How low-code software is empowering new career opportunities

Max Rollinger,

In a recent Forbes article, “Democratizing Software for the Greater Good,” Pega’s Founder and CEO Alan Trefler addresses a current and growing problem of the digital boom – a lack of workers around the globe who are skilled in the coding languages needed to create and update software applications. As Alan points out, “only 2% of the worldwide population knows how to code, but the need for software developers is estimated to grow by 24% in the next 7 years.”

However, instead of racing to teach greater numbers of people to code in Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, PHP … or any other programming language, Alan’s view is future-focused: eliminate the code.

That may sound like a counterintuitive approach to app dev, but in reality, low-code platforms are doing it every day. By using metaphors instead of code, software development becomes more accessible to a wider range of people. And in many instances, this opportunity is life-changing.

Bridging the experience gap with low-code

One example of this is Legerity, a software consulting, implementation, and workforce development firm located in Hampton Roads, Virginia dedicated to bridging the gap between people who are seeking a career in software development and companies that need developers. Low-code is the key to their success and the success of their workforce.

Legerity recruits workers that have previous computer-related education, training, or tech-based certifications. They also recruit people with an interest in computer science who may lack formative, tech-based training, but have the desire to learn new skills and work with software – such as military veterans seeking a new civilian career or single parents who have taken time off and are looking to get back into the workforce. The company provides an intensive two-year development and apprenticeship program that includes Pega Certified System Architect training.

“We saw a need,” explains Heidi Anderson, head of Legerity’s operations. In their former roles as CIOs of a very large healthcare IT department, the company’s founders encountered challenges staffing their own digital transformation projects. “What we found was there was not enough talent; a lack of resources but very large demand. We decided, let’s establish a company to find and develop this talent instead.”

Legerity’s commitment to using Pega’s low-code software platform as part of their training is one of the reasons for the great success stories from program alumni, like John, Nikki, and Robert, who share their experiences below.

John – from U.S. Navy to Certified System Architect

“Previously, I served in the U.S. Navy for four years and was responsible for leading a group of 20 members in the safe and proper operation and execution of all daily activities within the workplace. I had always been interested in computers and becoming a software developer. The problem for me was that it’s difficult to get into this field without a degree or extensive experience. My experience in the Navy was in the industrial field so I wasn’t confident that I had the proper training to become a developer.

“I always felt like I just needed someone to take a chance on me so that I could start the next chapter of my career as a developer. Legerity gave me that opportunity. They introduced me to Pega and then gave me the tools to be successful in a job I like doing. The Legerity team provided me excellent training from day one, helped me achieve CSA certification and then provided me with job placement to gain experience.

“I really enjoyed building and developing a Pega solution that resulted in a total savings value of $7,000,000 for the company I support. Through my Pega expertise, I was responsible for taking the lead on a quick resolution of patient liability code issues that ultimately resulted in the prevention of monthly fines of $10,000 per month.”

Nikki – combining IT training and low-code to accelerate her career

“Technology has always fascinated me. I have always found myself interested in smart devices for my home, my phones/watches, and also building a gaming PC, as well as buying gaming consoles. I LOVE to play video games!

“I’m the second grandchild on my mother's side to have graduated college. Having a more traditional Filipino background, my grandparents (and parents) wanted a doctor (or a nurse). When I started at University, it was originally to become a cardiologist. I discovered pretty quickly that the medical world just wasn't my passion. After I signed up for a few programming and IT courses in college, I knew immediately that this was the career I wanted. I graduated with a B.S. in Information Technology. That’s when I came across Legerity and learned about Pega for the first time.

“Up until this opportunity with Legerity, I was working part-time in retail/F&B after graduation. Legerity gave me a chance to learn Pega and launch my career path by allowing me to gain experience in the IT field and use the Pega platform every day at a client site to help develop, sustain, maintain, and improve their business applications.

“My career ambition is to achieve as many Pega certifications as possible. I want to be that ace in the hole who can take the lead on projects, from architecture to robotics. More than anything, I want to serve as a mentor to people my age who are just starting on Pega. I want to support them on their journey the way I was supported in my own journey by Legerity.”

Robert – branching out into low-code software development

“I found my passion for computers and anything technology related in high school while watching the world change around me electronically. I tailored my elected high school studies to anything math or computer driven and enrolled into any STEM related program my school offered with the intent to better prepare myself for a career in the IT industry.

“After graduating high school, I wanted to leave the small city I grew up in and travel, but still wanted to follow my passion in computers. I came from a single parent household, so paying for college and travel was out of my budget. I contacted an Army National Guard recruiter and realized I could take advantage of all the benefits the service had to offer.

“Now serving in the National Guard for a little over 10 years, my primary job is an Air Defense Battle Management Systems Operator. I have completed three mobilizations in the Washington D.C. area for the National Capital Region Integrated Air Defense Sector (NCR-IADS). During my service, I also wanted to complete a civilian education and decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science. I enrolled into Community College, completing my Associates in Computer Science and Engineering. I later enrolled into University and completed mybachelor’s in computer science, taking many classes in object-oriented programming languages.

“I was first introduced to Pega by Legerity and was immediately intrigued. Being in the networking side of the IT Industry and a recent Computer Science graduate, this was my first interaction with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The concept of being able to produce software in a fast and efficient manner with a low code/no code approach seemed revolutionary.

“In my career as a Pega developer, I have been able to branch out of the hardware aspect of computer networks and dive into software development. Pega enables me to implement my creativity in developing without having to worry as much about complex code or algorithms like coding in traditional programming languages. This allows me to focus on the overall project goals of my team and not as much on repetitive tasks such as debugging.”

Developing more than just software. Building communities.

In Alan’s article he talks about how making technology accessible to as many people as possible helps empower creative thinkers and support a diverse workforce. In this way, low-code software benefits both the individual and the company. In Heidi’s experience, low-code software development platforms are beneficial on an even greater level. “Helping people get good jobs means helping their financial wellbeing, and that, in turn, also helps build communities. We’re helping change people’s lives, and it’s very rewarding to watch the transformation.”

Learn more:

  • Learn how Legerity can help you build your Pega workforce and fuel your transformation.
  • Get more info on Pega Academy courses and certification paths.
  • See how Pega’s low-code platform fosters collaboration and streamlines CI/CD.
  • Check out the Pega Community site for app dev info, tips, and links to a variety of resources.

Tags

  • Topic: Agile
  • Challenge: Business Agility
  • Product Area: Platform

About the Author

As Senior Manager of Developer Engagement, Max Rollinger creates content and programs that help to educate Pega’s global community of over 30,000 certified developers. He is an advocate for the use of low-code development to enable business and IT professionals to break down silos and collaborate to improve digital transformation in their organizations.