40
122 Comments

Is no-code really an option?

No-code sounds great. But I've messed around with it a bit and I've seen products created with it, and it always seems a little clunky to me. I'm sure it's only going to get better over time, but is it really an option right now?

No, but seriously... is it really an actual option for people wanting to build a robust, extensible product?

  1. 31

    This might be an unpopular opinion, but no code has a long way to go before I'll use it.

    1. 7

      As a coder, the only appeal I see in no-code is the speed of delivery. Starting with a template through a wysiwyg builder is much easier than starting from scratch.

      With no-code you're always bound by, what they have built for you. With code, your limits start at what computers cannot do.

      1. 1

        Yes, you have to learn where the buttons are in your wysiwyg builder.
        And using code does not necessarily mean you start from scratch, you can always boilerplates or libs of components.

    2. 3

      It is probably silent mainstream opinion. And completely agreed. Tech is extremely new and it still needs to develop to be viable for production-level apps.

    3. 1

      I've always used No code for prototyping, never for an actual release.

    4. 1

      It makes sense to use the tool you're comfortable with. If you already are using a code framework such as Ruby on Rails, then no sense to switch over and learn a nocode tool. But for someone that doesn't know how to code, it makes a lot more sense to learn a nocode tool such as Bubble so they can get up and running much faster. Learning to code could take years where a nocode tool might take only months. For me, I spent nights for several years trying to learn to code and it didn't click. But I found Bubble easy to learn.

      Out of curiousity, why do you say nocode has a long way to go? Do you mean a long way to go before it makes sense to switch from code, or a long way to go before it can be as powerful as building something directly with code?

    5. 1

      Yeah, that's where I'm at too!

  2. 11

    Absolutely! Nocode is a great option. What tools are you using that are clunky?

    I've been building web apps without code on bubble since 2015 and the tool has come along way. Can you build "robust, extensible products'? It depends on the product, but the answer is Yes for most.

    I've built 10's of apps with Bubble so I've seen all of the complaints about limitations. Bubble is a powerful tool and does have a learning curve. But that learning curve is much easier than coding. I tried to learn to code for years and failed. If you're going to learn Bubble, make sure to invest in a great course and put in the time to get up to speed.

    Performance
    Bubble has gotten faster with major improvements every year. However, just like code, performance is extremely dependent on the developer. Some apps are built better than others. Database structure is important. Smart logic plays a big part as well. It can take awhile to fully understand how to optimize an app to perform faster, just as it would with code. An experienced dev can probably build an identical app to a newcomer with much better performance.

    Design
    There are some really great looking Bubble apps as well as some terrible ones. If you're not good at design, start with a template. There are also other 3rd party browser tools becoming more popular such as Atomic Fusion that can help as well.

    Responsiveness
    A lot of people complained about the learning curve in building responsive website with Bubble. To be honest, I didn't have any issues with it. However, Bubble just upgraded their responsive engine and now uses Flexbox. This is a huge upgrade and makes building easier in every way.

    I'm currently building a full blown SaaS with Bubble. Should be ready in the next few weeks. I would bet you wouldn't even know it was built with nocode if I didn't tell you. Feel free to check it out on my Twitter profile.

    1. 2

      Bubble is the one I tried most recently and it was pretty slick compared to most but I still felt limited. Maybe it's just because I don't know what I'm doing yet? I suppose lots of things feel clunky until you know how to use them correctly.

      Your product looks like it's actually pretty robust for a no-code app. Looks great! I'd love to see it in action one day.

      Also, while checking that out, I saw one of your more recent tweets 😂

    2. 2

      Can you share some of the apps that you've built?

      1. 4

        I've built a handful of internal Bubble apps for clients to help them with their small businesses. For example, someone needed a CRM that was custom to the type of business they own. I can't share those because they are private to the owners.

        For my side projects, I'm currently building marketingpad.io which is a strategy and project management app for marketing.

        I shut down a SaaS last year that I ran for about a year. More info about that here: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/ive-decided-to-shut-down-my-saas-for-collecting-feedback-and-reviews-after-6-months-of-talking-with-users-and-no-traction-2dbe73e591

        Many years ago, I built a music community called synthshare.com. It used to have 1,000 active members. However, I sold it and it seems the team that bought it didn't continue to maintain, add more features, or market it. Perhaps they just wanted to acquire the user emails.

        I've had many more side projects that have been shut down, you can scroll through my Twitter profile's media to see screenshots of them when they were live.

        If you're curious to see other projects across the web, here are some of my favorite SaaS apps built on Bubble:

        -https://incomee.co
        -https://shootassist.com
        -https://subsocket.io
        -https://userloop.io
        -https://jumpstudios.io
        -https://martechbase.com
        -https://SquareQr.com

        1. 2

          Thanks for sharing all those links! I created a post to try to consolidate these types of examples in one place. It's great to have a visual of what can really be done with these platforms.

          1. 1

            Oooooh, that's awesome. Thanks for linking it here.

