The rapid growth of demand of no-code development platforms brings many to skeptic approach towards traditions code development. While it reminds controversial in the community of professional programmers: some consider the No-code movement to be cheating, while others consider it a useful practice that will relieve IT people from unnecessary workload.

Why is so, let's go through details.

No-Code development: how it works

The programming industry is evolving faster than any other industry, and trends change every year. Once everyone was fond of PHP, then they switched to Objective-C, and soon the era of Swift, JavaScript, Ruby and Python came. Along with this new technologies appeared, and brought new such professionals as neural network developers, VR/AR developers and cloud platform architects.

In these conditions, it is especially difficult for beginners: it is not clear which direction to choose so that it does not become obsolete in 2-3 years. The speed of change worries even experienced developers - they constantly monitor trends and retrain. Even more worrying are the invasion of algorithms. For example, the acclaimed GPT-3 from the OpenAI laboratory already knows how to generate virtual worlds, write code for web platforms, and typeset layouts in Figma using text descriptions.

In such circumstances, it is too risky to spend years mastering a profession that can be automated in 3-5 years. The solution for many newbies becomes the no-code option, also known as low-code. This development is without code. In this case, ready-made services are used with drop and drag options. Know-coder sets a specific task, but does not delve into the work of the engine itself. The main thing is to decide the result you expect to get, and the system will already decide how to implement your idea.

Most of us already use No-code platforms. For example, when we build a website or store on Tilda, launch a mailing list in Mailchimp, create a project management system in Notion, etc.

Zero-code architecture allows an ordinary user to launch their own mini-services using the available construction programs. Usually they are distinguished by a convenient and understandable interface, as well as customization - for example, you can create your own application, an online store with AR functionality, or an MVP for a new digital project.

Traditional code development

While no-code development suggests ready-made options, where all you need is to drop and drag the suggested options, traditional code developments requires writing the code from the beginning.

To implement an idea with traditional code development you need an entire team of developers and programmers, which need to gather specific requirements, brainstorm and develop a plan and along with development team to create custom code for an application to meet the needs of client.

Despite the fact, that traditional approach is completely fine and acceptable, these projects are most of the time complex, expensive, time-consuming and delayed due to many factors. Among them are coding errors, inaccuracies in estimation, testing challenges, several delays in infrastructure, etc.

Despite all these, a traditional development approach requires continuous support cycle by the developer to keep the software development going and application secure and upgraded.

Why no-code has become popular now

No-Code development makes programming more democratic and lowers the barrier to entry for beginner IT pros. At the same time, no-code tools take the burden off experienced traditional developers, saving them from unnecessary routine work.

This is also beneficial for companies - they can entrust small tasks to junior specialists, and direct the main resources to salaries for senior specialists with unique expertise. While with traditional development they need to hire a team of programmers and developers or outsource the task and have extra expenses.

It is not surprising that many are interested in no-code solutions. The same Notion is already valued at $2 billion. Forrester predicts the demand of zero-code platforms  on the marketplace will grow from $3.8 billion to $21.2 billion by 2022.

For example, Google at the beginning of the year bought the no-code AppSheet platform - you can build mobile applications on it, as in the constructor. The company also develops the Game Builder platform, which can be used to develop games for traditional and no-code developers. Amazon recently launched Honey-code, a site with ready-made templates for creating mini-services. GE, ICT Group and Pfizer write their applications without coding. And many startups that are based on no-code platforms attract large investments.

Key features of no-code platforms

No-code platforms are developed based on the following components and have the following features:

  • Visual-modeling. The traditional code developing is replaced with the drag and drop interface. It allows processing and manage data easier.
  • Robust Functionality. No-code systems provide OOTB functionality which creates the possibility to build applications on a ready based functional, not from scratch, like in case of traditional code developing.
  • Reusability. Availability of pre-developed modules and functionality for applications. These modules can be used for several applications and can be reused multiple times.
  • Cross-platform Accessibility. No-code platforms have multi-device compatibility.
  • Reporting and monitoring. No-code platforms give the possibility to users to track and monitor the workflow and various processes and to follow the effectiveness of the application.
  • Workflow automation. No-code platforms have wide possibilities for automation of various workflow processes.    
  • Portals and Web Application development. No-code platforms are widely used for building and integration possibilities of web applications without traditional code development.  
  • Mobile Applications. Mobile applications can be created and modified for mobile devices, smartphones and tablets on no-code platforms.

No-coders are professionals of tomorrow

But do companies need employees with specialization in no-code tools? If you look at vacancies on LinkedIn and other international platforms, you can replace how owning zero-code programs equates to digital literacy. Knowledge of Word and Excel is no longer required from you - it is more important to own Notion, Webflow or Airtable. Basic knowledge is often enough, but if you reach the level of an experienced user, then the chances of success will be greater.

For example, if a company wants to set up voice bots using an off-the-shelf platform, it will need a person who understands the intricacies of such tools and can make the most of the functionality. They would not look for a traditional programmer in terms of time and expenses.

Or an online store wants to attach AR visualization to the site and is looking for a specialist for a specific task. Many startups need to collect MVPs, but at the initial stage they are not ready to involve a development team - the services of a no-coder will also be useful.

In this case, you are unlikely to be able to qualify for a large salary or stable job - most likely, you will have to work freelance. However, in the future, there will likely be an increase in demand for such “incoming” programmers who will help companies set up no-code tools. And if you are well-informed in a new service that everyone is just starting to talk about, there is a chance to become a sought-after specialist.

Where to start a career of a no-coder

Choose the in-demand no-code tools that are in demand by companies. To do this, you can study the latest deals in the visual programming market, as well as see which services have become more frequently mentioned in vacancies lately. The most popular platforms today are Airtable, Notion, Coda, Webflow, Retool, MailChimp, Tilda, Bubble, Shopify, Voiceflow, etc.

Start with ready-made learning resources - most platforms make basic courses publicly available. Look for communities of like-minded people - they will suggest interesting life hacks or help you deal with difficulties in the first stage.

Once you understand the basic features, take a closer look at the market. What services are in demand right now? What no-code solutions do companies use? Start small - for example, small orders for startups or your own projects.

Complement the educational trajectory with a basic course in programming, design or marketing, depending on your preference. This will help you decide on a career in the future.

Look for interesting niches to apply your skills. Knowledge of the no-code platform is just an add-on. It is important to monetize your knowledge and find practical applications for it. Often the know-coder is the starting position. You can either constantly learn new tools, or deepen your expertise and go into teaching, consulting, or rebuild your career path. For example, become a UI designer or marketing professional.

Thus, if you are up for a new startup or your general presence in the digital world and you think which services to hire or if you are going to delve in programming details and search for ideas and recommendations, we hope this article helped you to take the right decision. Traditional code development will always be there, but the future is no-code development.