In a recent post, we discussed and outlined Nonaka's Knowledge Spiral and how a movement from and between tacit and explicit knowledge allows a student to develop knowledge and eventually expertise in a given field—even when the field is something as complicated and borderline intimidating as blockchain.
Among the greatest barriers to entry into the world of blockchain is the expertise required to code such a difficult and complex system. With blockchain technology making its way into the world of higher education and academia, there is still a certain anxiety for students who are intimidated by those complications. However, among the motivations for academic institutions which are building blockchain curricula is not only to prepare students for a world in which blockchain may play a central role for employment and business, but also to discover new applications for blockchain conceived by imaginative students who dare to push the platform to new heights.
But this takes everything back to the dilemma from the beginning of the post: how can a student new to blockchain start studying and applying blockchain technology when the barrier to entry—complex and sophisticated coding—is so daunting that the average student, regardless of how innovative her ideas are, is essentially scared away from the curriculum before she even gets a chance to apply her ideas. The solution? The low-code platform.
Low-code platforms are designed with the goal of democratizing the traditionally technocratic field of programming through visual creation and design tools. In other words, low-code platforms turn lines of code into a visual medium. At its core, low-code's visual creation tools enable a combination of either point-and-click design, data modeling, or business logic as an introduction to the platform with the traditional programming being reserved for the end of the coursework. For children or newcomers to computer programming, their introduction to programming may come through MIT's Scratch program—a low-code platform that provides a similar gateway.
Today's low-code platforms are a big departure from the zero-code platforms of the past. The low-code platform creates what is known as an empowered analyst, whereas before zero-code platforms created power users. The result of this was an entire section of people with a great understanding of the technology but another section with little to no understanding of it at all. For the latter group, there is still an interest in learning programming languages such as Python or JAVA.
There is a general consensus around low-code platforms: these include an increase in efficiency and a cost reduction in developer-constrained environments. However, while this conclusion is perfectly accurate, it is really low-hanging fruit. The opportunity to provide contextual experience and domain knowledge to such an analyst can open the door to students in the fourth industrial revolution.