        2. 1

          Hey @stephencharles thanks for mentioning Martechbase, I appreciate it! :)

  3. 8

    If you can code well, keep coding. If you can't, no-code is amazing.

    I'm building https://nomadic-teachers.webflow.io/ right now using all no-code products. Check it out.

    1. 2

      Yeah, my coding skills are... not great! I just don't know if I should bit the bullet and learn, or if no-code will do it. Do you code at all?

      Your site looks good! Do you think your target market makes using no-code more acceptable?

      1. 2

        Hi Toni,

        I only know the very fundamentals of some HTML. I'd love to know more though.

        I learn best when there's something I want to build and need to learn how to do it. As I become more familiar with no code, I'm realizing that all the no-code products I use to ducktape my sites together are just nicely designed code. No code is expensive, and little by little, I'd like to learn how to replace some of the no-code products with code to keep my sites both running cleaner and costs cheaper.

        Thanks! That's an excellent point. My target market are teachers and school administrators- neither of whom are technical, so yes, I think the really fluffy, elementary look of no-code makes for a nice user experience for non-traditionally tech folks.

        1. 1

          Yeah that makes sense! And yeah I suppose no-code does get pretty costly when you're taping multiple pieces together. Out of curiosity, how much are you spend per month?

          1. 1

            Rough monthly estimation:
            Webflow: $35
            AirTable: $20
            Jetboost: $20
            Memberstack: $20

            Haven’t implemented Zapier yet, which is around $50/mn but will once product is validated.

            1. 1

              Ok so not crazy, but it adds up. Good to know, thanks!

      2. 1

        I'd recommend looking into low code. Instead of building a website from scratch, start from a template. As you become more familiar with the basics, you can start to progress into full code.

  4. 7

    Yes, No-code is a little clunky because it has another aim.

    At growthhack.studio we use No-Code for 2 things:

    1. Hypothesis and idea testing
    2. Internal processes

    I've met developers who made their products partially using No-Code (e.g. Integromat allows you to use the API to call the script in your application), we use No-Code for quick iterations - we can test 5+ hypotheses in 1 week without spending money on developers.

    1. 2

      What kind of internal processes? Please elaborate. I am looking for most common use-cases that teams have adopted no-code for.

      1. 2
        1. A request came in - it is sent to the No-Code system via WebHook and sent to Telegram
        2. I automated the process of working with debt in one of the startups - you specify the order number, and the client receives a custom message on WhatsApp
        3. Automation of receiving and processing emails from our partners
        4. Generation of the report based on data from different services via API

        In general, there are a lot of cases. I use No-Code in internal processes almost everywhere.

    2. 1

      Love that. A few people have mentioned validation/idea testing. Internal processes - that's smart.

      5 in a week though? That's quick 🤯

      1. 2

        If a company has a lot of traffic - you can test more than 5 hypotheses per day (if there are resources for development, of course).

        When there is a lot of traffic - the probability of statistical error goes away and even 30 minutes of A/B-testing is enough to accurately enough compare the result with "before" and "after". The main thing is to understand how to compare and what metrics to use.

        That's what big companies do.

        1. 1

          That makes sense. Gotta get that traffic up!

  5. 6

    It's hard to compete with the extensibility of open source. For me, it depends on the project. For our marketing site, we're using Webflow and the CMS is letting us build quickly, cheaply, and with good-enough extensibility. I don't want to compete for developer resources to make changes on those things, and I can fire webhooks at my other services to process simple form submissions.

    But for our actual product, it's Node, Rails backend w/Postgres, etc. I don't see any no-code options that would have allowed us to build what we have.

    (full disclosure, I'm building a no-code automation product, with exportable Node source)

    1. 1

      What's your marketing site's URL? I'd love to see an example of what Webflow can do. I've used Wix 👎 and Squarespace with some success.

      1. 2

        Our site is pretty basic, but it's here: https://www.withtrivial.com

        The How To section is built in the Webflow CMS, as well as landing pages like this one (SEO experiments that need to be fleshed out further): https://www.withtrivial.com/apps/github-to-discord

        The thing that made Webflow catch my eye initially is that it's anchored in real code; you can export a site with decent CSS. As a developer, that's a very different pitch than Wix, where you're tied to their platform forever. In reality though, I just keep paying the Webflow subscription b/c it's easier 😂

        1. 1

          Simple but effective - nice!

          The thing that made Webflow catch my eye initially is that it's anchored in real code; you can export a site with decent CSS.

          That's awesome. I didn't know that. Thanks!

  6. 5

    I think that like everything else in this world, the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes: code, vs no-code.

    Full disclosure: my product lies in the low code space. So obviously I've hedged my bets, and I think that is the ultimate direction where a lot of products are heading in :)

    Existing no-code solutions are very good at specific types of apps: namely ones that involve a little less interactivity. Apps that are mostly read only in permissions structure. Content gateways, communities, directories, membership sites, etc. The data flow for these sorts of apps is largely one way and entirely predictable.

