For decades, software development meant hiring developers, costly investment, and a lengthy timeline for startup founders, enterprises, governmental and non-governmental organizations. As technologies evolve, founders and teams can be free from such shackles by building no-code apps.
With today’s no-code platforms, it’s possible to build an app in a fraction of the time needed when compared to conventional methods. Furthermore, managers and founders could literally turn their ideas into functional apps without any coding skills.
No-code development sounds promising as the future of programming. But is it all rosy as it’s painted to be or are there disadvantages to this revolutionary coding technology?
Read on and find out if building no-code apps is the ideal approach for startup founders, business owners and team leaders.
What Is No-Code
No-code is literally what it means, which is the approach to building an app without coding. The no-code approach takes manual programming away from the users. This allows founders and owners who have no programming knowledge, to build an app from scratch.
It’s important to highlight that no-code apps are not built without codes. It’s just that the coding part is hidden from non-technical users. Founders are exposed to a drag-and-drop interface, where they could easily build a process flow with the visual elements.
The characteristics of each element and how they behave when integrated are pre-determined by the hidden source code. As such, non-programmers are able to build an app with no-code platforms, which was an unthinkable notion a decade ago.
No-code should never be mistaken as low-code, although both terms are sometimes used interchangeably. While low-code platforms often consist of drag-and-drop elements, it also allows scripting or coding to be performed by the users. Meanwhile, no-code does not involve coding at all for the end-users.
As a result, founders and enterprises can now release an app much quicker and with a much smaller budget. No-code apps share similar flexibility, customization, and scalability as manually coded apps. Despite that, it’s important to highlight that no-code is not a replacement for custom software development.
No-code development is different in its own right. In most situations, no-code offers vast benefits to founders and owners who are looking for an agile and cost-friendly app development approach. However, no-code may not be the best option in some circumstances.
Pros of no-code
Since its emergence, no-code development has appealed to the business and startup community, thanks to its many advantages.
Reduce development time
Building no-code apps is a matter of utilizing the drag-and-drop interface. Instead of tedious coding, founders and enterprises can quickly develop a functional app for release. No-code platforms also automate testing, which reduces the app’s time-to-market.
Software development used to be a costly affair, even for building an MVP for validation. With no-code platforms, founders and companies can reduce up to 80% of development costs when building an app. There’s no need to hire skilled developers, which could financially burden a fledgling startup or an established business.
As flexible, extensible, and scalable as custom coding
Apps built with no-code platforms are on par with manually-coded software in terms of flexibility, extensibility, and scalability. There’s no need to develop a new app for additional features or to mitigate user growth.
Easy support and update
Unlike manual coding, making changes in no-code apps is relatively simple. There’s no need to go through a line of codes to introduce a change. Founders and enterprises can easily make changes with the visual interface and release an updated app.
Cons of No-Code
For all the speed, flexibility, and economic benefits of no-code, there are some disadvantages of using no-code.
Founders and owners are limited to the functionalities offered by the no-code platform they’re using. There could be certain functionalities that can be difficult to implement on certain platforms.
For example, it’s difficult to make custom searches through the database on Glide. With that said, no-code platforms are continuously improving and adding new functionalities to the fold.
Low-level features not supported
Functionalities like video/audio processing and access to device sensors are usually not supported by no-code platforms. Therefore, if a startup or business requires such functionalities in their app, no-code development is not the right option.
Building an app on no-code platforms makes a startup or an enterprise dependent on a 3rd party technology provider. Factors like price, service quality, and security are beyond the control of the founders or owners.
No-code providers could change pricing or terms and founders have no choice but to comply. However, this is quite unlikely for now as the competition is high for the growing demand.
Examples of no-code apps
Despite being a new technology, startups have found success with no-code development. Here are some no-code apps built with no-code platforms.
- Dyvo application that allows you to create art drawings and avatars from your photos using AI.
- Plai, a business app that allows enterprises to align teams with OKRs, inspire growth with effortless performance/360° reviews, effective 1:1s, feedback, and praise.
- Upside, a SaaS platform that allows setting up, monitoring, and managing employee benefits programs.
- Rozmova, a trustworthy and convenient mental health platform
With an increasingly tight budget and timeline to work on, startups will benefit greatly from building no-code software. No-code is perhaps one of the most significant software innovations in this decade.
The ability to build an app without technical skills and to do so in the shortest time is highly attractive for startup founders and established businesses. Founders and owners can now channel their resources to marketing and operations while releasing an app with minimum expenses.
As GitHub CEO proclaims that “The future of coding is no coding at all”, founders should take the leap and embrace no-code development. The key in doing so is to choose the right no-code platform.
Check out how Sommo helps companies to idealize their solutions with the shortest time and lowest budget possible.