No code development platforms, or no code platforms as they are commonly called, provide a set of user interfaces where a user can create or change a software application without needing to learn a common, syntax based development language. The idea of making software development easier for non-developers has been worked on and evolved for decades. The most popular of these no code development efforts comes from the most common types of software development. From Microsoft’s FrontPage in the 1990’s to Macromedia’s (acquired by Adobe) Dreamweaver in the late 1990’s, and subsequent evolutions in the form of WordPress, Blogger, Wix, SquareSpace and many other no code website development platforms – we see one of the most common types of software development surrounded by platforms trying to make the activity more accessible. As more categories of software development have become ubiquitous, especially in a business setting, more platforms have been created to make it easier for people to build and change their software applications without writing code.
Common Types of No Code Development
No Code Website Development
As we’ve already introduced, building a website has been and will continue to be one of the most common types of no code development because of how common the activity is. You could argue that there are not enough developers to keep up with demand here, and that demand pushed the question “How do we let anybody build this on their own without needing to write any code?”. This question is at the heart of every type of no code development.
We’ll be introducing a list of no code development tools for you to consider shortly, but for now we want to plant a seed of caution in your decision making process. Not all no code development platforms are created equal. They all serve different purposes, and depending upon what you need to accomplish you might need to pick a tool that at first appears to be more complex in order to have enough control over attributes of your project that will make a significant difference. This could be for better search engine optimization, better e-commerce support, or simply for better technology stack agnostic support. More to come, but feel free to send us a note if you need help.
No Code Mobile App Development
We’ve observed some interesting stories in the world of no code mobile app development. While no code mobile app platforms are less common than no code website platforms, they are beginning to trend. Publishing unique code to each of the major app stores has been a significant barrier to progress here. If you’ve browsed any of the major app stores you’ve also noticed how much garbage lives in each of them.
Mobile app development in and of itself is a more approachable development task than many other projects, and its also less mature with many device specific dependencies. At the same time smart phones have become ubiquitous and there is money to be made that has driven some less than desirable app publisher behaviors. We even seen a no code mobile app platform launched for the sole purpose of sharing advertising revenue with all of the mobile apps built by its users. While that might seem like a creative business model, it incentivized some poor behavior.
In a business setting, there continues to be a need for omni-device user experiences and while there are some standalone mobile app development platforms, we are seeing much of this need addressed by vendors who have delivered broader business process management solutions – let’s talk about that next.
No Code Workflow Automation
One of the most significant, but under recognized places where no and low code development has exploded is in a business setting with the categories of Workflow Software, Business Process Management Software, Rapid Application Development Software, and a lot of other names with nuanced differences that get at the idea of arming different types of employees with the power to drag and drop changes in software applications. A business setting is where development talent is at its highest premium and opportunity cost can become exponential. Using valuable IT and highly paid developer level talent on internal business process changes can lead to many additional man hours translating the business requirements when a business user could simply hop into a no code development platform and make the change themselves.
This drag and drop tools still require some level of study and training to become proficient, but many are reaching a point where the user experience can be designed toward easily making changes that happen more often than others. A lot of these vendors have an ecosystem of partners who can be on stand by to make changes for you. We are working hard to compile a list of these vendors and implementation experts. Stay tuned!
No Code Web Service Integration
One of the business leaders I’m most impressed with in the no code development world is Wade Foster from Zapier. You might have seen him in the news when he announced his “De-Location” program – where he offers thousands of dollars in relocation expenses if you want to move away from the Bay Area and work remotely. Zapier is an impressive service joining the ranks of IFTTT and others who have compiled an impressive list of integrations ready for a non-developer to hop in an toggle a few buttons and sign in to a few apps to connect data streams across the board. We are working on partnerships with these folks too, and we’ll be offering some special deals for NoCodeDev readers who want to build complete solutions using these tools.
Emerging Categories of No Code Development
No Code Machine Learning Development
If you follow blogs and services like ProductHunt or TechCrunch then you might have seen a few buzzy articles about drag and drop platforms for machine learning algorithm building. This illustrates and important concept of no code development in general – know your target user! In this case machine learning can be accelerated more buy statisticians and analysts who may have learned languages like R, but who can benefit more from a drag and drop tool to define their models in non-R environments.
No Code Artificial Intelligence Development
AI development is quickly becoming the norm in every software organization as marketing organizations push the buzzword to new heights. While the definition of AI is being degraded in the process, there are some pretty cool services that let you take advantage of some of the big players (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.) AI toolkits without having to write any code.
Hopefully this addresses the basic question of “What Can I Build without Writing Any Code?” enough to get the gears turning on what is possible. If your next question is “How technical do I have to be to become a no code developer?” then check out the article we linked to there and subscribe for future help.