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I was offered by a project-based company to be a software developer. But the company requires their developer to work on a project using OutSystems, a low-code development platform to make enterprise app quickly. The project is expected to be a year long.

Would like to ask how would working on project using a system like Outsystem, look like on your resume? Nowadays, I saw many job postings wanting people who have working experience in languages like Java, or Python, Go and with frameworks experience like React or Angular. How would working experience with Outsystem look like to those hiring managers/recruiters?

Bear in mind that your answer might very well be influencing my decision in taking up the offer :)

Edit: My previous experience lies in React, Vue and NodeJS. I am looking to work in a cross-platform area where I can work on both web and mobile. Also my goal is to set up a venture and the venture requires both web and mobile application. However if the venture fails (or I find out that I am not suitable for doing startup), then I will stick to software, and set my goal to get into firms like Google or Facebook.

  • @NimeshNeema It's primarily UI and visual driven development - the general goal is to have the need for user written code as low as possible (hence the name) – motosubatsu Jul 26 at 12:49
  • Are you interested in the project by itself? – AlexanderM Jul 26 at 13:11
  • @AlexanderM I have no clue what project is that. But I dont mind to work on any project, as long as I can learn sth – tnkh Jul 26 at 13:17
  • what are you trying to achieve in life? is it your first job? what other experience do you have? – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Jul 26 at 14:36
  • @aaaaaa Previously I had three jobs using react, vue as front end before, also I am a nodeJs developer. I am actually looking into working on cross desktop and mobile platform. My goal is to set up a venture and the venture requires to either set up apps and website. – tnkh Jul 26 at 23:12
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Don't do it if you feel spending time on a platform like this interferes with your short term career goals, by taking up time and attention away from doing real programming.

There could be both pros and cons of using such a system and putting it on your resume. Another hiring manager in future may value this skill if they are looking for someone who has worked on such a platform (or better worked with this particular platform). However, it could be very well argued that this isn’t a particularly highly valued skill, especially in programming jobs, due to the nature of the platform.

On the other hand, a clearly visible con would be that you won't be picking up crucial programming and code writing skills which could only be gained by actually practising it. This may affect your confidence and employability by having reduced skills.

A career is a long term thing, and sometimes you don't have a say in what you want and don't want to work with. It may not be a bad idea if working on such a system solves an immediate problem of yours (such as remaining employable if you don’t have any other option, or remaining associated with the organization where you may eventually get good opportunities).

While no one can give you a definitive yes/no answer to your query, I'd want you to use whatever I said as a guide to better prepare yourself for taking a decision.

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    In addition to this great answer, sometimes knowledge of the business domain can look good on the resume too. – Gregory Currie Jul 27 at 3:06
  • @GregoryCurrie Thanks for your advise. What do you mean by business domain? – tnkh Jul 27 at 6:32
  • It refers to the actual type of business it is. So if you work on a whole bunch of projects relating to medical software, they would look good on your resume when applying for other businesses that do medical software, for example. – Gregory Currie Jul 27 at 7:20
  • @GregoryCurrie Cool, do you think this can be an advantage/benefit I can gain if I join a project-based company vs a product-based company. Which means through working on different projects/clients, I can gain different business domain knowledge vs working on a product based company that only focus on their own industry? – tnkh Jul 27 at 9:15
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The downside, as you know, is that you're not building tenure in a specific programming language. There are many hiring managers and HR gatekeepers who rely on years of experience as a measure of competence. However, there are also plenty of long-term programmers who are more focused on the intricacies of the code than the intended outcome of meeting business requirements

In my experience, most businesses value outcomes over code quality. It's a tension that can be frustrating to both sides, but it can also provide a healthy balance. Experience in a low-code environment can demonstrate that you're not the kind of developer who will over-engineer solutions because you understand that outcomes are a priority.

If I was explaining the benefits of experience working on a low-code platform, I would focus on the business skills learned by using the technology. For example:

  • Ability to quickly translate business requirements into product features
  • Proven experience using a rapid prototyping methodology
  • Keen focus on providing solutions regardless of technology stack
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IMO the answer is in statistics of what skills are actually in demand.

