Go back to 1985 when Microsoft released the first Excel version for MacBooks, and 1987, two years later, when Windows got theirs. This is how far back the no-code model goes.
However, it was not until recently that the no-code movement emerged (well, if you can call it a movement in the first place).
Forrester projects that the no-code movement is expected to cross the worth of 21 billion dollars by 2022. For comparison, its value in 2017 was just a bit more than 3,5 billion dollars.
But should this growth be that surprising? Not really. And to answer why the answer is not surprising, we will delve deeper into the no-code movement to find out what made it so popular and, what the future holds, and whether there are any challenges that we can expect.
What is no-code?
Let’s start with the definition. No-code development makes it possible to create things on the internet even if you lack coding skills. Hence the name no-code.
Be it websites or mobile applications; a user will have an easier time turning their project into a reality thanks to the simplicity of no-code platforms. No-code tools are often described as visual builders you use to drag and drop to assemble things.
There is no need to apply any code because it comes built-in within the platform or an application that you use. Each time you modify or add a new block, the platform generates the necessary code in the background. Quite simple for someone who has no coding history, right?
Low-code versus no-code
When learning about no-code, you are likely to encounter the term “low-code” as well. Fundamentally, the two terms are more or less interchangeable, particularly when talking about the benefits. However, there are still some differences.
As the name suggests, low-code still involves some manual coding that is involved when developing a structure on the internet. Professionals will still use some code to complement the applications or websites that they develop, but the amount will not be a lot due to the nature of the tasks.
Meanwhile, no-code is meant for people who possess no or very little coding knowledge but would still like to build, test and deploy applications or a website.
The digital world is advancing quite fast, and businesses need to utilize all the resources they have to keep up with the rest of the world.
Besides, the tech industry has been receiving backlashes from various sources over the last decade. And one of the primary reasons behind the negative was the lack of diversity and inclusion.
There were only a select few who ruled the majority of the industry. However, the situation changed with the emergence of no-code. Now, if a business wants to launch a new product, it does not require massive capital to hire the cream of the crop engineers and coders.
For a business, a random person from within a company could get started on teaching themselves the basics of no-code and slowly become an expert in the field.
What made no-code so popular?
In addition to the aforementioned simplicity of developing on a no-code platform, it is a low entry barrier that is one of the most significant advantages of the development model. If you have a slight interest in, say, creating a personal website, you can do so quite quickly thanks to platforms like Bubble, Shopify, or WordPress.
An intuitive dashboard makes it easy to figure out how to use the platform. Add the fact that there are plugins and extensions you can add with a few clicks and a plethora of learning sources online if you run into a problem, and you have a great opportunity to get so much out of no-code development.
Another benefit of no-code is how much it speeds up developing and delivering applications to your clients. We live in a digital age when businesses need to adapt to certain trends, like racing with each other with the intent to overcome the competition, to accommodate the needs of both customers and employees. The failure in doing so results in losses.
Since there is hardly any need to bother with entering code manually, the process of application development increases significantly.
Freeing up the developers is an underrated pro of no-code. If your senior coder is working on an important project, there is no need to burden them with the problem-solving of an app if it is developed on a no-code platform. Leaving this work in the hands of other, less experienced coders or non-IT employees would be an option.
Finally, you have finances to consider. Creating a website or an application from scratch manually would require more manpower. Depending on how complex a project is, a business may end up hiring some outside help. And a professional freelance coder will charge a hefty fee for their services.
Try no-code for yourself
Knowing the benefits is one thing, but it is entirely different when you get to experience the world of no-code for yourself. Since the movement continues to gain momentum, so does the emergence of new no-code builder applications.
#1 – Ycode
One of the best examples of no-code platforms is Ycode – a visual builder that lets users develop mobile-friendly websites and applications. Developers can use simple building blocks to add necessary elements to their project. The building blocks vary in their complexity, style, and available modifications. Lastly, you can take advantage of databases, APIs, and integrations.
Even if you are a greenhorn with web or app development, the Ycode platform simplifies the process, and you should not take more than a day to create a website. Besides, there are ready-to-go templates waiting for you.
Ycode launched its beta program at the beginning of this year, and everyone who wants to join can do so by requesting access on their website.
#2 – Zapier
A business that relies on multiple applications for different processes should create automation workflows to create an ecosystem that eliminates manual work, such as data entry.
Usually, you would need to hire a professional coder who can develop such an ecosystem. However, with the help of Zapier – no-code workflow automation – you can glue apps that you use yourself.
#3 – MailChimp
Mailchimp is a versatile all-in-one platform that lets you collect and process customer data. If you are building a startup, attracting an audience and understanding their needs are some of the keys to success.
With the help of this tool, you can conduct surveys, run social media campaigns, and collect customer information. Besides these features. Mailchimp also offers more than 250 no-code integrations with the likes of LinkedIn, Patreon, Vimeo, Stripe, WooCommerce, and many more apps and web services.
#4 – Voiceflow
More and more people are relying on Siri and Alexa. These virtual assistants make our lives easier thanks to voice-activated technology.
Voiceflow excels as a no-code platform. Voice app development should not be limited to just those who know coding experience.
If you desire to develop conversational tools for Alexa, Google, or a general app that relies on voice commands, take advantage of Voiceflow and its familiar easy-to-use drag-and-drop platform.
#5 – Scapic
Not being able to see a product in person is one of the biggest online shopping inconveniences. Even less-picky shoppers want to get as many product details as they can get. However, a picture and a short description are not enough.
Implementing Scapic to your online store lets customers get a 360-degree view of your products. The tool requires no coding and is an excellent addition to improve the overall customer experience and boost sales.
Limitations and other no-code challenges
With all the good stuff said, it is worth pointing out that no-code comes with certain limitations and challenges. Despite so many brands welcoming no-code with open arms, they should not underestimate the negative side of the model.
Oversight – Since no-code is simple, some leaders may find it difficult to keep track of everything that their workers are doing. Despite advancements in AI to store and process data, it is still difficult to oversee how everyone generates and uses the information. Inappropriate data exposure in apps will likely contribute to the growth of the dark side of information technology.
Security – When compared, experienced developers have more training in security than no-code developers. As such, a business should choose a no-code platform that comes with built-in security tools because their coder team is not well-versed in certain areas of their field.
In the age of GDPR, poor management of user data and privacy will result in negative consequences for a business.
Limitations – There is a chance that new organizations and developers may find some no-code tools to be lacking. If they start a project on a platform only to realize that it is impossible to implement some features because of the limitations of no-code, switching to another development model would be a waste of resources.
Disruptiveness – The tradition is one reason why the no-code model has received less attention a decade or so ago. Universal knowledge and tools to create powerful enterprise applications are a threat to certain workers. After all, if no-code replaces traditional programmers, people will lose their jobs. Despite the sentiment that no-code is the future of coding, there are still plenty of people fighting against this disruption and trying their best to hold on to traditional coding.
What the movement means for traditional coders
The question of whether the no-code model is a threat to traditional programming is not that simple. For years, the two philosophies coexisted, and one would not have thought about no-code potentially overtaking traditional coding. It is thanks to the sudden rise of a no-code movement that these questions are being asked.
We will continue to see new no-code products and services as well as significant improvements to the existing industry leaders.
However, traditional coders should not worry too much because a business will still need custom developers. Not to mention that no-code has its fair share of disadvantages.
Overall, both no-code and custom coding will most likely have their part in shaping up the tech industry.
Therefore, we should not expect to see either of the two disappearing any time soon. If anything, this competition is a positive that will encourage both sides to pursue innovation, which is a good thing for us, consumers.