Should you consider enrolling in software development courses in Kenya? Much has been said about our education system. Many graduates are walking around with certificates but no skills. Employers have an extra burden of training new employees.
What options do aspiring software developers in Kenya have? We discover earlier that enrolling in a college or university may not be enough. You need skills that are relevant to your field of interest.
Some developers opt to learn on their own through online tutorials. Others prefer to rely on app builders to make apps. Let us look at the pros and cons of this approach for a moment.
Pros of using app builders
1. You do not need programming skills
Aspiring software developers run to app builders because they are easy to use. You do not need any programming skills to build an app. In fact, some entrepreneurs opt to create their own apps instead of hiring developers.
The simplicity of the instructions means that you can create an app on your own. Acquiring coding skills takes a while. The learning process is longer if you want to rise to the top in this field. Hence, for developers who can enrol in a coding camp, app builders save the day.
2. Saving costs
Enrolling in a software development course requires money. For some coding schools in Kenya such as Kwetu Hub, the fee is affordable. However, even with the subsidized fee, some students cannot afford it.
The most important requirements when using app builders are a computer, the internet, and your brain. You also need a passion for coding or creating solutions. It is difficult to learn something that you do not enjoy doing.
The speed of delivering the final product attracts many developers. Sometimes developers lack the time to build a code from scratch, test and apply it to a solution. When using an app builder, any changes made to the template reflect in real-time.
Learning how to use an app builder is also fast. You can follow instructions and build an app in a day if you are a fast learner. However, the speed comes at a cost as we will discover in the next section.
Cons of using app builders
1. You cannot change the code
The beauty of building a code from scratch is that you can change it at any time. You own, you know how it works, and so you can change to suit new changes. Software developers in Kenya will tell you that clients change their requirements repeatedly.
Every time a client finds new feature, the developer has to adjust the solution to include the new feature. The changes are easy to implement with your own code. With an app builder, you can only use the code and structure as it is.
The limitations in coding also affect the features and capabilities of the final product. Remember that other developers have access to the same software. Hence, it is almost impossible to differentiate your solutions when using app builders.
2. Limited templates
The same limitation in code applies to the app templates that app builders provide. You can only change the design to a certain extent. In fact, some app builders do not allow you to make any changes to the sample template.
Exploring software development courses in Kenya seems like a long route. However, the results pay off. You learn how to create unique designs that you can then replicate in different solutions. You set the standard for your solutions, which you can improve at any time.
3. You do not own the code or final product fully
When you use another developer’s code, you do not own it. You are simply borrowing their expertise. In other words, you are building a business or career on borrowed tools. The same applies to the final product.
The danger with this approach is that the real developer can change the terms of service at any time. You may wake up one day with a new idea but the developer denies you access to the app builder or code.
Some developers have also been stranded after their accounts are terminated or blocked. This means that you cannot access any pending work on the account. Some app-building services demand that terminated users stop using their products. You are safe with a fully own solution.
4. Limitations in integration
If you are building solutions for the Kenyan market, you must consider third-party integrations. The most common integration is Mpesa, especially for e-commerce products. Sometimes clients demand integration after launching a solution.
Other types of third-party integrations that you may need to consider include CRB and Google. Such API integrations are easy when using your code. In fact, you can make room for them while building the structure or design of the product.
App builders have limited capabilities for third-party API integration. Your final product can only have the standard features. As it is, most app builders will not work for products that need special capabilities like location traction and in-app payments.
5. App builders are specific to one platform
You will come across many app builders for iOS and Android apps. However, the structure of each app builder is specific to one platform. This means that you cannot use an Android builder for iOS solutions.
The reality is that cross-platform apps are limited in their capabilities and performance. Hence, most clients prefer to develop a solution for one platform and then expand to other platforms. You need to get a new app builder when you move to a new platform.
The downside of using different app builders is that you will end up with apps with different capabilities. In other words, the same app may function differently when used on another platform. Clients expect a seamless user experience on all platforms.
Invest in your dream
If your dream is to become an expert software developer, it is only prudent that you invest in it. Software development courses in Kenya are worth your consideration. A shortcut will give you fast but temporary results. The advantage of going the extra mile is that you can learn to customize your products. You will stay ahead of other developers when you combine skill with your creativity.