|The SAP Community Expert Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from industry experts and leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, process, and technology.|
Staying agile in a changing world is of paramount importance.
Organizations need to respond quickly to changing market conditions. With scarce IT resources, there is a growing struggle to deliver innovations and keep up with rapid shifts in market requirements.
As IT landscapes grow in complexity with more apps, tools and services, the shift to low-code/no-code (LCNC), enables both end-users without coding experiences (aka “citizen developers”), as well as advanced developers to play a role in understanding the business issues and developing solutions.
For Sergio Guerrero, consultant, SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, SAPUI5, SAP AppGyver, and Data Analytics expert, developing proof of concept (and proof of value) solutions for customers is critical.
His hands-on SAP AppGyver experiences are helping organizations transform the way they adopt to business changes faster than ever.
Stephanie De Camara Marley (SM): How did you get involved in coding and programming? What types of roles or projects do you mainly focus on?
Sergio Guerrero (SG): When I was growing up and learning English, I compared learning about programing as an opportunity to understand another language. Computer Sciences sparked my interest!
First, I got involved as a .NET developer (~14 years ago) and then started using SAP HANA (~10 years ago). I am always trying to improve my skills and see what SAP is offering.
Today, I’m combining my interest and skills with user experiences (e.g., SAP UI5, SAP Fiori) with a focus on data analytics and leveraging SAP AppGyver.
In fact, the SAP Community has a “No-Code Challenge” which I have entered!
SM: What are some of the professional communities or groups that you participate in and find interesting?
SG: The main one is the SAP Community where I’m a big advocate. I’m also a participant with the Americas SAP User Group (ASUG) in Dallas. I also enjoy connecting to SAP Inside Track activities in Mexico and Colombia.
SM: When you think about low code/no code, what are some of the top priority topics that come to mind?
SG: Yes, that’s a great question! I’m very passionate about making quick and easy protypes, instead of simply showing a PowerPoint (or wireframe) that does not really include real data.
When I work with SAP customers, the prototypes I develop show that something is actually possible, not just an idea. I’m very interested in pulling actual data (vs. test data) and showcasing how the reporting can look by way of charts and dashboards. Because AppGyver provides a free community license, customers like it because it’s a low-cost approach.
Driving continuous innovation is the key to thrive. AppGyver as a low-code/no-code platform is easy to work with and easy for customers to understand. It provides fast development and enables a new user experience.
SM: You have written 2 excellent blogs, AppGyver – Master detail scenario and AppGyver – to code or not to code, that is the question?. As an experienced programmer do you feel you could lose business with a tool that the “Citizen Programmer” (non-IT) can use?
SG: Not at all. Users still need a variety of skills, training, and expertise to optimize LCNC. A technical person is still going to be of high value for deployments and to address any bugs or issues that happen on the backend.
SM: What do you find most useful when working with AppGyver? How important is it to have the business process to be identified to get the best results?
SG: AppGyver is the only free tool that I’ve found that has LCNC capabilities and enables SAP and non-SAP apps and tools. Once the use case (or scenario) is identified, it helps speed up the process to show a proof of concept which is very helpful to the organization that is trying to solve a problem. With AppGyver, they can see the vision of what they are trying to implement.
Also, it allows developers to create responsive mobile and web applications for multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, and web.
SM: What is the minimum technical experience to start working with low code tools like AppGyver?
SG: It is beneficial to have a basic understanding of application development, variables, and APIs so that you are able to develop an application. From personal experience, there is plenty of documentation and tutorials for AppGyver which will complement the development journey. There are videos, HTML pages, and plenty of community involvement to get you started from basic to more advanced scenarios.
SM: As a “Citizen Developer” (non-IT), I have always found it very challenging to enable the consumption of data from OData services or REST APIs. With AppGyver is it possible to make it work?
SG: Yes, there are various tutorials, blogs, and plenty of documentation for this type of activity. With programming OData and REST APIs can be very challenging for the non-IT user. With AppGyver, it is much more doable.
It’s great that I can immediately connect from the AppGyver tool to OData and show a quick win with an organization seeing their own data in action.
SM: How would you summarize the value of the low code development tool AppGyver?
SG: Yes, I can sum it up in 4 ways:
- Less code maintenance for an organization.
- Same application can be deployed to multiple platforms.
- The community AppGyver edition is free FOREVER!
- The integration into the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is huge.
In my experience, when I can show a relatively quick turnaround for a proof-of-concept and proof-of-value for an organization, the feedback is very positive.