    When your app becomes more complex, and there's multiple actors acting on one piece of data on the backend -- things get far more complex. No-code tools can begin the show their limits, and you have to start looking at a custom developed solution. This obviously presents a problem when their app is silo'd on a proprietary platform. Vendor lock in is a huge issue.

    The funny thing is: even though there seems to be huge amounts of passion in both seemingly opposite camps, both parties want the exact same thing. They want to be able to do more work with less effort.

    I've been a huge follower of this field for a while, and what I've noticed is a closing of the gaps. Platforms like Zapier implementing custom JS/Python actions for very flexible zaps. Huge coding platforms like React dramatically simplifying the coding by implementing and embracing hooks and side effects.

    Big vendors like Microsoft have been in on this action for longer than any of us here have been: remember Visual Basic? That was an attempt at dramatically reducing code in favor of a more UI based approach to building apps. It fizzled out a bit, but the demand is still obviously there and reincarnated on platforms like Bubble.

    So I guess the answer to your question is: it depends.

    As the app grows over time, is there going to be a point where you're stretching the no-code platform beyond its limits? That's entirely domain specific, and what your plan is for the app, at least in its current iteration. Certain apps bode better than others.

    If your app domain is relatively simple, no-code is incredibly viable. If there's a lot of complicated edge cases, you'll probably need to take the code route.

    My 2 cents!

    1. 1

      That's a solid 2 cents, thanks! I hadn't heard of "vendor lock" until now but that makes a lot of sense. Man, so much to consider. I appreciate you sharing your expertise!

  7. 5

    To echo / expand on what a few people have said, currently, it depends on what you're trying to build.

    There are certain things that are 10x easier to build with no-code including:

    • Job boards
    • Communities
    • Directories
    • Landing pages
    • Simple automations

    I haven't seen a comprehensive list (would love to if someone finds one), but you can get a flavor by reading thru the case studies on MakerPad's site: https://www.makerpad.co/blog

    As you mentioned, things are improving rapidly. Over time, no-code will continue to encroach on use cases that were previously "only possible with code". (IMHO) I see two paths to this:

    1. All-in-one app builders
    2. Building blocks

    All-in-one app builders like Bubble aspire to be pretty much every piece of the stack for a no-code developer. It's the frontend, database, and logic layer all-in-one.

    Building blocks like Webflow (frontend) or Airtable (backend) provide a sliver of the stack more similar to how a developer might construct an app with React and Supabase.

    Depending on the use case, I think you'll see people using either path to construct apps in the future.

    1. 2

      Thanks for referencing Makerpad @mbusel 😄We have a pretty extensive list of things you can do with no-code tools here: https://www.makerpad.co/blog/30-no-code-businesses-you-could-launch-in-1-month

    2. 2

      That's a really great breakdown, thank you @mbusel! I didn't know the delineation between building blocks and app builders, so that's super helpful. 🙏

  8. 4

    It's a blessing for those who can't code!

    Let me offer my perspective as someone who's got a good coding background and also experimenting with no-code tools.

    1. There are no prizes for writing the 'best code ever', unless you are creating something for other developers who'll reuse your code. It took me a long time to really 'understand' this.

    2. No one cares about the tech-stack.

    3. It all boils down to - does your software solve a real problem (need) and is there a large enough audience willing to pay to get that problem solved.

    4. Use no-code tools to quickly build a prototype - and try if it 'sticks'. If it does not - you've saved a lot of precious time.

    I agree with lot of people - NoCode's got long way to go. But it'll be around for sure.

    1. 1

      It'd be cool if there was a prize for "best code ever" 😂 But in the absence of that, yeah I think you're right. Quick validation is key, and its sound like no-code can handle that much, at least!

  9. 4

    Yes! If the product can provide value, doesn't matter if it's coded or not. I know a few people whose no-code products were acquired after launch.

    1. 1

      People are acquiring no-code products? Interesting. I guess I could have assumed, but I don't think I've ever heard of it happening. I wonder if they do it for the customers and write fresh code after buying, or if they keep it as is...

      1. 2

        Maybe, this is certainly possible :) https://selfschool.me is the one I really love. It's made with https://softr.io

  10. 4

    Definitely is!

    I've interviewed over 30 founders of businesses started with no-code here: https://www.nocode.mba/interviews

    Might be interested to browse through!

    1. 1

      Nice, thanks! If there was one takeaway or common theme about no-code from all the interviews you've done, what it would be?

      1. 2

        The main takeaway for me is it's definitely possible to generate a lot of revenue from a business build on no-code tools!

        No-code allows you to get your business idea off the ground 10x faster than with out code, which let's you iterate much more quickly on ideas.

        A summary of the types of businesses that work well:

        • Content business
        • Service business
        • E-commerce
        • SaaS app
        • Marketplace
  11. 4

    The short answer is yes, but it depends on the tool.

    There are different tiers to no code. I like to call some of them "pro-code" or "code less".

    Essentially these are design and development automation tools that abstract away all the tedious things that a developer/designer need to do, and provides visual interfaces to configure products as opposed to hand coding them.

