DEV Community

Cover image for Should You Learn To No-Code?
Adrian Twarog
Adrian Twarog

Posted on

Should You Learn To No-Code?

What is nocode?

Why are more web companies, agencies, marketing businesses and branding expecting to hire developers who work with no-code platforms?

This is a serious question, one that isn’t asked enough in the programming community, akin to what will web 2.0 bring, and how will ReactJs affect the future career paths of development.

  • What is no-code
  • Why you should learn no-code
  • Where no-code tools are being used
  • How it's currently used at my workplace
  • How to get started
  • Comparing coding to no-coding

YouTube version for those who rather watch:

dev living under rock

What is no-code?

If you have been living under a virtual rock, you might not have heard the new ranges of tools that are being released left right and center to help coders build websites faster and easier. We have Artificial Intelligence writing code for us, we have visual Figma designs automatically converted to coded components, and now we also have visual website creators dedicated to making websites without requiring the manual labour of writing every line.

AI tools

Why you should learn no-code?

While developers see fads come and go, no-code is here to stay just like typescript and is already changing the fundamental way that marketing and web companies are building web pages. Slowly a change is happening that is almost unseen, where companies are shifting their process of creating websites.

code nocode

Where no-code tools are being used

Traditionally websites were made in several stages. First you would have the sales or business acquisition team meet a client, get the requirements for a project to hand over to a Graphics Designer.

Their job would be to create the user interface for a website, which would normally occur in photoshop, or adobe XD, or even Figma. Finally these visual assets would be handed over to a developer, who often was forced to create the website on a platform such as WordPress, or NextJS or something that was the standard for that web company.

figma example css

The last step of development was the largest, especially when it came to large complex projects, and be allocated the biggest budget and timeline, with websites taking weeks or months to complete the coding phase.

The big shift that is happening now is that development is pivoting its process from client > design > code, to client > design > no-code.

work dev nocode

How it's currently used at my workplace

No-code means that we seeing more and more companies use tool to build the websites such as Wordpress Elementor, or Visual Composer or others because they found they get the same results (or design) with half the effort.

These no-code tools weren’t the best, they are on top of heavy platforms such as Wordpress, which already have security issues, difficulty to update, and much more.

But the benefits outweigh the pain, because updating content took half the time, and this is especially important when clients change their mind faster than a goldfish can forget whats on their mind.

node mobile

And this was just a few years ago. Today, we have already far past using relics of the past, and have new platforms that are dedicated to building websites using no-code.

No-code isn’t taking developers out of the equation, but rather giving them a new set of tools to create websites using the standards they already know, like the box model, grids, flex and much more. While a lot of programmers enjoy the act of coding, there is going to be no dispute that companies in the next few years will be transitioning to using no-code tools to build their platforms on.

tailwindcss bootstrap

As such, the responsibility of programmers today will be to start skilling up on these tools. The traditional coding knowledge won’t go away, it will be a foundation to build upon as we dive deep in the next few videos into understanding how to get started with no-code.

By understanding the no-code environment, you will be preparing yourself for the future to get better employment, to get a higher salary and to stay relevant in your career.

On top of that, you’ll find that understanding no-code will also help your coding skills too, as you’ll have more time to learn and implement relevant things like react into no-code projects which you build visually.

Editor X

Editor X no-code platform

I'm using Editor X to compare what normal code verses no-code looks like, and it really impressive how quickly things can be done. There will be situations where this will defiantly become the mainstream for creating websites in the future, when creating simple buttons takes seconds instead of minutes to make. (see full vid below)

Follow and support me:

Special thanks if you subscribe to my channel :)

Discussion (14)

Collapse
ochsec profile image
Chris Ochsenreither • Edited on

" While a lot of programmers enjoy the act of coding, there is going to be no dispute that companies in the next few years will be transitioning to using no-code tools to build their platforms on."

Really? No one disputes that?

