low code vs high code

Low-code vs. high-code: the differences

Organizations increasingly need fast and efficient ways to improve their IT processes. To get this done, there are several development methods available. Low-code is becoming more popular over the years but traditional development methods, which we also call high-code, are also still commonly used. In this blog, we’ll tell you the difference between low-code and high-code and the pros and cons of both methods.

What is high-code application development?

Let’s start at the beginning. After all, what exactly is high-code development? This is the traditional method of software development, where programmers manually write(complex) code to build applications. This means that developers often need in-depth knowledge of programming languages and frameworks to build applications.

Examples of programming languages and frameworks used in high-code development are:

  • Java
  • Python
  • C++
  • .NET

Also read our blog on low-code vs. no-code!

What is low-code application development?

Low-code development is a sustainable and modern method of software development. Instead of writing code manually, it uses visual interfaces, drag-and-drop tools and predefined modules to build applications. This means that the process of building an application is faster and more efficient than in high-code development.

In low-code development, developers need not have in-depth knowledge of programming languages and frameworks because most code is generated automatically.

Examples of low-code platforms and tools are:

  • Mendix
  • OutSystems
  • Salesforce Lightning
  • Microsoft Power Apps

Low-code vs. high-code

But what exactly are the differences between low-code and high-code? What are the advantages and disadvantages? We list those for you in the table below:

Low-code High-code
Little to no programming knowledge required Lots of programming knowledge required
Visual user interface Coding interface
Doesn’t take long to develop an application Takes a long time to develop an application
Is cost-saving in the long run Costs more money in the long run
Little to no manual effort required to write code Much manual effort required to write code
Less to no control over the code Full control over the code
Full flexibility Less flexible

When do you choose low-code and when do you choose high-code?

Now, of course, you want to know when to use low-code or high-code? We cannot give an unequivocal answer to that because every project and organization is different. Choosing between low-code and high-code depends on several factors, namely:

The complexity of the project

There are several low-code trends going on right now. For example, we see low-code being increasingly used for complex projects by 2023 . However, low-code is still emerging, so it may be that high-code applications have proven themselves before then. In that case, you can choose the safe way and thus opt for a high-code application.


Do you have a project that would preferably be finished yesterday? Then low-code is the best choice. In fact, the development process can be up to 10 times faster than high-code. With low-code, an MVP can be developed faster and tested in a short period of time. At the same time, it may also be the case that a high-code software application already exists that does exactly what you’re looking for. Then, of course, this is the better option.


Should the software ensure proper integration between two or more systems? And does it involve a complex data structure? Then low-code is what you need! This allows you to build links quickly and securely.

Read tip! Multiple IT vendors and systems? No problem with low-code!


Is it important for the system to be scalable? And does it need to process large amounts of data? Then you can use low-code to quickly set up a system that will do this exactly to your liking!


What about your budget? Is that on the low side? Or do you want to save money? Then low-code is probably the right choice. Because it requires less manual work and fewer developers, you save time and therefore money. High-code development can be more expensive as it requires more code and therefore more time to write it.

Available resources and skills

Are there limited resources or skills available within your organization? For example, do you not employ many IT professionals or developers? Then low-code development may be the best option. In fact, this requires less technical knowledge than high-code development. Moreover, you can use citizen development.

Read tip! Insufficient IT capacity within your organization? Low-code may be the solution

User Experience

Is the user experience of the development process and final product important? Then low-code is the best choice. This is because it allows you to quickly build MVPs and prototypes for subsequent testing and improvement.

Start your low-code adventure today

In practice, our low-code consultants see, that nine times out of ten, low-code is the best option for improving and accelerating your organization’s IT processes. Wondering how low-code can help your organization move forward? We are happy to help you with that! Check out our services or contact us!

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