No-code is a broad term. It describes a vast set of products that help end-users assemble web pages and applications without hiring developers.
In recent years, it has also become an ideology of sorts (praised, for example, in this Forbes column): a promise to get rid of all complications that are intertwined with IT development — its proverbial high costs, unpredictability, and difficulty to scale the teams fast enough.
However, I’d argue the promise is often exaggerated, as the proposed approaches are oversold and/or not particularly new. Still, niche solutions from the no-code toolbox might get your tasks in certain pipeline parts done surprisingly well.
So let’s pick apart the ideology and get into what startups and businesses should consider when thinking about no-code solutions.
No-code is not particularly new
Speaking of no-code, we usually think of it as a recent development, a step made in the late 2010s to emancipate the world from expensive engineers. Be it Notion, Mailchimp, Voiceflow, or Bubble, companies associated with no-code approaches are usually recently found startups. But is the approach actually that recent?
In fact, no-code-like tools were there from the very beginning of the computer era. Take Microsoft Excel: it’s basically a way to embark on visual point-and-click