Is the No-code Movement the End of Programmers? We Analyze the Pros and Cons

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Chris Wanstrath says “The future of programming is not coding at all” he is CEO of GitHub. And you can believe it. Everything tends to reduce the cost, automation, and simplification. Including web and application development. About seven years ago in America there was a trend towards “programming” without the use of code. You must have heard of him. With a simple drag and drop of elements, with almost no technical knowledge or No Code Movement, you can create a full-fledged working product, say, a website or a mobile application. Which unenlightened clients can not recognize from the one made by the development team.

From that point, platforms like Bubble have developed huge amounts at a time. A huge number of them appeared, for each kind of client and adventure. Utilizing just a straightforward point of interaction, frequently without utilizing the console, business people, hopeful new companies make their tasks, and afterward check whether they will become popular with clients.

Builders such as Webflow, Bubble, Glide allow you to launch your marketplace in a matter of hours. Without a development team and without investment. You can build a service that looks and works like Airbnb in 2-3 days with only Glide and Google Sheets at hand. Designers have developed so much in the last couple of years that there is again talk that a good number of programmers will soon have to look for a new job. After all, why hire people and spend tens of thousands of dollars if you can quickly make the entire product (website, application) on your own and with zero programming knowledge? People are even afraid that millions of programmers with the development of the no-code movement and AI will soon enter the labor market.

There are a Lot of No-Code Tools, and they Allow you to Organize, Including:

  1. Websites of almost any complexity (landing pages, online stores, portals, company websites)
  2. Service integration
  3. Email newsletters
  4. Acceptance of payments
  5. Analytics, dashboards, reports
  6. Database
  7. Full-fledged applications (a similar tool was recently launched by Amazon, for example).

Practically in all cases, this will be all that could possibly be needed to launch a new product MVP. Ben Tossel, founder of Marketpad, says that for 90% of small businesses (under $10 million a year), no-code is more than enough. Instead of looking for mobile app developers, putting together a team for a project, spending months or even years building a product, just drag and drop a few elements and you’re done!

Who Needs No Code Tools?

Visual programming is most frequently utilized by fledgling Web entrepreneurs and startups who need to test the speculation about the interest for their thought, yet don’t have any desire to spend a huge number of dollars on it. Each category of clients is searching for something else in No Code Tools:

  • Startups are quick to test new product ideas.
  • Entrepreneurs Test the effectiveness of migrating an existing business online, get an MVP that can be shown to the client base to test their reaction.
  • Many Large organizations build basic internal utilities for every category of their workers. Even Microsoft, Siemens and Amazon are presently investing resources into this niche.
  • Items and advertisers get the chance to understand their thoughts, little undertakings that would regularly not have sufficient opportunity or cash, and furthermore get to know the technical components important to create such applications, which helps them in their fundamental work.
  • Designers quickly transform into full-stack developers, and can demand an appropriate salary, carrying out a project from a to z.
  • Developers speed up the process of implementing the idea, stop manually prescribing interfaces, styles, and so on. Can use low-code solutions to combine visual and traditional programming.

The Main Advantages of No Code Movement

  • The biggest plus is a quick start. The minimum viable product is often obtained in just a few days, and if the project is simple, then in a couple of hours. For example, in Boston, they recently raised a service for renting housing in three weeks (this is the whole cycle, from creating a design to implementing and rolling out a project), and submitted an application to venture investors.
  • No-code is a good tool for an analyst to quickly test a new product or concept.
  • You can create a project once, drag and drop elements, and often it will automatically adapt to all platforms (web, mobile, various browsers).
  • No-code requires almost no communication. We at Rubrain.com have been developing MVPs for more than five years, and we know that this usually requires at least a few people: PM, customer, designer, developers. But with no-code, one or two people are enough: the first one gives the TOR, the second one does everything independently, and also periodically makes changes according to the requirements. This is also convenient because no time is wasted on communication between the team, everything is devoted only to creating and improving the product.

