For as long as computers have been around, in order to develop software, you needed to know how to code.
This generally required you to have a degree in computer science, or somehow you had to learn coding on your own.
This limited a lot of people from becoming web developers or starting software businesses because the barrier to entry was huge. It would take years before someone was proficient enough where they could build software themselves, and hiring someone was often too expensive.
However, this is changing, as new no-code and low-code development tools are being introduced into the market.
What is No-code?
No-code tools allow people with no prior programming experience, to build websites, apps, and other forms of software without writing code.
Now, it’s important to note that no-code tools differ tremendously in terms of what you can accomplish/build with them.
Simple No-Code tools
Using these tools you can build a website in a matter of minutes with no prior experience or knowledge.
Simple no-code tools generally allow you to build your website using a drag and drop editor. You can change colors, create navigation buttons, add text blocks, images, videos, etc.
Although these website builders accomplish a lot and are all that most people need if you’re looking to build something a little more complex they are quite restrictive.
Complex No-Code tools
Webflow is great for building websites or simple web applications that are slightly more dynamic than your standard website.
Webflow allows you to build a fully customizable web page, with pretty much no restrictions in terms of what you can design. It is by far the most powerful frontend no-code development tool on the market.
Although Webflow is the best for frontend development and is the best from a design perspective, it lacks the backend capabilities and database functionality that Bubble has.
In other words, what you build might look cleaner – but the software that you can build is not nearly as complex as what you can build with Bubble.
Bubble is the most powerful no-code platform currently available. Using Bubble you can build extremely powerful and complex software – including marketplaces, saas, e-commerce websites, internal workflow software, and much more.
If you’re looking to build an MVP bubble is your best bet. It takes about 20 hours or so to learn the basics and about 2-3 months to become proficient enough where you could build a fully functional, custom app yourself.
Of course, this varies based on how complex an app you want to build, and the learning curve is also dependent on your previous experience with development in general.
Someone who has a background in computer science and knows how to code already will be able to pick up Bubble much faster than someone who doesn’t.
Although Bubble does not require you to know how to code, it still requires you to think like a programmer, using logic and analytical reasoning.
What is low-code?
Low-code tools are a bit different from no-code tools and require more technical experience to use.
low-code tools have pre-built functionality that allows non-technical users to build the application to a certain point but require a developer to finish the application off.
Instead of dragging and dropping text blocks, images, or buttons like you can with no-code tools, low-code tools usually require you to drag and drop pre-built snippets of code instead.
Low-code tools were built so that software developers can speed up development and don’t have to write every line of code from scratch when building products.
Most low-code development tools out there are used for internal software development at companies so they can improve and speed up various workflows. Some popular low-code tools include Quickbase, Mendix, Apian, and Retool among others.
Gartner recently published a report, stating that the low-code market will reach $13.8 billion by 2021 which is an increase of 22.6% from 2020.
How no-code is shaping the future of software development
Since no-code tools don’t require you to have any prior coding experience or education, way more people will be able to build software than ever before.
For those that had an idea for an app, marketplace, or saas product but were not able to build it because they couldn’t code or didn’t have the budget to hire someone, now can.
As no-code tools improve over time, they will make it easier and easier for non-technical people to build complex technical products. This will ultimately lead to more software being created than ever before.
Also since no-code programming speeds up the development process tremendously, it is going to take less time to develop software and ultimately will require fewer people in the development process.
This will create a massive opportunity for freelancers and small developer teams online.
Instead of having to work with a massive development agency that costs a fortune, customers will be able to work with one freelancer or a small team for a fraction of the price.