Traditionally, the apps and websites we use for social media, banking and shopping were built by programmers who understood computer code. Today, no-code tools allow non-technical users—such as entrepreneurs and small business owners—to design software and apps without being a programming expert.
Vlad Magdalin, co-founder of Webflow, estimates that the no-code movement could open up software creation to at least 10x the number of people who can write code today.
According to a new study by the no-code platform Zapier, 82% of businesses surveyed said they started using no-code tools during the global pandemic (from 2020 to this year). The global no-code market is projected to be valued at US$14bn by the end of 2022.
As the use of no-code tools grows, many more would-be founders who lack the technical know-how can build and launch an MVP and start their own software business, lending some truth to what a software developer once said, that “the best code is no code at all.”
Joining the community of citizen developers,
What no-code tools mean for non-developers - No-code or low-code platforms enable the average person—millions of people—to create the tools they need, rather than relying on software engineers. What was once only in the hands of a few is now accessible for all.
Helping larger businesses remain agile - Software tools like Asana and Zapier have helped larger businesses who have struggled since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak to improve their workflow processes. They’ve also improved their workflows and remain agile by making it easier for employees with zero developer skills to automate tasks without needing complex code.
Supporting freelancers and small business owners - As unemployment and economic uncertainty rose exponentially, more and more people began to explore monetising their creative and entrepreneurial pursuits with the help of no-code tools. They built their own websites using Squarespace, or used Shopify to set up an online shop within a matter of hours, rather than months.
In the past, people would have to spend hefty sums to start a business and relied on web designers before even considering setting up shop. But now, with the no-code boom, freelancers and small business owners are able to take decisions like the above into their own hands without having to depend on others.
💡 Learn more
Reducing burn rate - The startup failure rate sits at an eye-watering 95%. One most comment reason startups fail—accounting for 42% of failures—is there is ‘no market need’ for the product. The second most common reason is new businesses running out of cash, accounting for 29% of failed startups.
No-code platforms offer founders of certain types of startups, such as apps, marketplaces or content-driven businesses, a lifeline for addressing startup failure. Entrepreneurs can now use no-code tools to test their ideas rapidly and gain customer feedback to check (and check again) that people need what they’re building, and they can launch and iterate at little cost without burning through capital.
Proving demand through no-code - In the future, more businesses will be built entirely on no-code tools, and a number of them will be venture-backed. Mobile apps, marketplaces and content-driven businesses, such as edtech platforms, are well placed to take advantage of no-code tools. For instance, Makerpad, an edtech company that teaches people how to use no-code tools, was created entirely using no-code.
Many startups will choose to launch a no-code MVP before progressing to custom code once they’ve proven market demand. Others may choose a hybrid approach, combining low and no-code tools with custom code for greater flexibility.
💡 Learn more
What are the dangers of using no-code platforms? - We’ve seen how no-code platforms can provide to both professional and citizen developers, in terms of speed, simplicity and productivity. On the flip side, businesses and IT teams need to be aware of the potential security risks that accompany them.
Low visibility and insecure code - Using no-code platforms means we can’t inspect the code from which the platform runs on. If the vendor who has developed the no-code platform doesn’t follow best practice security and secure coding, then this could cause problems in the future. In many cases, enterprises will not have visibility of the security controls set by no-code providers, meaning they need to rely on the security tools the providers already have.
Choose wisely - One of the key actions is to choose no-code platforms carefully, opting for options where the security processes are made clear and transparent. Also, how much emphasis is placed on security awareness across the no-code provider’s dev team? Knowing this ahead of time can ensure we’re working with platforms built by people who take security as seriously as any company should.
💡 Learn more