to coding, using pre-built ingredients that can be combined together to create an entire program with them.  One popular system of no-code today in wide use is found with WordPress website editors like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and more.

There are programs out there that citizen developers can use to help create the software solutions they need without the use or knowledge of coding.  Low Code Road uses several of these no-code platforms and incorporates a few low-code solutions to help their clients in a variety of ways.  The end result is that their clients get the turnkey solutions they want without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars or more for custom coding.

How Can No-Code Help?

With the Iron Triangle, the choice between low cost, quick turnaround, and high quality usually requires that you sacrifice one of the three.  The main difference with no-code solutions comes in the form of pre-written code functions, which end users can stack in different combinations to assemble fully functional software to handle almost any situation quickly, without having to hire custom coders.

Imagine a new inventory tracking system that works exactly the way it needs to, created in days or weeks instead of 12 to 18 months on a fraction of the budget.  This is just one example of what no-code solutions can do.  A product manager working with design teams, production teams, supply chain managers, outside vendors, and the c suite team can all be granted custom-level access from their devices to get real-time data without the use of excel or expensive ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.  Again this example shows how the iron triangle can be beaten with the no-code solution providing high functions, quickly at affordable prices.   

What is even better is that no-code and low-code solutions can be stacked and or altered as business needs change or organizations grow.

The world used to have to make a hard choice normally between speed and cost, so as not to sacrifice quality, but now with software at least, there are ways as you can see, to accomplish all three in one brilliant method thanks to the advancement of software.

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