Businesses have started migrating to low-code no-code technologies for their app development. Reports suggest that over 65% businesses will start using low-code/no-code technologies by 2025. If you are new to this new phenomenon let me share my thoughts about it. We are working on building a no-code tool so I know what I am talking about.
What are Low-Code/No-Code Platforms?
Traditionally, if you wanted to build a website or an app you would need to find a developer. The developer will understand your requirement, write code for you and help you host your website or app so that your users/customers can start using it. Once users start using it you get feedback from them and this feedback gets passed on to the developers to incorporate it in your product which again requires coding.
A low-code/no-code platform on the other hand allows you to build an app without the need for a developer. These platforms allow you to define three things that make up any app in the world
A website or an app is nothing but a series of views (screens) that manipulate data based on logic that you define.
Thus, a platform like this does both building the app and hosting it too. You can remove the developer from the equation (not 100% true but at this stage it is safe to say so). All you need to do is understand how to use the platform (this is where a developer can do it faster) and then build your app away.
Types of Low-code/No-Code Platforms
Since the buzzwords started getting popular a lot of startups have sprung up that claim their offerings as low-code/no-code tool.
From my experience there are the following kind of tools that qualify (or claim to be qualified) as low-code/no-code tools.
- Fancy spreadsheets: There are a number of startups that offer functionalities like that of a spreadsheet, with additional bells and whistles. These startups allow you to store more than text and numbers and even let you connect your databases to read from and write into. I don’t really think these classify as a low-code/no-code platform. Many of them lack the ability to create custom views and almost all of them have no way to define logic. Examples of these include AirTable and Google Sheets.
- Integrators: These are the kind of startups that allow you to connect multiple tools. Think of a tool that makes an entry in your accounting database as soon as your sales system registers a new sale. Zapier is a good example of this.
- End-to-end Platforms: There are tools that are full fledged low-code/no-code platforms. They let you define your data, your presentation of this data and the logic. Tools like Knack and Bubble belong to this category. A new contender is coming soon at https://www.cohesivapp.com/.
Future of Low-code/No-code Platforms
These tools will keep getting better and better. The future looks bright for these tools. If you are looking to pick up a new skill it is the right time to get better at a full fledged low-code/no-code tool.
There are already companies that offer to build apps using low-code/no-code tools. The number of these companies will continue to grow. I don’t think these platforms will replace developers, but it will create some new job titles that will include the words like “No code builder” “low code developer” etc.