    You need to know code concepts, but you dont need to get into the weeds with scripting--unless you want to.

    To me, its the next level up from no code, which as many can attest to, you can outgrow really fast, especially if you want to create some unique functions that are not common web patterns or features that many people use.

    There are many of these tools emerging but, namely

    Plasmic
    Clutch
    Weweb
    Draftbit
    Flutterflow
    Xano

    These tools allow you to make custom applications with a minimal amount of code, or the code that you need to know is very low and can be learned in a matter of weeks.

    These are a great tools to level up from no code and get to higher levels of development without going full handwritten code and leaning javascript functions etc. Secondly, its a great next step in getting better as a developer because, to me, it seems to lower the learning curve for product development, but accelerates your ability to ship a digital product that will be unique to your use case.

    1. 2

      That's crazy helpful, thanks! It's cool that this kind of low-code approach actually levels up your programming skills too. Is it easy to transition a product no-code to low-code? It seems like that'd be a lot easier than transitioning from no-code to code.

      1. 1

        Vendor lock in is real, so it's unlikely that you will be able to port anything useful from a true no code tool. Their objective is to give you an awesome tool that makes it super easy to build your product. Then host if for you for the life of the product. Many of the tools that I listed above, YOU own the code, and you can host that code anywhere, so you're not locked in to their hosting. So in the cases above it's much easier to go from "low-code" to full code, because most low code tools use code as well as part of the offering. The question. becomes what ecosystem do you want to plug into and learn about. For me I chose Supabase/SQL/Postgres for the backend, and React/Html/CSS for the front end. It makes learning alot easier and there are alot of resources out there.

        1. 2

          ^^ This is super important to know. Thank you! 🙏

    2. 1

      You should also try : https://olympe.io/ for building apps in JS ! You can try it for free if you want, but i suggest you watch support & documentation first. Already saw amazing apps built with it.

  12. 4

    No code was good for demos, but at that point we just used Figma to prop functionality and design along the way. Obviously, we couldn't get this in the hands of users. With the functions we have in the SportsTrace app, we couldn't use no code solutions.

    That said, there are some scenarios where I see MVP products done with no code to get out the door quickly.

    1. 2

      Interesting — so it could work for an MVP but eventually we would probably have to switch technologies. Is that right?

      Does that make the time spent on the MVP a waste of time then? Or is it worth it since you get to the market faster?

      1. 1

        Some people will say that MVP products are more polished now than ever. I always say, get to the market faster. There may be a ton you have to throw away in the future, but if you can generate traction to prove market fit and an MVP with a no code solution gets you there, then do it!

        For SportsTrace, our earlier MVP was simply web reporting with off-the-shelf tools and data manipulation in Excel. We could show visualizations of what our service would provide and understand interest prior to building out the mobile apps we have now. Was that early MVP ideal? Not at all, but the issues that it surfaced paved the roadmap for building future functionality.

        1. 2

          Was that early MVP ideal? Not at all, but the issues that it surfaced paved the roadmap for building future functionality.

          Love it.

  13. 4

    No-code is great, as long as your project is within the scope of what the no-code tool can do.

    When things get out of scope, it gets messy.

    Then you need to figure out another no-code tool to do the job, find how to integrate it with the prev no-code tool, etc. Some people decided this isn't worth the hassle so they've just..learned to code.

    So yeah, no-code is a REALLY good option as long as your requirement are within the scope of the no-code tool.

    1. 1

      But how do you know whether it'll be within scope? Unless it's been done a hundred times before by other founders, it's hard to know whether something can actually be done.

      1. 1

        You can't know beforehand. Every SaaS is unique in its own way. So essentially you're taking a bet when saying "I'll use X to build my [product]".

        Maybe it's a good idea to consult with someone who already used the no-code tool, explain them the idea and ask if "I can build [product] using X".

  14. 3

    From my POV I'd say no-code is awesome, nowadays most of the Gen-Y/Z wants to build an application or develop a software also to note that the startup industry is exponentially growing and no-code enables them to build whatever they want, reduce the amount it takes to build and cancels the possibility of miscommunication and lot more.

    From the industry I predominantly work in I find AutoML technologies slowly replacing data science well that trend just started and till date we can't replace a data scientist but it has started, that's somewhat of its downside and lot more does exists.

    But further innovation will surely help us solve both sides of a just born innovation or an opportunity.

    1. 2

      Scary to think of so many workers being replaced. Or maybe exciting?

      1. 1

        It is scary but innovation is the answer, it is what creates job opputunities.

  15. 3

    There is an ongoing debate in the tech industry over whether one should write their own code or if they should simply plug together off–the–shelf tools. Which approach is best? It depends.

    No code' is a viable alternative for some projects but is not a silver bullet for all problems.

    1. 1

      Thanks, that lines up with what Im learning! Interesting to know about that debate. Which side are you on?

      1. 1

        I'm not against the No Code movement because I'm sure it'll not replace humans writing real code, but once a year, I can use a No Code product like Zapier to implement an automated system.

