Will the No-Code movement kill code?

Richard Fang

The tech industry is getting a shakeup with these new platforms

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=45K5tT_0ZAxtPOF00Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

Ever since technology has evolved, we’ve seen a massive demand for developers, all with different skill sets from coding specializations to full-stack backgrounds.

Until recently, many startup accelerators and incubators would only accept companies that had technical cofounders or a built MVP

In most of these cases, these MVPs needed developers or someone technical to help create, which could have ended up costing thousands out of the pockets of the founders.

This is where the no/low code development platforms (NCDP) has slowly shown its face

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3Z0jfh_0ZAxtPOF00Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash

Both have been creating a lot of buzz, but many still have confusion about what the differences are. Gartner even lumped both of them together in their 2019 magic quadrant for LCAP (Low Code Application Platforms).

Let’s try to define some differences first:

No-code solutions are built to help those who might not have any technical skills to build something. To put it simply, you can be both a developer or someone new to coding to build an application or website out. Personally, no-code feels more friendly to the business user rather than developers but are suitable for both.
Low-code development is more focused around developers to help design applications quickly and with minimum hand-coding. This includes building more complex applications, processes, or integrations into other third-party apps, usually through some visual interface. Something that might take hours to code out could take minutes through these functionalities.

If you look into the platforms, the main differences usually come from when they were created.

  • For older platforms like Zoho and Appian, they call themselves ‘Low Code’.
  • For younger platforms like Webflow, they focus on branding themselves ‘No Code’.
  • For others like Airtable, they don’t even talk about code or no code but instead, call themselves ‘part spreadsheet and part database’.

Here are some examples of no/low code development platforms:

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3LCmqR_0ZAxtPOF00source: https://marionoioso.com/2019/09/09/low-code/

We’ve seen a multitude of startups (some we just mentioned) that have helped contribute to this movement, many of which you will have heard of.

Some of these include:

  • Squarespace: Website creation tool
  • Webflow: Web design tool
  • Airtable: Spreadsheet and database all in one tool
  • Zapier: Creating automated workflows between third party applications
  • Makerpad: Build tools without code
  • Bubble: Build web applications through visual programming

Bubble is notably one of my favorites, the founders having started the company almost eight years ago when no-code companies were not getting as many eyeballs as it is today.

What is especially impressive are startups built via Bubble to not only validate ideas but build on top of. Sixty, a Y-combinator backed startup, was powered by Bubble while a famous twitter copy called https://notrealtwitter.com/ was also made via Bubble.

So why the no & low code movement?

Gartner forecasts that low-code application platforms (which includes no-code as mentioned before) will account for 65 percent of all app development by 2024.

All of these companies aim to do one thing, enabling businesses to build practical applications quicker, cheaper, and efficiently.

This means coding is no longer vital for the success of tech.

“I used to spend $25k-$100k building an app over 3–6 months. It was frustrating, expensive, and slow. Then I started using NoCode tools like Webflow, Bubble, Zapier, and Airtable. Suddenly I was able to build my app idea in days instead of months, at a fraction of the cost. Craziest of all, I could tweak and maintain it myself instead of hiring expensive devs.” — Andrew Wilkonson, Co-founder of Tiny

How Will It Affect Developers

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2ycQg2_0ZAxtPOF00Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

With the growth of these platforms, how will it fare for devs?

There will definitely be some impacts on certain areas of development. For web agencies that are offering simple websites, for example, they will need to revisit their approach.

In general, however, there are a lot of advantages for even the most seasoned developers. This includes building a fast MVP or building basic features that might cause endless headaches. Even better, reducing the number of bugs that you might potentially encounter from building out a basic prototype of your product.

With no or low-code, dev time can be spent on things such as more APIs, workflows, and other UI features that might not be able to focus initially. Rather than making developers obsolete, it’s allowing devs to allocate their time more wisely onto other parts of the project that might have taken months to get to without using something like a no-code platform.

We’re in it together

I’ve spoken to plenty of devs around this, and many are more excited than scared.

There will always be room for devs due to the ad-hoc nature of projects. There will never be a solo winner with this movement.

Instead, every industry is looking to see innovation in this area so that projects can be pushed out quicker, and dev’s time can be used on improving usability and experience for the users.

Regardless of your technical skills, these platforms are there to help anyone’s ability.

From creating a quick, simple website to creating the first build of your prototype, there will always be room for these platforms to exist complementarily with all developers and even non-technical people alike.

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Editor at CornerTech and Marketing @richardfliu on Twitter

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