No-code is empowering people without coding skills to build their own applications.
Coding has often been associated with unfamiliar jargon, syntax bugs, and endless testing of applications. It is the recent emergence of no-code applications that has opened up countless opportunities for businesses of all sizes, scales, and budgets. No-code application development platforms help you create business applications without writing a single line of code.
No-code is an amazing way to develop new software. In this blog, we will discuss what no-code is, the various benefits it brings us, and how you can choose the right no-code platform for your business.
What is no-code application development?
“Eventually there’s going to be zero code. Not for everything, but for some projects, you’re not going to have to code at all. We don’t just have to automate warehouses and doctor’s offices, we can also automate software development.”
These were the words of Chris Wanstrath, the CEO and Co-Founder of Github when he was asked about the future of app development back in 2017. A mere three years later, his predictions are already coming true. No-code application development is a rising disruptive force in the development industry.
The definition of no-code application development is simple enough. It is the process of developing applications without having to code. No-code empowers everyone, irrespective of their technical prowess to create applications..
No-code is an expansion of low-code application development and the next step for the development industry. No-code platforms provide developers various features as pre-coded “modules” that they can add by either dragging and dropping onto an interface or by clicking. No-code development usually uses a GUI to make it easier to create applications.
Most no-code development platforms are directed towards enterprises that focus on application development. However, as they are exceptionally easy to use, anybody willing to make a no-code application can use these platforms to create applications. For example, no-code mobile app development platforms are extensively used by small businesses to create food delivery apps around the world.
Let’s discuss why no-code can be extremely beneficial for developers and businesses alike.
Benefits of no-code application development
No-code application development has been a game-changer for businesses of all scales. No-code application development carries a lot of benefits over normal application development. Let us discuss the major benefits of no-code application development:
Applications usually take up a significant amount of time to be built and reach app stores and target users. According to a survey by Outsystems, the number of applications being created each day is steadily increasing while the time taken to create a new application remains unchanged. This is where no-code shows its strength.
No-code development platforms can improve developer agility by helping you design and deploy applications faster. With businesses adopting AGILE development techniques, no-code can play a major role in speeding up the development of new applications.
Most no-code development platforms also automate the testing process, saving even more time for developers. This allows developers to focus on more complex (read: fun) projects. This brings us to the second benefit of no-code application development: time.
More time for innovation
The survey mentioned above acknowledges that nearly 75% of projects that developers work on, do not require innovation. Due to a lot of standardization in the app development industry, innovation is ‘off the table’ for most projects. Most clients do not want the next ‘big’ application. They simply want something that does the job without much fuss. This is where no-code development can help.
No-code platforms are built around standard designs and standardized features. For clients that want simple applications, a no-code platform can do it faster and save your business time. This allows you and your developers to focus their energy and time on projects that require innovation.
Maintenance is a tricky topic. Most application development agencies & businesses are bogged down by maintenance. With more applications being made each day, maintenance costs keep rising. Everything from the simplest clock app on your phone to the customer query chatbot for an online seller requires constant maintenance.
In 2019, almost 50% of the work done by developers was directly or indirectly related to the maintenance of an existing application. No-code platforms help here too. Since no-code works through a module and template-based design, maintenance can be simplified. Imagine being able to update an app with a few clicks.
It’s more cost-effective
Application development is an expensive endeavor. Both the actual development and the following maintenance require a constant flow of funds. No-code application development works out to be way more affordable than traditional application development. Once you develop an app with a no-code platform, you don’t need to spend too much on the maintenance of your app.
Helps deal with shadow IT
One of the problems faced by a lot of development agencies is the ever-increasing load on the IT division and the resultant emergence of shadow IT. Shadow IT is often used to create workarounds for the faults and shortcomings of centralized systems that businesses use. Using a no-code development platform homogenizes and standardizes the development process across various departments.
With no-code development platforms, shadow IT won’t be required since the platform will combine many processes used in traditional development under itself. Everything from development to testing will be done through the same no-code platform effectively reducing a lot of shadow IT that would otherwise be required.
Another reason why no-code is so important is that it reduces the learning curve for application development. Anybody that wishes to make their own app can do so with a no-code platform without needing to learn to code. The accessibility of no-code software can help a business while scaling up too.
It has always been a challenge to find a skilled workforce. With no-code, even lower-skilled or unskilled developers can be hired to create applications for your business and clients. Not only does this make hiring easier, but also makes it possible to reduce the workforce. As no-code development takes less time and a lower skill level, lesser people can accomplish a lot more!.
There is a reason why no-code is touted as the future. The eventual goal of all coding is to make everything simpler including coding itself. Choosing to get on the no-code train right now is a good way to future-proof your business.