        Me and my partner way of doing rely mainly upon:
        🟩 90% writing code from scratch.
        🟥 10% using services.

  16. 3

    I code, and I can say that 95% of my working time is currently free, earning the same thanks to copilot. So I'm totally sure that when this technology becomes widespread and our mothers can use it, things will change a lot.

    1. 1

      95%? Wow. That's awesome.

      1. 1

        Yes! I know it sounds like a joke, but the truth is that for basic jobs from people who need adjustments to their websites, or some scripts, I directly ask copilot and 99% of the time I don't have to adjust anything.
        On my own projects or a little more complex I use it more as an assistant, but even then it makes my life easier.
        I have no doubt that everyone will be using a version of this in the not too distant future.

  17. 3

    No-Code is an abstraction of code.

    ➡️The longer you’re building and extending a product with no-code
    ➡️ the bigger the chances are that you’re gonna need some type custom element specifically for your app
    ➡️ the lower you need that abstraction level to be.

    So, for MVPs and simple apps with a finite set of features, no code could work beautifully. But if you want your app to grow in features over time, you’re going to be better off with code.

    1. 1

      Thank you for this very clear breakdown, that makes sense!

      But if you want your app to grow in features over time, you’re going to be better off with code.

      If that's the case, do you recommend building an MVP with no-code then switching? Or is it a better idea skip no-code and go for code right away?

      1. 1

        Depends! That’s up to personal preference :)

        I’m more familiar with code; so I choose that.

        For MVPs it’s more about the way of least resistance, I think.

  18. 3

    Hi Tony, I’m building my third SaaS app on Bubble as we speak. (My first is still running profitable)

    I’d love to show you how the app works so you can get a non-biased feeling/opinion on whether or not you think No/LowCode is an option. :)

  19. 3

    I've tried this before and it all seems very limited very quickly. Perhaps others are much better at this though via taking courses or other

    1. 1

      Thanks for weighing in. Do you know of any good courses?

  20. 3

    Depends what you're trying to make - and what definition of no-code you're using.
    Blog - no-code
    Ecommerce store - no-code
    Website landing page - no-code

    I imagine what you're asking is can you build a totally custom solution built entirely on no-code and I think that's a harder question. I would say yes but it'll become as complex in some areas as full code.
    I'd err towards using the highest abstraction with a reasonable user base for the task at hand

    1. 1

      Yep, that's exactly what I'm asking — that's very helpful, thanks.

      I would say yes but it'll become as complex in some areas as full code.

      That seems like a really important point, and I was completely unaware of it until now. I appreciate it!

  21. 3

    Is Node really an option?
    Is React really an option?
    Is PHP really an option?
    Is Vue really an option?

    You get the point.

    It always depends.

    It depends on what you want to do, how fast and with how much money. It depends.

    1. 1

      Yeah, that makes sense. Wouldn't it be nice if there was just one easy answer for these things? 😅

  22. 3

    The way I see it is that there's a specific niche for no code. Otherwise it's better to think of it as No, code.

    It's okay for product validation and quick simple apps. But anything with complicated databases & scaling things will take just as long if not longer to simply just build it native.

    Problem is also if you do land on something successful how do you get off the platform. Migrating to new platforms isn't really elegant.

    1. 1

      You should then try : https://olympe.io/ for building complex apps in JS ! You can try it for free if you want, but i suggest you watch support & documentation first. Already saw amazing apps built with it.

    2. 1

      The way I see it is that there's a specific niche for no code. Otherwise it's better to think of it as No, code.

      😂 Best comment of the whole thread right there.

      Problem is also if you do land on something successful how do you get off the platform. Migrating to new platforms isn't really elegant.

      Totally. That's the big question I've had after reading all the responses here — it sounds like no-code is great for quick validation/MVPs, but do you end up losing time when you switch to code (or low-code)? If I'm understanding you right, it's a pain to migrate, so maybe that's my answer.

  23. 3

    No-Code can be nice to validate ideas but it's not good for scaling as it comes with a lot of limits.
    Also, it works for some projects - for instance communities are good to go on a No-Code stack.

    1. 1

      Yeah, that's what I'm starting feel — good for validation, bad long term. That about right?

      I wish there was a list of what could and could not be done. Cool to know that communities are no-codable though, thanks!

      1. 1

        Not necessarly bad for long term, please check https://olympe.io/ for building complex apps in JS and re-use "bricks" you made for other projects ! You can try it for free if you want, but i suggest you watch support & documentation first. Already saw amazing apps built with it.

  24. 2

    My experience is with Bubble, so not too sure about other nocode platforms.

    I feel most critics of nocode try out a nocode platform for a short time (<1 week), and before they are able to get to the more advanced parts of it, they disregard it as being incapable of building anything good. I've been building client projects on Bubble for almost 6 months now, and still keep stumbling across new features every once in a while, like some advanced database operation or workflow.

