Will no-code platforms pave way for solopreneurs?
Or should the more relevant question be: will no-code platforms enable non-techies launch digital products? Until now, people with the best of the ideas had to depend on software developers to give a product shape to their idea. Will no-code platforms remove that dependency? Can anyone with an idea launch a product independently?
To answer that well, let's understand what no-code platforms are all about, the no-code platforms available in the market and how they help build digital products?
Let's be on the same page, there is a lot of difference between no-code platforms and low-code platforms. There is still some code in "low-code" which still requires coding skills and hence the dependency on software developers is very much needed. However, using no-code platforms people with no coding background can develop and launch digital products.
No-code or low-code platforms are not new, they have been in the making for many years if not decades. However, we have reached the tipping point for these platforms given the rise of entrepreneurship and many people with no coding background want to venture into making digital products albeit on their own.
It is fundamental human nature to continuously make improvements at what we do and get better results with less effort. That's how the no-code or low-code platforms have come into existence.
Think about it.
What do you call the IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) that we use everyday for coding? Aren't they in one way low-code platforms? Many years back itself, we had good number of WYSIWYG tools to create websites, tools like Dreamweaver, FrontPage helped us create website with low-code. These tools had a very high impact as it enabled people with very little understanding of HTML, CSS to be able to create websites of their own.
Prior to IDEs, WYSIWYG tools, we used to write code for pretty much everything. IDEs came in, and we could simply drag and drop the widgets, IDEs generate the required code in the background. Then, came in the pre-built frameworks with the whole structure and code was already put in place. Developers needed to customize and extend the features as required.
But now, no-code platforms promise to even do away with any coding whatsoever. No-code frameworks are software design systems that allow even non-technical people to execute software without composing a line of code.
How does it work?
The no-code platforms use a visual development interface to enable non-technical users to build applications by dragging and dropping software components to create a full app. Users don’t need any previous coding experience to build applications using no-code.
Isn't it cool that users of no-code platforms don’t need to know anything about syntax? Not a single command. This seems like a small change, but it’s actually a big deal, pretty big deal.
No-code platforms have begun producing a new class of software developer. And with all that mental energy being tapped for creativity in the logic instead of wasted on the memorization of syntax, no-code might end up producing a more productive software developer.
What more? Anyone with creativity and common sense can become a software developer, that is, without any coding background.
Should we say the time has come for creativity to take over logic? Or is it too early to rejoice?
There is a catch. As of today, there is a limit to what we can achieve with no-code platforms. The no-code platforms are not quite there yet to take care of complex business applications. Sure, they will get better and will be able to offer the capability to build fully functional features in the coming years.
Until then, it is the middle ground that the world has to settle for.
To build something similar to a functional program, we will need talented coders. This is where the low-code platforms are helping. Low-code platforms have move on from the concept stage to transforming the market. That is why it’s getting so much coverage.
Top low-code and no-code platforms in the market:
Webflow grants you the ability to create whatever website you’d like without knowing a single line of code — from SaaS websites to ecommerce stores.
Appy Pie is a no-code platform allows you to create native apps for iOS and Android without writing code and also publish them on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.
This platform can help you build apps that work on multiple devices such as mobile, web browser, desktop, and even TV.
AppSheet is the low-code and no-code mobile app development platform. A no-code app creator software, AppSheet’s mission is to make it easy for everyone to build mobile apps without any coding and as per their needs using data sources like Google Drive, DropBox, Office 365, and other cloud-based spreadsheet and database platforms.
Appery.io allows small businesses to create hybrid mobile apps, web apps and PWAs easily in just a matter of minutes. A cloud based app builder, Appery.io is easy to master even for total beginners.
Zoho Creator empowers you to build enterprise-class applications that work flawlessly across different devices, without any issues.
Voiceflow makes voice app development for Alexa tools and Google actions possible for everyone without entering even a single line of code.
Bubble gives aspiring app developers a visual set of components to assemble and launch fully functioning end products. A lot of options for functional customization makes Bubble a powerful tool for software development and building apps.
Airtable brings spreadsheets and databases together in a single program.Whether you need to organize a calendar of project deliverables, compile a customer list, or organize any other type of information, Airtable makes it easy to create and collaborate.
With drag-and-drop functionality, Thunkable lets you connect a variety of functional components to construct different user flows for your own app building. Your final mobile app creation will work on both iOS and Android without having to make any modifications on your own.
App creators can review the tools, their capabilities and choose the right platform.
As mentioned above, it is premature and impractical to say all the applications with full feature set will be built on no-code platforms. The platforms still need to be matured to get there which can take few years.
What is definitely possible is for someone to build MVP version of the application and be able to see the idea in action. That in itself is a great achievement. Also another greatest advantage with no-code platforms is faster time to market - business teams need not depend on engineering teams anymore to build the features.