Many businesses already have plans to start increasing how much no-code and low-code they use for their programming needs. The Outsystems survey observed that nearly 50% of app development businesses have started using both low-code and no-code solutions for their business.
How to choose the best no-code application platform
Various factors determine what no-code platform suits you. Let's discuss each factor in detail.
Type of business
While most no-code platforms are marketed towards enterprises, they can be used by almost anyone. From an app development agency to a small business owner, anyone can make applications using no-code platforms. The type of business can be a major factor in determining the right platform for you.
Here’s how you can simplify your choice.
If you are a small business owner with no development experience: Choose a platform with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. You are likely to create a simpler application so a platform that offers basic features at a more affordable price and is easy-to-use should be your top priority.
If you are a freelance solo developer: A software developer that understands the application development process should go for a platform that offers the features you need and also allows you to be a white label reseller. Signing up for a platform’s reseller program is beneficial for freelance developers. Most platforms that offer reseller programs give their reseller partners various perks and specialized pricing.
If you are an app development enterprise: You need all the functionality that you could possibly get. Choose a software that isn’t too hard to integrate with your existing systems. Ensure that the software you pick allows multiple developers to work on apps and also provides complete freedom and custom branding for every application you create. Try to negotiate special deals with the no-code platforms you want.
Every software has a learning curve. No-code development platforms are no different. Despite being touted as ‘easy’, no-code platforms are still a relatively new concept. Even the most intuitive platform UIs can get a little overwhelming. It will take some time for you and your developers to get comfortable using them. Fortunately, every major no-code platform provides detailed courses and user guides to help you along the way.
The easiest way to learn how to use a no-code platform is to experiment with it. Start by creating a very simple and basic application with a no-code development platform. Go through the tutorial they offer and learn more about how they work.
Another aspect of choosing the right no-code platform for your business involves what features a software will provide for you. No two platforms are built equal and simply choosing the one with the most features is not the right way to go. No-code is still a relatively young field. When you choose a no-code software, strategize what types of apps you’ll build with it. Once you know the category or type of apps you’ll build with a no-code software, the next step lies in deciding whether the platform you chose has those features. If it does, go ahead.
Applications need to be tested extensively before they are launched. Ensure that the platform you’re going for offers extensive testing capabilities. Some platforms let you create dummy applications you can test before launching the final application. Other platforms let you create a beta version that you can ask your most loyal users to test out and receive feedback for the future app.
No-code development may be easy but it is still a ‘new’ industry. Even experienced developers will face problems with no-code platforms. Good customer support in the form of user guides, email support, live chat, and so on. can go a long way in making your app development journey easy. Choose a no-code platform that provides proper customer support.
Support can also be important if you find a bug within a preconfigured feature. Most no-code development platforms have communities that can help you get in touch with the creators of the platforms to ensure bugs get resolved in the fastest way possible.
Why developers shouldn’t fear no-code platforms
Many developers feel that no-code will make normal application development obsolete. However, that’s not the case. No-code platforms are meant to assist developers for more basic applications.
No-code helps developers focus their talent better. With the help of no-code, basic applications can be made very quickly leaving more time for developers to focus better on applications that require actual innovation. In addition to that, no-code development requires a skill of its own.
It may be easy to create apps, but having an eye for design and knowing what features are necessary for what applications is an important aspect of no-code development. Having the knowledge of multiple no-code development platforms is a good thing for your portfolio.
Another reason why developers should go ahead with no-code development is because of the fact that you don’t have to deal with any kind of pre-configured backend code as is the case with low-code platforms. Dealing with bugs is not your concern! That is a massive relief as it reduces testing time significantly. There are so many applications stuck in the development process because they’re plagued with bugs. No-code platforms can help you avoid the bug ordeal.
No-code will continue to rise in the future. There are already predictions that by 2030, no-code and low-code will have a combined market share of nearly 60%. It’s good for developers to start learning how to use no-code software. There are a plethora of platforms out there that are perfect to experiment with. You can check some of them out on G2’s list of the best no-code platforms.
No code solutions or platforms have managed to democratize technology by making it affordable and easy to implement. As a greater number of businesses are looking for affordable technological solutions, they have found effective answers in no code application development.
The two defining reasons why no-code development has gained massive popularity are affordability and the fact that it needs no coding knowledge and experience.
Founder and CEO of Appy Pie, Abhinav Girdhar has 12+ years of experience in the world of technological development and entrepreneurship. His areas of expertise are SEO, app trends, and innovations in AI and ML. He has a passion for fitness and gets his endorphin rush from a run and a strenuous gym session.