Is it possible to found a tech start-up without programming a line of code?
No-Code platforms open up new opportunities for start-ups and MVP development. They take rapid prototype development to a whole new level and enable even non-programmers to develop working applications. But as is often the case, not all that glitters is gold. In this article, we examine this trend and its sustainability.
What is No-Code?
No-Code means creating websites but also web and mobile applications without writing a single line of code. The product is created entirely with the help of WYSIWYG editors and drag & drop systems. From the database structure to the design, everything can be created in this way even by those who are not designers or programmers. In essence, these platforms are more oriented towards end users. Specific knowledge of code and design is, however, a great advantage. Otherwise, the learning curve can be very steep. The best known representatives of no-code are, for example, Wix for websites and Webflow for more complex applications. Other examples are sites such as Bubble.io and Bravostudio App.
Advantages of No-Code
- Inexpensive and quick to create
- Can be created by 'anyone' - no developers required
- Visual creation of frontend and backend
- Can be tested and modified quickly, rapid prototyping
- Top UX/UI quality for standardised applications
Disadvantages of No-Code
- Vendor lock-in with high change costs when changing platforms
- Only individualisation of existing functions possible, no real customisation.
- Model-based: No individual logic and design
- No code ownership, only IP
- Platform dependency in terms of price, functionality and future security
- Completion of new development required when switching to own solution. Possibility of data export
Where does No-Code shine?
The advantages offered by No-Code make it a perfect solution for a number of cases:
1) Start up
New companies that lack the necessary resources or simply do not need to set up a development department can remain competitive by developing functional products with limited resources.
2) Rapidly introduced applications
The gaps in emerging markets require quick action. Companies that want to take advantage of new situations can use no-code development to quickly establish themselves in the market.
Not every application needs to be mature and ready for the general public. If you need a prototype to prove a certain concept or to test whether your product is suitable for the market, code-free development is a quick and reliable solution.
4) Knowledge Management
Employees in your company probably have a diverse set of talents, skills and knowledge. Share this knowledge within your organisation. The absence of code for knowledge management means that everyone can optimise workflows and business processes according to their own experience.
No-Code and MVP
Generally, the no-code strategy can work until the development of an MVP. However, the product must always be further developed after the MVP and, most no-code platforms, cannot yet help in this respect in several respects:
1. Limited options
Themes, functions and settings are limited to what the platform offers. For this reason, it is simply impossible to develop a unique product customised to one's own needs.
2. No-code platform constraints
In addition to preventing the development of a custom project, the creation of an MVP on a specific platform does not allow it to be transferred to other platforms. The product will only ever be bound to the platform on which it was developed in terms of functionality, work and integrations. This is also because most platforms do not generate source code or make it so cumbersome that it becomes almost impossible to modify the project outside the platform itself.
The creator of a product on a No-Code platform does not have complete control of the project, nor full access to the source code and dataset. Consequently, possible violations or problems occurring on the platform may also affect the functions and continuity of the project.
Given these premises, it therefore seems clear to us that a No-Code approach may work until the development of an MVP but is limited to that, proving to be an unsustainable strategy in the long term. This leads us to a final question.
Does No-Code pose a threat to professional developers
Given the simplicity of low- or no-code solutions, some wonder whether professional developers are becoming obsolete. But even if No-Code allows almost anyone to develop applications, it cannot replace the expertise of professionals.
Professional developers with solid programming skills are always needed when it comes to developing complex components, implementing truly individual ideas, exploring new programming possibilities and even developing and maintaining platforms with low or no code. In fact, professional developers benefit from code-free development because they can focus their knowledge more efficiently on complex problems that only they can solve.
Do you have an idea for an application or software project and do not know how to implement it and whether your skills are sufficient for an in-house solution? No-code or code? We at DevInterface will be happy to advise you in a free initial consultation.