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Joseph Petty Verified userVerified user

Sr. Developer Advocate


Enterprises Are Embracing Low-Code 2024, and Fullstack Developers Have an Advantage

Low-Code: New Name, Same Game?

The term low-code is fairly new, but the idea has been around for decades:

Improved efficiency through abstraction

Previous marketing trends used terms like visual programming language (VPL), rapid application development (RAD), GUI builders, etc. But most of these older platforms required installed software, both for the builder and client (end user), like MicroSoft Access, Borland Delphi, and FileMaker Pro.

Then, in the 2000’s, platforms like MS SharePoint, Zoho Creator and Mendix started to offer web based builders and clients. This shift increased accessibility and enabled more use cases, allowing businesses to build their own customer facing portals, and dashboards that the team could access from anywhere. Everything was perfect, and the devs had nothing to complain about! That is, until they started thinking about self-hosting, A/B testing, continuous delivery, multiple environments, SSO, version control… and why they ever gave up the fullstack approach.

But in recent years, platforms like Appsmith have begun addressing these concerns with a more comprehensive solution. With features like version control with Git, auto-user provisioning with SCIM, and Granular Access Control, Appsmith brings that improved efficiency to the entire platform and software development life-cycle, instead of just in the app-building process.

THIS is the key factor that enables enterprises to adopt modern low-code solutions, because it means they can operate and maintain them at scale. Low-code is no longer just a tool for building MVPs and side-projects; it’s ready for prime-time with the largest enterprises in the world.

What's Driving the Change?

The fact that low-code tools are finally ready to support enterprise use cases is only part of it. The real pressure that's driving the shift to low-code is more financial in nature. In 2023 alone, 191,000 workers were laid off in just the US. Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta lead the reductions, each with over 10k workers let go. Businesses have to do more with less, and that means less people and less software expenses.

There has always been financial pressure for enterprises to choose the most cost-effective solution, but until recently, web-based low-code solutions lacked the necessary enterprise features, security compliance, SLAs, and other requirements. Now, enterprises have a viable alternative that saves time and money, while maintaining security, stability and performance.

Easier access = more use cases, but not more devs

Appsmith and other low-code tools enable teams to quickly build apps for any internal process. This means that smaller use cases can be addressed that never would have justified the investment of a fullstack application. Now any team within the company can spin up their own app for HR, Customer Support, PayRoll, etc, instead of only one team trying to serve every department and having to prioritize a backlog of requests.

More use cases means more devs are needed. And while Appsmith makes it easy for anyone to build their first app, what enterprises really need is experienced developers to properly design and build enterprise-grade apps.

Low-Code for Fullstack and Backend Developers

Appsmith is low-code where it makes sense, and full-code when you need it. The UI is drag-n-drop, and requires no frontend experience. But when it comes to connecting to datasources, this is a developer’s tool. There’s no abstraction getting between you and the data. The API builder is similar to Postman, and the query builder lets you write SQL and interact directly with the database. You can also write JavaScript anywhere to add logic to dynamically control the UI and create workflows. And with custom widgets, you can use any library or framework to build other UI components in addition to our 45+ prebuilt widgets.

This approach means the platform is familiar to fullstack or backend developers, but sometimes harder for non-developers or no-code devs to pick up.

The Fullstack Developer’s Advantage

Appsmith can connect to just about any API or database, and that’s one of the areas our customers tend to need help. It’s not about learning Appsmith, but about having expertise in OAuth2, JavaScript, SQL, self-hosting, and experience working with stakeholders to gather requirement and properly design the backend.

Anyone can use low-code tools to throw together a basic CRUD app, but it takes an experience developer to build, deploy and manage an enterprise-grade solution with performant queries, granular permissions and other best practices in mind.

The New Fullstack

With so many enterprises shifting to low-code, now is the perfect time for fullstack developers to start adding low-code skills to their toolkit, and resumes! Appsmith is open-source and can be self-hosted for free, making it the perfect choice for the frontend in a modern fullstack. Throw in an open-source backend like Supabase, Baserow, or Postgres, and you’ve got a modern, easy to deploy and maintain fullstack. Enterprise customers are making the switch to low-code, and they need your fullstack experience. It’s time for traditional fullstack developers to embrace low-code and the new fullstack!

Freelancing and Building an Online Presence

Whether working in a full-time developer role for one company, or as a solo freelancer, all fullstack devs can benefit from adding low-code tools to their stack. But fullstack freelancers in particular will gain even more of an advantage.

Low-code tools are generally much easier to use, and most users can build a simple CRUD app with no problem. But for those more advanced use cases, fullstack experience goes a long way. When it comes time to build a custom widget, transform data for a chart, or integrate with an OAuth2 API, traditional devs will excel where no-code devs and non-developers would struggle.

If you’re interested freelancing with low-code tools, one of the most important things you can do is to start building an online presence in the low-code space. This means asking and answering questions on forums, starting a blog and posting tutorials, and building an online portfolio. Get yourself out there in the community and make a name for yourself as someone who understands the product and wants to help others. This could apply to a specific tool like Appsmith or Supabase, or in a certain domain of tech, like JavaScript or Postgres forums. 

It takes time to build, but a solid online presence can drive tons of leads to your UpWork or Fiverr profile, personal website, or wherever else you want to direct them. Additionally, your tutorial or community profile on a forum can be included in proposals, as a way to build confidence in potential clients and show them that you are invested in building quality solutions with that particular product.

Advertising on the Appsmith Community Portal

Appsmith is a BYOD (Bring your own datasource) platform, so building an Appsmith app often involves other skills like SQL, JavaScript, API integrations, etc. Therefore, we’ve designed our community directory to allow anyone to advertise these services, in addition to Appsmith development. In other words, you don’t have to be an Appsmith expert to make a profile and use the community portal to find work! There are tags for other skills you can add to your profile, like JavaScript, SQL, Google Sheets, etc. 

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Create a profile on the community portal
  • Ensure your profile is 100% complete
  • Include a link or email for the Contact Me button
  • Request to have your account verified (ask Appsmith staff on Discord)


Low-code tools have advanced from being installed programs that are locked to a desktop, to web-based, self-hostable platforms with enterprise features like SSO, multiple environments, version control with git, and role based access control. And now the advantages of low-code are finally accessible to large enterprises that were previously blocked by security and regulatory compliance. This shift is creating increased demand for low-code developers, and fullstack developers have a clear advantage.

Finding Work As A Low-Code Freelancer