(Editor’s note: This guest post is contributed by Yoav Vilner.)
Have you ever compared today’s digital world to that of the 1990s? If a tech geek from that era could have received a glimpse of the technology we use nowadays, he wouldn’t be wrong to equate it to a futuristic sci-fi world that he’d have only read about in novels.
With each passing year, technology that was once with in the reach of tech elites only is becoming more accessible to those with limited technical skills. In a few short years, we could see basic mobile app development become available to anyone with a few hours and an idea.
So, in this article, I will tell you the reasons that’ll make application development a skill so common that even grandmas will be able to create an app in the near future. Let’s read on.
Tech and Accessibility
In the 1990s, a ten-year-old building his own website was seen as a premonition of technical greatness. His parents would probably have compared him to Bill Gates and secretly counted down the days until their millionaire son paid for their comfortable retirement.
But today? A student of an elementary school building a website might turn the heads of some Baby Boomers, but it wouldn’t impress the Millennial squad. Anyone can create an account on one of the hundreds of drag-and-drop WYSIWYG website builders and have their own website up and running in a day or two.
Similarly, there is a plethora of platforms that help you build an app on a budget – quickly, and with no coding knowledge required.
This brings a larger truth to surface i.e. the tech that amazed us ten years ago has become so increasingly accessible that — at the risk of sounding cliche — even your grandmother could use it.
In a short time, no one will bat an eye when ten-year-olds (or grandparents, for that matter) make their own app and launch it on the app store. As advanced technology improves and becomes increasingly ubiquitous, less knowledge will be required to build your own.
Cheap and effective education
In the 1990s, if you wanted to learn how to code you had only a hand full of options available. Most of these options were expensive – certainly too expensive for kids, seniors on a fixed income or hobbyists to learn.
One could only study programming through a college degree – bound by age limit and financial restraints or through self-learning that involved bulky textbooks and certainly no mentor. That’s it, no other option.
However today, this couldn’t be less true. There are dozens of excellent online coding courses, schools, and communities where you can learn from basics to most advanced levels of programming.
There are even resources that are custom-designed for specific people, whether they’re hobbyists, children, or older students through which you can go from novice to junior developer-level in three months.
Communities propel programmers
Today’s world distinguishes itself from the yesteryears not just through learning opportunities in programming, but there is also an abundance of resources that a developer of 90’s could only dream of.
There are numerous communities and resources that allow you to use thousands of open-source components in your own applications. In fact, there are certain companies that are entirely based on this idea and enable any developer to share existing components of source code across their projects and with others on their team or the community.
This kind of “lego-like” modularity lowers the barriers for new developers to create applications. Bit, for instance, is an open source project that is evolved by a community of developers.
Coding communities around the web are full of seasoned developers who are willing to share and help new programmers tackle problems. Sites like Hashnode, allow aspiring programmers to ask questions and receive answers from more experienced programmers.
Similarly, GitHub allows programmers to share their open-source projects with the broader community, who can then alter them and participate in their development.
Grandma’s app is coming soon
Eventually, app development will go the way of the website. There are already drag-and-drop solutions out there that make developing simple apps a breeze. As these platforms gain more popularity, more people that you wouldn’t expect to have an interest in app development will come out of the woodwork and give it a shot.
In short, within a few short years, grandma won’t need your help using an app; she’ll be building one herself.