Look at job ads/sites for the city/country you're in. Look at what skills are listed as required and nice-to-have.

What percentage of job openings list stuff like Java, C#, C++ etc? What percentage of job openings mention OutSystems?

The answer to that will answer your question.

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how would working on project using a system like Outsystem, look like on your resume

It depends what kind of developer you want to be. If you only want to work on embedded or mobile apps or micro controllers, the answer is probably "not great".

Having Outsystems on your CV / resume won't hurt, but if you decide that's all you're going to do, it depends how many potential client companies (or potential employers use it).

You need to think past this, and focus on what business value it delivers; what does this Enterprise Application do? Learn domain knowledge and treat Outsystems as another tool you have used.

How would working experience with Outsystem look like to those hiring managers/recruiters?

Depends what you do with it, by which I don't mean just pressing the button. Low Code doesn't mean No code. Generate your first simple pieces of application functionality, then roll up your sleeves and go and find out what the tool has done for you in the background. What files has it generated? How do they work? What happens if you tweak them? How does changing the tool settings affect this output. How can you use the APIs that the tool is referencing?

Use your skills as a developer to find and fix bugs / issues within the generated code. Maybe even in the tool itself. That will add a lot of value to your CV as a developer, and make you stand out. It will also allow you to transition to other tools.

Finally - there are a lot of tools like this in common use. Earlier versions of nServiceBus and Entity Framework spring to mind. Using these or OutSystems will give you a good insight into writing your own "low code" toolset.

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It depends on what you exactly do.

From the Outsystem-website:

Develop your own back-end as a service and connect with popular cloud services.

And further:

Back-end: All aspects of the back-end are developed using a visual language, including APIs, web services, workflows, and business rules. You can extend the platform capabilities using custom code.

Also: https://www.outsystems.com/evaluation-guide/extending-with-custom-code/

If you mainly just use the tool, it's likely not worth it. If you get to code a lot, make extensions and such, you will be able to gain valuable experience and also to market that to other companies. Do your best to gauge that before joining. If there are no developers already, it may be impossible to really tell. Because non developers often have no way of telling if the tool can do it, or you need custom code. (Bear in mind: as newish guy, you also profit a lot from having at least one other developer in the team to learn from and improve technically)

Tools like this are in an odd place, because the best results are often gained when a real developer uses them. But a real developer often could earn more in other positions...

On the other hand: A lot of companies value you using tools to save work when it's applicable. A developer insisting on doing everything himself tends to waste a lot of time. So even if it is split, you can also profit from having this on your resume.

I had job (it wasn't my first though) were I wrote plugins for a project managing software, and used said software's API to create custom reports. It mostly consisted of learning that softwares specifics. On the plusside, I got to learn qt (the GUI framework). And I now quote this project whenever someone wants to know if I am able to write extensions to Tool X they use.

If they want you, they will be open to you gaining more information to more accurately assess if you want the job. Use this and ask more questions if you think this will help you. You could offer something like working a trialday (maybe even for free) to gain more insight.

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Would like to ask how would working on project using a system like Outsystem, look like on your resume?

It has the strong potential to typecast into other roles that also use low code system. Typically software engineers dislike low code system, because:

  • quick to pick up, but not a lot of growth potential - A low code system is meant onboard people quickly, but sometimes they're very limited in what they can do. You may feel like you're coding in a box. In beginning, that might be kind of nice, but it can get old really fast.
  • skills are not readily transferrable - If you told me you did 2 years of Java and you wanted to switch to Python, it seems quite reasonable as they are both mainstream modern programming languages. But I wouldn't have the same confidence level for you switching from a low code platform to a modern programming language. You'd look like an entry level candidate from a hiring point-of-view.
  • high turnover in coworkers - It's possible that when it's easier to hire unskilled worked, to pay them less and just burn through them.

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