In the past few years, building software has become something not exclusive to software developers. The no-code movement is enabling people of all demographics to make whatever they imagine without having to write a single line of code.
If you think about it, it should be the logical evolution, right? Children nowadays are learning to use Excel spreadsheets in school, one of the oldest low-code tools. Learning to use this program is valued─and sometimes demanded─by companies worldwide.
Keep reading for an introduction to the no-code revolution to understand where this concept─and philosophy─ comes from.
What is it?
No-code is a movement that focuses on making software without using any code. It’s not to be confused with low-code, the term for platforms and applications that use less code than regular apps.
No-code apps give you the chance of creating websites, apps (web or mobile), and more with a drag-and-drop interface. The overall finished product might not be the most optimized, but it’s excellent to create functional prototypes, simple websites, or proofs-of-concept.
It’s a great way to start creating and working on your ideas without depending on a dedicated developer or team of developers.
This movement is nothing new. Microsoft created Visual Basic in the 90s to develop programs with a similar interface, Adobe did the same with Dreamweaver. Still, those two don’t hold a candle to their modern counterparts: Webflow (for Dreamweaver) and Bubble (for VB), among a long list of names that gets bigger by the day.
This is just a small fragment of the list. You can look for a repository of no-code apps over at nocode.tech. Thanks to no-code, you can:
- Webflow: the most significant player in this market. Create apps visually with little to no-code and a simple interface
- Wix: Another great option to make websites from scratch without thinking about the dev side of things.
- Bubble: this platform allows you to create web apps visually. It has a slight learning curve, but it’s the most complete option right now.
- Adalo: develop mobile apps with ease. The platform has a marketplace where you can download templates, assets, and functionalities for your app.
Or everything else:
- Airtable: one of the highest-grossing on this list. In essence, it’s a database super simple to use. Makes for a great alternative to Excel as well, but it can do so much more.
- Zapier/IFTTT/Integromat: automate EVERYTHING. These three tools are a perfect way to connect two different services and trigger actions in one app when something happens on the other — basically, a simple way to connect your favorite platforms.
- Pipefy: a platform that helps you manage and automate your business’ financial processes easily and quickly.
- Typeform: create forms fast and visually. It’s one, if not the best, tool to create forms online, and it’s one of the most intuitive to use, both for the form creator and the person who uses it.
- Mailchimp: a fantastic email marketing manager. The most known, actually. You can create campaigns quickly and easily, and its visual editor is what puts it on this list.
These are just a few of the hundreds of no-code tools available. Check nocode.tech for a more comprehensive list.
What’s all the fuzz about it?
Easy. No-code tools enable people worldwide to start their projects without the need of a developer. Picture this:
You just got out of college and started to create a project that will change the way we do business. For every tech startup, you need developers, a lot. Developers cost a lot of money to hire and pay, thus impacting the amount of $$$ required to fund your project.
No-code apps and tools are taking weight off entrepreneurs’ shoulders, at least for the MVP. Validating an idea shouldn’t cost as much money as it currently does.
Who is it for?
At first glance, no-code apps appeal more to a general audience who don’t know how to code and need to do something fast and straightforward. But once you start looking further, the movement appeals to everyone, dev or no-dev.
Agencies (like us!) and web dev studios are starting to pick up these platforms to make easy to use projects that look good, work great, and take less time to deliver. Just take a look at Webflow’s and Bubble’s showcase sections, or check out the websites (PB&B, Retimer) we’ve built using no-code tools.
Backers and haters
Of course, this community has had its fair share of criticism. It’s always been considered that web development and design are “safe jobs,” and the movement may be seen as a threat to the industry’s stability. However, the Canva example is a great one to show that giving free tools to the people won’t make service go away.
Not every app has a Zapier integration. Bubble and Webflow won’t give you the knowledge needed to make a great project (they have tutorials to learn how to use the platforms, but not the fundamentals). The only thing we would replace is creating email campaigns and forms with Mailchimp or platforms alike, because who wants to use code to make those things anyway?
However, only time will tell how the adoption of these tools will evolve.
No-code tools are definitely here to stay. They introduce new folks into tech by enabling them to create practical but straightforward things without code. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air, and we welcome these new tools to our daily work lives.
Almost everyone at Moka has touched a line of code before (or at least know the fundamentals), and we have a background in product development. We’ve seen tools like these come and go. In the early days, it was considered an unprofessional way to work (using Dreamweaver was like begging for dealing with bugs and issues every time). It is now an elegant and exciting way to develop projects.
What do you think? Do you believe no-code is here to stay? Leave your comments below. We can’t wait to read what you have to say!