    Nocode is good enough for most apps and almost all MVPs, if your app:

    • Doesn't need heavy performance/time optimization (stock trading portals)
    • Doesn't need complex multimedia operations (extracting something from a video, image manipulation, etc)
    • Doesn't need to scale too much (not sure about Bubble's exact limits, but let's say >10,000 concurrent users)

    Having built on Bubble for a few months now, I feel Bubble is pretty underrated even with its current constraints. Many projects I see around here can be built with Bubble. I'm active on Twitter, and most marketing-oriented B2B SaaS I see there can be built with Bubble as well.

  25. 2

    I am still using PHP and Python to develop my project.
    No-code is good for some apps but not everything. Some solution are amazing.

    1. 2

      Yeah, definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach from what I'm hearing. Why did you decide to stick with PHP and Python over no-code?

      1. 1

        The project my agency is working is to complicated to implement with no-code. Our main projects are for public area and connect with public and government services to exchange data. PHP and Python provide us the flexibility and the security to work on complex project. Also as I mention before security is a major factor. Most of our clients they prefer on-premise installations or VPC cloud center as they manage critical private data. GDPR is a third factor. Most of no-code solution they don't European data centers.

  26. 2

    Yes No Code / Low Code tech are a quite viable option. We have successfully delivered multiple projects on Microsoft Power Apps (which is low code) and on Bubble (which is no code). We were able to accomplish and deliver what the client needed.

    1. 1

      Got any good examples?

      1. 1

        Yup,

        Values based decision making:

        https://apps.apple.com/ng/app/values-based-decision-making/id1568033214

        Built on Bubble with a plugin that converts any bubble web app into a native app. native features like vibration and push notifications are also supported.

        Kareerly:

        An app that connects students with career counsellors, Build on Microsoft 365 and Power Platform using SharePoint Online as data store.

        Boberg Engineering OMS:

        A full fledged Operations Management System for a large construction services provider. Built on Microsoft 365 and Power Apps with SQL Server as data store.

        Book Safe - Office Re-opening Solution

        A solution built on Microsoft 365 and Power Apps with SharePoint Online as data store. It enables offices to safely allow employees access to office premissions under Covid-19 SOP compliance.

        https://www.intelligenes.com/reopening-solution/

  27. 2

    All of the stuff the we're created at the Hub is no code:
    https://uxwritinghub.com

    Now we're trying to build a no code platform helping makers to help each other with their no code efforts.
    This is it:
    https://makersoverflow.com/

    1. 1

      Interesting, it looks like a solid site and resource!

  28. 2

    It is definitely an option. It is the best option TODAY. Probably not (depending on the project). But I have no doubt that "no-code" or some other name that we invent for it in the future is going to be the best way to create things.

    Just one thing, I think the no-code of the future is going to look quite different from the no-code we see today.

    A sample of the "no-code" of the future is - OpenAi Copilot - . A combination of that with a visual and easy-to-use environment will make it possible for many more people to create things and who knows what will come of it.

    1. 1

      Whoa, hadn't heard of Open AI Copilot but just looked it up. I wonder if coders are dreading the day that no-code catches up. Or will custom coding always be necessary? Because there is an art to good code, after all...

  29. 2

    Depends on your type of business. The world runs on no code bakeries and plumbers and whatnot. But if you want to build a tech business that focuses on an original software solution, then yea, code is crucial.

    1. 1

      The world runs on no code bakeries and plumbers and whatnot.

      🤔 I hadn't thought of that. Dang, no-code makes the world go 'round! Who knew?

  30. 2

    "for people wanting to build a robust, extensible product" depend on the product but I think no. It has many limitations and may require code to go deeper.

    But it's very cool for the early stage of a project, prototyping, etc.

    1. 1

      Thanks for weighing in! Yeah, that's what I keep hearing. Good for validation. Bad for the long-term. So you've successfully used no-code in the early stages? How did you transition to code?

  31. 2

    If only it meet my requirement, for now, I'm not using it because... well, I do custom app, so the no-code didn't meet my requirement

    1. 1

      Interesting - what type of product are you building? Why didn't no-code meet your requirements?

  32. 2

    My take on No-Code
    I think that the appealing aspect of No-code is the speed of delivery and the ease of creating repetitive solutions that every project needs. (internal tools, landing pages, , simple automations, etc. )

    I'd argue that it is highly dependent on the project , but in any case (somewhat) evens the playing field for entrepreneurs to launch and validate their project (that's the main value prop. - ship faster and easier-)

    I am more of the opinion that over time we move into a lower code environment, that tedious, repetitive operations are handled with solutions that speed things up, but in the same time being responsive, scalable and fast.

    There are plenty of solutions out there that don't abolish code, but make the learning curve way flatter for the product development and therefore delivering faster and reliable projects with less amount of effort (from logic-layering to marketing pages)

    Some interesting Low (No) code tools:

    My Product
    PriceWell - Payments and Billing Management -

    1. 2

      Sounds like you're an advocate of low-code for products once you're beyond the validation stage — I think that makes a lot of sense. In your experience, is the requisite skill level for coding a low-code product pretty low or do you still need chops?

