Adopting No Code Development: Truth and Myth
No Code Development FAQ
No code development has the potential to change the way we build and use software in the same way that certain spreadsheet software took over the world in the mid-1990’s. As with any major change in technology and methodology there will be many who struggle with harmful expectations for themselves and their business. We want to make sure that you approach the idea of building cool stuff without writing code with a full knowledge of what to expect. So, we’ve put together a list of common questions that we’ll address together.
Do you have another question or opinion you want to add to this list? Go to our LinkedIn page and leave a comment on our FAQ post along with a note giving us permission to use your name or company information if you want credit for the contribution.
Do we still need people who can write code?
Myth. Myth. Myth. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest fallacies when hopping on to the no code development train. The question makes some sense to the new audience that these no code tools are giving more power to. They might think that no code means no traditional developers. Why is this a problem?
Software engineers have been fighting this problem in a thousand different shapes and forms since the birth of their profession. Software engineering leaders have pioneered new methods of development from Design-Code-Test-Maintain methods to Waterfall, V Model, Rapid Application Development, and Agile Methods. Why all of these different methodologies?
Try thinking about software development as a manufacturing challenge. If you are familiar with how transformational Ford and Toyota’s processes were for the automotive industry, then this analogy can make a lot of sense. Executives and project management leaders at these automobile manufacturing companies wanted a tightly controlled, predictable, and cost effective process that would produce a ready to deliver car. The manufacturing plant is filled with different types of workers – and on the assembly line those skills are set in sequence to apply those skills to the car as they move down the line. In the software development and project management world, this is very similar to a software development methodology called waterfall. It’s widely used, adapted, and criticized, but that is a different conversation.
The mobile app, website, or other software application you want to build with “no code” will still require software engineers with skills up and down the full technology stack. Underneath the covers of the things you are dragging and dropping is a bunch of clever code! Some of the no code tools you might use are even generating code in common languages that you could hand off to a software engineer for review. Is this the only reason that we still need software engineers in a no code world? Nope.
Every no code tool will have its limitations. Some no code platforms are further along than others, but in general you’ll find that to make something work perfectly you might need to have a software engineer work their magic and write a special puzzle piece for you to hook up and use in the future.
The big idea here is that you didn’t need the software engineer to get you up and running. You didn’t have to go through twenty different revisions of a requirements document, and more meetings translating the user stories to a development team that doesn’t understand the business process the same way that you do. You might even be able to build a fully functional, good looking software application without talking to a software engineer at all! Just make sure you understand that for highly specialized applications, especially in a business setting where there are a bunch of existing custom systems, you might need to engage a software engineer for some of the process.
Can my business create its own software applications without code?
Yes! At least in a lot of cases. A reasonable way to think about the answer to this question is to consider what type of applications you want to build. If these applications are common – a website, a dashboard, a simple mobile app, a request and approval workflow – then the answer is 100% yes and its exciting!
If you are trying to build something that is very unique to you and other custom tools that you already have built, then you can probably build a good chunk of what you need using no code tools, but don’t be surprised if you still need help from a real software engineer to cross the finish line. Even if you do need help from a real software engineering professional, remember, that no code tool replaced a ton of expensive software engineering hours.
What skills do I need to be able to design software without code?
This question has two significant implications. First, its good to recognize that picking up a new tool will take some effort. Second, the demand for no code solutions will increase as millennials take over the workplace.
Let’s wrap up that forward looking statement quickly. Kids that grew up with iPhones in their hands have pretty high expectations for the technology they’ll use to get their day jobs done. More than that, the vast majority of those kids have set up their own blog, website, stream, numerous social media profiles, and even some home automation workflows. They’ve been exposed to the idea of building their own solutions with software for the majority of their personal, educational, and now professional life. Hard-coded software is just going to frustrate them.
The skills that you’ll need to pick up some of these no code tools vary based upon the complexity of the application that you want to build. More than that, you might not want to pick a platform that matches your existing skill set as that could handicap how far the platform can take you without engaging a software engineer. One of the most interesting ideas about no code development is that the no code developer is going to replace several roles at once.
Generally speaking, the skill set required for no code website development is going to be smaller compared to the skill set required to build enterprise business applications. Those who have a little bit of experience working with different programming languages, but who never learned enough to build anything significant are going to thrive with these tools. Others who have no experience writing any type of code will still be quite productive building complex applications with a little bit of study around data types and data modeling. Bloggers who have gotten used to tools like WordPress are going to be able to progress along the learning curve for no code web app or advanced website development faster than folks who relied upon simpler platforms like Medium.
This is an area that we intend to cover in much greater depth. Hopefully this gets the gears turning and the expectations set in a healthy place.
How do I choose the best no code platform for my business?
Instead of trying to answer this question in a few paragraphs, let’s walk you through how NoCodeDev is going to help make this easier in general.
One of the most significant ways we are going to help you choose the best no code technology is by connecting you with no code experts who are actively delivering successful no code projects. This is where the rubber meets the road. These are the folks who have spent the necessary hours banging their heads against the proverbial wall to know where to spend time not coding and where to spend time engaging a software engineer.
We’ll have a range of experts to help with website development, business applications (including business process analysts), and web app integration projects. Even a quick conversation with one of these folks could save you a ton of time in the selection process.
Another tool you can use to choose the best no code platform is our no code software vendor directory. This directory is not pay to play. We are actively adding profiles through our own research and inviting any vendors we haven’t discovered yet to submit their own profiles for publication at no charge. You’ll be able to build a list of the potential tools you could use for your projects and find guides to assist in your selection process.
NO CODE INTEGRATION TOOLS (COMING SOON)
What is the difference between “no code” and “low code”?
We’ve seen this question argued by other billion dollar analyst groups, media, and industry veterans. We want to simplify the labels for a quick and somewhat flippant response, but we recognize that there is value in breaking this down further. You should watch our blog for more on this topic.
No Code – A label applied to a software platform whose users are not expected to write any type of code or special syntax, and who are not likely to engage a software engineer to complete the project.
Low Code – A label applied to a software platform whose users may not be expected to build end to end software applications, and who operate in more complex technology environments that require support from software engineers.
Overlap – If you’ve done a bit of research here then you’ve probably seen hybrids of these labels such as Low/No Code, or LCNC. In some cases these labels are applied because of the fear of missing out on certain types of projects or development teams. There are a lot of stigmas and biases out there from folks who fall victim to the big myth of no code development meaning either “go away developers” or “less sophisticated tool”.
All Together Now – From our perspective, all of these tools share a common goal. Give the business the opportunity to change the business logic and workflow of a software application without needing to write any code. You don’t need to drink the entire bottle of no code kool-aid to benefit from exposing select configurability to business users.
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