The rise of no-code platforms

Jesse Meijers

Recent years have given rise to many low-code platforms. A low-code platform allows coders to gain a higher productivity, because a lot of the tasks they normally perform can be done in a visual editor, from which the platform generates code.

This process is about 2 to 8 times faster than regular coding, according to the many whitepapers on suppliers’ websites. The coder can then manually work with the code to make his own adjustments. Low-code platforms are like catalysts for coders.

No-code platforms, for lack of a better categorization, are platforms that do not require the user to write any code at all to create an application. In many ways, no-code platforms are seen as the next step after low-code platforms.

Because what is less than low-code? Exactly, no-code. It seems logical, but the truth is that low-code and no-code platforms are completely different.

Demand for productivity

Behind the popularity of both low-code and no-code platforms is a world-wide demand for higher productivity when it comes to creating applications. Globalization has had a very interesting effect in making the world seem very small.

A supplier in China can just as easily sell its goods in the US as it can in Japan, over the internet. Effectively this means that many companies have seen an increase in the number of competitors in their markets.

With more competitors, it becomes increasingly important to have a competitive advantage. And because an ever larger part of business processes are supported by software in the form of business applications, it means that companies turn to custom software development.

Standard software, in other words software that can also be used by your competitors, doesn’t provide a competitive advantage. If every company uses the same software, none of them are unique, thus none have competitive advantage. This is why the demand for custom software is growing with roughly 35% year over year.

Custom software is normally written by coders. The world-wide increase in demand for custom software, therefore leads to an increased demand in coders, or coders with higher productivity.

This is the driving force behind low-code platforms. They increase coder productivity, which means more custom software can be created.

Too few coders

The big problem, world-wide, is that there are simply far too few coders. It doesn’t matter if we make every coder 10 times more productive. It won’t be enough. Demand simply grows faster than supply in this case.

This problem is slowing down companies today, and will slow them down even further in the very near future. With too few coders available, companies simply cannot create the custom applications they need to stay ahead of their competition.

The risk is that many markets will see a winner-takes-all situation arise, where the company with the deepest pockets is the only one that can innovate quickly enough to gain a real competitive edge. Others will simply be bought out, or won’t survive at all.

Emergence of no-code platforms

If there are too few coders to fulfill the demand, we need a different solution. This is where no-code platforms come in to play. No-code platforms target a different user than low-code platforms.

While low-code platforms require technically skilled people to operate them, no-code platforms are made for business people. People who have the ideas for applications, but lack the traditional technical skills to make those applications.

The way you can distinguish a no-code platform from a low-code platform is fairly simple. Look at the user-interface. Is it as simply as possible, and does it aim to help you decide which option you should choose every step of the way in making an application? Or does it rely on knowledge you should have learned about how applications are built?

No-code platforms require zero technical knowledge and this shows by them have an extremely easy to use interface.The simpler the user interface of the platform, the more sure you can be that it truly is a no-code platform!

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