      I've heard a lot of good things about about Carrd. Do you use it? Stage and Xano are new to me though, thanks for sharing!

      1. 1

        I think the level is relatively low compared to what it needs to be to build it from scratch. But I would say that this always depends on the solution you want to build.

        I've played around with Carrd and I personally find it a great tool. Building responsive websites has never been that easy and fast. Indicative of the advantages of lower code.

    2. 1

      Hey Kod, please check it out : https://olympe.io/ for building complex apps in JS ! You can try it for free. Already saw amazing apps built with it. :)

  33. 2

    I created an account on Indie Hackers just to comment here, but I'll keep the account and try to move away from being a silent lurker.

    I'm the founder of a no-code startup:
    https://endtest.io

    The product basically allows you to automate tests for web sites and mobile apps, without having to write code.

    Initially, I thought it would be used only by folks who don't have coding skills (manual testers).

    But I was surprised to see that it's used by lots of devs, and lots of companies that have tons of engineering resources.

    That's why I ended up adding an API, webhooks and integrations with CI/CD systems, because technical folks wanted to integrate it into their CI/CD flows.

    It has the same flexibility as scripting languages, since you can use variables, reusable components, if statements, else statements, loops, etc.

    And yes, you can even add your own little code snippets.

    We even provide a cross-browser cloud, that means users can run their tests directly on browsers from our cloud (including Internet Explorer 11 and Safari).

    It mostly has decent reviews:
    https://www.g2.com/products/endtest/reviews

    It's a profitable business, and it keeps growing.

    Teams use it because it helps them save time and resources.

    Before such No Code Test Automation products existed, the only option was to build your own Selenium-based internal framework from scratch, pasting together different libraries, this led to tests that were difficult and expensive to maintain.

    There are lots of successful stories in the Low Code / No Code world, think about UIPath, Airtable, Zapier.

    I recently wrote an article about this Low Code / No Code movement:
    https://dev.to/liviufromendtest/what-is-the-no-code-low-code-movement-3h73

    1. 1

      This is awesome! Super inspiring

  34. 2

    It depends on your startup idea and the value it provides... Most of the time, if you want to build something valuable, writing code brings you further..

    But to validate if there is demand for your product, building a no-code landing page makes sense.
    Or if your Startup provides value which is mainly content, or connecting people. Then you could start with a no-code platform. But to really stand out. Writing code.. Or at least logic (which can be no-code) is needed.

  35. 2

    Agreed with what others said, some projects require to code and some are better done with a no-code option.

    I'm myself developing a web builder (https://bowwe.com/) that no coders, marketers, freelancers etc. will find use in. Whether they want to build something themselves or just need to develop a quick project, why not use it..

  36. 1

    No code is absolutely an option, but you may decide to build with nocode tools by weighing different factors

    • your own skill sets. If you cannot code at all, spend time learning what nocode tools are available.
    • the time you have to achieve the task at hand. If you have a few hours only, a nocode tool should help
    • if you are looking to learn rather than build something, a nocode tool may still be very useful, as it will give you a good introduction quickly to what is possible in a given tech.

    For instance, before I know how to create and manage databases, I used a tool filemaker. Using it showed me that databases are made of tables and columns, as well as how I could link them. I then learned with it how to prototype UI on top of those. That was invaluable to learn this before coding.

    And similarly for a different domain, when I learned visual effects, I used software like 3DSMax, Maya and Houdini. Those allowed me to create a lot of work, with the option to add code to extend those tools. Those really are the ones that make me enjoy coding.

    In short, those learning phases were priceless, and were only possible thanks to nocode tools.

  37. 1

    It really depends on the product that you are using. Many are indeed super limited, and are not meant for fully-robust web or mobile apps. But others really do hold their weight - for example, I have yet to encounter something that can't be built in Bubble.io (and with the launch of their new responsiveness engine, the products are much prettier too)

    That being said, the products that can pull their weight (like Bubble) also have a high learning-curve, and it's very easy to build a bad product if you do not understand the structure, strengths, and limitation of the tool. And if you want to really supercharge your app and make it do all the things that coded apps can, you'll need to know at least a bit of code (scripting, API integrations, Jquery, etc)

  38. 1

    Maybe you should have a look at https://olympe.io/ for building apps in JS ! You can try it for free if you want, but i suggest you watch support & documentation first. Already saw amazing apps built with it.

  39. 1

    Code and no-code are essentially the same thing - a tool for telling a CPU what to do.

    A coding language contains a very wide range of discrete commands for telling a CPU what to do and, therefore, requires you to learn many of those commands and how to put those commands together in order to make the CPU do what you want.

    A no-code tool is a tool which someone else has used a coding language to create a new tool which aggregates the many discrete commands of that coding language into a smaller number of more powerful / leveraged commands (whether typed or selected through a user interface).

    No-code tools, therefore, create a new possibility for people to tell CPUs what to do that require because it requires less learning.

    It also offers less freedom, however, because no-code tools will always be limited by 1) the ability of the no-code tool creator to understand what features the users need, and 2) the business case for extending the no-code tool to cover those features.