Did you ever hear of Winforms? It's going to take the world by storm - in 2002!
No, what'll happen is that non-software businesses will build CRUD apps with generic components with these tools to save money and software companies and software dev shops will continue to write code. Without the ability to code, you are sandboxed into the features that the no-code solution provides. There are always business needs outside of those features.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Hey Chris, Did you ever hear of Minidisks? 🤣

But seriously, I can think of a visual code solution that is tremendously successful and yet still needs a plug-in API with scripting. That's the type of overhead a "no code" solution creates, if anything, then you need a sub par embedded code editor to write all that code but not code.

Collapse
natescode profile image
Nathan Hedglin

"the responsibility of programmers today will be to start skilling up on these tools."

Nope. I'll never learn no-code because I actually know how to code. I can build anything you can imagine, not just what is available from the platform or plugin marketplace.

How are no-code tools made? With code.

They're limiting, proprietary and not nearly as expressive. I'm not saying they aren't valuable, they're just limiting. No-code has been "replacing" programmers for decades and yet I still have a job.

I develop enterprise CMS (content management systems), like WordPress but much much better. I build custom components for the marketing team to build web pages.

As always, use the right tool for the job. You can't simplify complexity by simplifying the tool.

Collapse
thorstenhirsch profile image
Thorsten Hirsch

Why are these tools called "no-code" if they are just visual component editors that generate code? They're nice, but we already have these tools like forever and they cover only a fragment of the tasks a developer has to do. It's quite possible that integrating another tool in your workflow even leads to less efficiency overall.

They're highly disputable.

Collapse
nicolus profile image
Nicolas Bailly

If it can only handle web front-end (like Editor X seems to), isn't "No Code" just a fancy word for "WYSIWYG editor" ? Dreamweaver had something like that in the 90s.

If I recall correctly you could even do database interactions with very minimal coding using coldfusion.

Collapse
curiousdev profile image
CuriousDev

I think it depends a lot on the No-Code technology we are talking about and looks like this is about limited web development. If you want to learn programming and like it, just do it and you will still be able to learn any "no-code" technology you are supposed to work with.
It is not good to compare this with programming like it would be the same or a replacement. Especially if you are learning for future employment, you should not do that, because you will not only be very limited to certain software, but also miss a lot of important knowledge, which also can be applied to these tools.

Collapse
lase profile image
Matt Laser

This is illogical - given that no-code software explicitly intends to circumvent the entire concept of developers, not empower them. It's also disingenuous, given that the platform you're shilling, Editor X, is paying you to do just this.

@ben maybe I'm being a baby here but I think it's kinda messed up that this (a sponsored post for a no-code tool) got bubbled up by the official dev.to twitter account

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

For me, it like making a Katana by craftsman. Sure you can create a Kanata by following the traditional ways but it will be time consuming to do everything manually.

But it doesn't make you less of a craftsman. Even if you adopt new tools to make your Kanata while you preserve the tradition process as well as quality to work with the tools to build faster, better quality and adopting methologies to build things differently.

Collapse
ageekdev profile image
ΛGΣΣK

Nah! I use no-code tools when needed but they're not something to invest. I believe we should be good at coding to call ourself software engineer.

Collapse
curiousdev profile image
CuriousDev

I think "invest" is a good word here. If you like and can do that, prefer programming. This is a better "investment" and will help to better understand many technologies, which are supposed to be "no-code" or "low-code".

Collapse
kiransbaliga profile image
Kiran S Baliga

In my opinion I think that learning no code might come in handy! You could always start from no code to get the base layout done. This helps to eliminate creating stuffs from scratch that we already know and saves us a lot of time!!! Then modify those initial layout to create your final app/website.. I used to make some website by this way.. I design the basic structure in bootstrap studio and then modify the html and CSS code and then make them the way I want and adding additional stuffs that no code platforms can't provide.

Anyways this is MY opinion...

Collapse
aktentasche profile image
Jonas Manthey

Well, you might have no code but still need logic in your application unless it is static. And logic is imho best represented in code. For design questions and boilerplate stuff no-code is awesome though.

Collapse
emilienbidet profile image
Emilien Bidet

Very nice article 👍

I will create my portfolio that I always wanted to create in no code right now.

Collapse
ziker22 profile image
Zikitel22

If you --> REALLY <-- feel threatened by no-code solutions. You actually might be right. Other than yhat you are probably ok ;)