Low Codes, High Rewards

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In this special guest feature, Jugdip Bath, Xero’s Executive Vice President of Product Engineering, discusses how many businesses are taking advantage of the explosion in low-code development, which are making it possible for non-IT individuals to create applications quickly on their own and at a fraction of the cost. Jugdip looks after Xero’s accounting and accountant and bookkeeper product portfolio. He comes to Xero with multiple years of experience in SaaS and Cloud Product Development leadership roles and is skilled at building organizations for scale and operational excellence. He has a proven track record of delivering new and innovative products to market. Prior to Xero, Jugdip served senior engineering roles at Chegg, ADP, Citrix and Intuit. Jugdip lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters.

It’s 2023: customers expect top-notch digital experiences, and have far less patience for outdated digital solutions, no matter the company providing them. This means that companies of all shapes and sizes have some big shoes to fill, which can be challenging for small businesses with fewer resources. Looking at the production of app building, which is debatably the best way to modernize the customer experience, there’s the common assumption it’s limited only to IT territory.

However, there is a fairly turnkey way to ease these mounting pressures, and no, it does not involve hiring more people or buying new software – it has to do with giving your employees more space and creativity to enter the realm of coding (it sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!). Thanks to the explosion of low-code development, this is entirely possible. 


Low-code development is a revolutionizing phenomenon in the software engineering world that changes the traditional (cumbersome) coding process from textual to visual. Historically, this field has always had high barriers to entry, including extensive education and experience; I’ve even heard people say you need a “math brain” to be a data engineer (the fact of the matter is, data engineering welcomes all brains). Fortunately, low-code development allows for employees outside of the IT space to engage with app development tools that use graphics to guide the process. From there, apps can be developed by employees from all groups of a company, and if the app needs a special kind of functionality, it can then be punted over to the IT gurus for final touches. 

From a small business owner’s perspective, this whole process may seem like wishful thinking. However, I have a few tips to help get the process started:

  • Start small. Starting off with low code tools, rather than approaching digitizing practices with high complexity, will help organizations meet realistic goals. In the same vein, starting with one small project is the best place to start. There’s no need to boil the ocean and train every single employee to be an IT wizard.
  • The power in numbers. Ensure that at least a few people understand the low coding process and how the tools work. This may require individual training, or perhaps, group training held every few months within a business to keep it fresh in people’s minds and accessible to all. 
  • Clarity is key. As a small business owner, it’s important to make a game plan for yourself, including timing and details of whatever needs to be achieved. From there, assess whether or not it seems reasonable – pass it along to your employees and make sure they understand what is being asked of them. Lastly, keep lines of communication open so that they feel compelled to share updates, questions or any roadblocks they may be facing in the low code development process. 

Trust the process

Low code development is all about taking the pretentiousness out of app development and making it an accessible service. More importantly, this process provides small businesses with countless benefits; the ability to build more apps in less time, as well as the minimized need to bring on IT hires can save small businesses money. Especially heading into a global recession, tech adoption combined with smart financing is high on many small business owners’ lists.

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