Code, No-Code and Low-code

I’ve been testing “No-Code” and “Low-code” platforms, and it has great potential, but I don’t see why some people want to establish a competition between these approaches and the classic programming while they could be complementary.

Permalink to heading What are No-Code and low-code What are No-Code and low-code

No-Code and Low-Code platforms allow creating software through graphical interfaces instead of classic hand-coded programming.

It leverages the benefits of drag-and-drop functionalities and visual guidance, so very little or no coding experience is required to build an app.

Instead of writing code line by line, users can manipulate blocks and pre-built structures to ease the pain and speed up the development phase. The idea is to focus on the features that bring value and spend less time on repetitive coding steps.

Both are alternatives to traditional development, but there are some differences. Unlike No-Code vendors where everything is built into the framework, Low-Code solutions may require a few coding skills.

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The No-Code approach is a great way to launch small projects while letting IT focus on the most critical ones. Pretty much anyone can build the app quickly, which can have several good side effects:

  • significantly reducing the TTM (time to market)
  • limiting unnecessary communications between the IT and other departments
  • preventing endless circuits of approvals

The Low-Code approach is more appropriate for simple projects requiring more flexibility, for example, standalone apps.

Not anyone can build the app in this case, but it’s usually way faster than classic dev.

Permalink to heading Bullshit alarm 🚨 Bullshit alarm 🚨

No-Code and Low-Code are not just buzz words to me. It’s a significant trend in enterprises, and many apps will probably rely on them in the next years.

However, I have a problem with words such as “no-code” or “serverless” that imply there’s nothing behind the scene. Indeed, serverless does not mean there’s no server. It’s just the platform that abstracts the infrastructure away from the user.

Likewise, “no-code” does not mean there is actually no code. You need developers to code and maintain code blocks that appear on the drag-and-drop interfaces.

It’s quite the same with “low-code.” It does not mean there’s less code behind the scene. It’s just the vendor that abstracts some parts of the code.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the marketing aspect of names, but I think some “low-code” and “no-code” advocates may have read the terms at face value.

Permalink to heading Are Low-Code and No-Code overrated? Are Low-Code and No-Code overrated?

Many critics assert No-Code can lead to shadow IT. Because the IT department is not involved in the process, security and compliance issues may happen, sometimes leading developers to fix bugs generated in vendors they don’t maintain, while the whole idea is to let them focus elsewhere.

For the same reasons, the base code might not be enough optimized, sometimes generating infrastructure issues and additional costs.

Low-Code is not the ultimate solution as vendors usually provide limited features and can trigger many incompatibilities with the existing stack.

Permalink to heading Time to choose Time to choose

Rejecting the “Low-code” and the “No-code” movements is, IMHO, as silly as saying “dev is dead.”

Some projects require minimum programming effort while bringing substantial revenues, which is the very definition of efficacy.

Reciprocally, it’s inefficient to consume developers’ time for the simplest tasks.

Still, you can’t have it both ways, and it’s definitely not meant for every project. You cannot expect the same modularity as with custom dev.

It’s probably because of my dev background, but I prefer the Low-Code approach, which I find less risky and helpful for the simplest projects.

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