    Because of this, we will always need code in order to tell CPUs to do whatever we want (because no-code tools will never cover all of the features you need).

    Also, consider that the product you want to build will likely become so detailed and particular to your circumstance that even if a no-code tool could cover it, the no-code tool would be as difficult to learn as a coding language (because it would have a large number of discrete commands for you to learn).

    I think the future of no-code, therefore, is a tool which takes away a lot of the pain (the 'boilerplate') of coding while giving you full access to an entire coding language to achieve what you want.

    On top of that, being a 'coder' doesn't mean that you know everything about that coding language. It simply means that 1) you've learnt enough to get started coding and 2) you're prepared to learn whatever it takes to build whatever you want to build. Coding is constant learning (which never ends).

    So use whatever you like. Starting with no-code will probably not take you where you need to go. So be prepared to learn whatever it takes, including shifting to a coding language.

    And, if you want the ability to tell a CPU to do anything, start by investing in learning to code. IMO you won't regret it.

  40. 1

    If we use no-code tools for internal applications and process automation, then no-code is the way to go.

    Operations need no-code technology to adapt to the speed of change in the business requirements. Especially SMBs don't have a dedicated IT department, so No-Code tools are a perfect fit.

    At Beezr, we've seen the happiness of business users when they realize that they can continuously change and test new ideas instantly.

    Looking at it from an even wider angle, I met many business owners who dream of building their customized ERP with their vision instead of hearing the word "standard" on every turn. And honestly, we've made beezr precisely for that reason, break the business away from "standard" software and let them innovate without needing to open an entire IT department or break the bank.

  41. 1

    I like to use it for marketing and sales automation. It is always a pain to set up all the integrations for my marketing stack.

  42. 1

    For me, no-code can be useful for simple prototyping. But if you want to do something a little more unique you often run into boundaries.

  43. 1

    Haven't read all the comments here but if you can't code well, then no-code will be your friend. It's going to, as a bare minimum, get you testing your ideas and realizing your limitations far more quickly than your coded route. You might be surprised what you can actually build with the tools - they've come a long way since the first tools surfaced.

    Where you might be more limited is if you're building a robust SaaS. That said, you can do a lot with Bubble and its recent responsive engine make it even better. You just need to commit to the learning curve needed to get the most out of it.

    No-code's also an awesome springboard into learning code.

    TL;DR - it depends on what you want to build but often yes, no-code is a solid option.

  44. 1

    Like many have mentioned already, it really depends on what context it is being used in. For business and legal workflow automation products, no-code is most definitely an option (especially for those with little to no programming knowledge) and can produce powerful applications.

    No-code is now pretty advanced, and so can achieve what coding can for many jobs, at a lower expense of resources and time. However - although highly specific requirements can too be solved with no-code, the cost of no-code can potentially rise exponentially and so some may turn to some custom code at this point.

    Nonetheless, through integrations and API, no-code can allow complex projects to be built on top of more basic applications which address lower complexity matters. No-code platforms also allow the user to customize their apps from a central location so they can be scaled and adapted.

  45. 0

    Having spent seven years in computing education to degree level and then ten years in IT consultancy and industry followed by 25 years building my own tech startups, I have yet to find a no/low code tool that can offer anything close to what a good technologist can do. And I've met a lot of good ones over the years.

    No-code tools completely miss the bigger picture of what the tech/engineering/product team should be doing. Knocking up a basic concept of your idea is only 5% of the job. These tools are a million miles away from being of any use to anyone, and any startup MVP built using no-code proves nothing.

    In fact, if I were an investor and I saw a great idea where the MVP was built with no-code, it would simply tell me that there was a lot of work required to dump it and start again with real developers to build the full version. So what exactly would I be investing in!?

    1. 2

      No disrespect here Steve, but you wrote a whole block of text without adding any value honestly.

      The only thing you’re telling is that you’ve lots of experience in the tech world.

      Please do elaborate on the following questions:

      1. What is it that a ‘good technologist’ can do? What currently NoCode tools can not?
      2. What should the tech/engineering/product team be doing according to you? How exactly is NoCode missing this?

      Cheers

    2. 1

      That's a strong argument. Here's a question: Would you recommend it for non-technical founders so that they can get something to market before trying to find a technical co-founder (or hiring)? Let's face it, most technical folk are not interested in building something unless they get paid or they become a cofounder in something that's already been validated. Curious to hear your thoughts as someone who has been building tech startups for 25 years.

  46. 1

    This comment was deleted 8 days ago.

  47. 0

    This comment was deleted 7 days ago.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Gave up 300K/yr as a blockchain dev to make a pomodoro timer 🤔 AMA! 65 comments Want to sell 💸 your SAAS/side-project? 22 comments I finally got some trial signups with this strategy 16 comments What is your secret growth strategy? 12 comments ⚡ How we’ve marketed our SaaS on a tight budget 11 comments Post a "Show IH" and appear on the Indie Hackers podcast 4 comments