No-code allows you to find an idea that users will be willing to pay for right now. Create a minimum viable product that will solve their problem in its simplest implementation. No-code allows you to make good decisions at the initial stage of product development, creating an MVP that is not based on the most advanced technologies. And then gradually improve it, and if the idea proves to be successful, even switch to your own platform.

Cons of No Code Movement

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Lack of Full Control

It’s pretty easy to miss the technology. And take something that will not allow you to fully implement the desired product. In any case, technologies are developing, a similar Bubble is as of now exceptionally strong, there is nearly all that for developing web applications. Tilda is ideal for landing pages, Webflow is ideal for branched portals with CMS and a bunch of pages. You can definitely create an MVP site (if you don’t need a complex, highly loaded backend). Plus, there are over a thousand plugins that allow you to expand the functionality, and new ones are constantly being added.

Dependency

No-code is not very well suited for large-scale projects. As the number of users increases, you have to pay ever higher rates. At the same time, you will never fully own your own platform, and if you want to “disconnect” from the no-code service, you will have to develop everything from scratch.

Interference of Third-Party Sites

If something happens to Tilda or Bubble, or they decide that you broke their rules and decide to ban you, it could completely kill your business. Depending on third-party sites is not very comfortable. On the other hand, this is not much different from the same hosting, and the sites are huge and stable, plus many allow you to download the generated code for your storage.

Lack of Possibilities

If you need non-standard solutions, you want to create something that has not yet been on the market – this option is not suitable. This is where coding is needed. No-code solutions are good for expanding a niche, but do not have the full space of possibilities, they simply do not write it down. The most irritating thing is that sometimes one function is absent. Fortunately, almost all builders still have the ability to insert your own code to complement the product. But for this, if you do not know how to code, you have to hire a freelancer or a full-fledged developer who will complete the project. And completely without code, as dreamed, it does not work.

Price

Nocode/low code is not always cheap. For example, Mendix has a single application license starting at $1,875 per month for a three-year subscription, and is limited to 50 internal users. A volume license with on-premises deployment starts at $7,825, which is almost $100,000 per year. Or you can make your own product, and pay nothing to anyone. It’ll come out cheaper.

Taking the Right Decision

Finding developers or consultants for No-code also becomes a problem. But if you want to hire someone to do everything for you, things may not be that easy. There are not enough such experts for everyone, especially of a sufficient level. Some developers for Bubble ask for $100 an hour (and what, it will still be cheaper than hiring a team!). Sometimes for the sake of development, which lasts 5 days, you have to stand in line for two weeks.

Limited Customization

No-code constructors offer many thousands of design options. However, given the quantity of sites on the Web, this isn’t sufficient. If you don’t hire designers, some sites on the Web will inevitably look very similar to yours. Something completely unique cannot be created. You can only add it using third-party plugins and your own code. But then again, it will be easier for many to initially code everything, and not learn how to work with a new constructor. The meaning of no-code is lost.

Conclusion

Against the backdrop of such problems, another category of website and application builders is gaining popularity – Low Code. Such platforms help greatly speed up and simplify development, eliminating the need for some processes. But still require development skills, and sometimes even an entire team of programmers. In the Western market, Low Code platforms include Appian, Mendix and Salesforce Lightning. For non-programmers, they are almost not suitable. If you do not have development skills, you can only use them for prototyping.

So far, in general, No Code Movement has many shortcomings, and proven specialists, of course, will be better. Moreover: they are often required even for no-code to finalize the project, make it unique or add missing features. Designers are good at designing minimum viable products. They allow you to launch users, collect feedback, check whether the idea is worth it, and better understand the requirements of the market. And then you can already order coding – understanding the task more accurately. And having confidence that it will be in demand. With the help of no-code, you can significantly increase the survival of startups. And not invest a lot of money in a product that the market does not need.

The need for programmers will not disappear in 10 or 50 years. Even Mendix, a low-code platform sold to German giant Siemens for $730 million in 2018. Recently I had to admit: “The world needs developers now more than ever before.” Anything more than simple interface and basic data manipulation will always require professional development, just like car maintenance requires mechanics.