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Why developers dislike "no code"?

cwraytech profile image Christopher Wray Updated on ・1 min read

Planning to write a blog about this topic, but before I do, I would like to hear your thoughts on "no code".

Do you like “no code”?
What do you like/dislike about it?

Personally I dislike the term, and I'm planning to write an article about why.

I would like to hear your perspective first though, so hopefully my article will be more well rounded.

Discussion (12)

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michalsimon profile image
Michal Šimon

I think it is a great tool for non-technical managers or designers to build a prototype, validate it with real customers, and make sure they know what they want to deliver. It many hands of developers so they can keep working on serious apps and systems and make important long-term architectural decisions. Without "no code" solutions they would have to spend much more time prototyping and reworking something, overengineering it at a certain point, and then throwing the whole thing away when the manager realizes that the validation part was not successful enough.

The problematic part comes when those non-tech people decide the "no-code" prototype can go live as a final product and start asking developers to "just" add a little button doing XYZ so they can deploy a big marketing campaign. It would be great if those "no code" tools would help understand the limitations of the solution to their users clearly enough and not sell them "we can do everything for you, fire your dev team".

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cwraytech profile image
Christopher Wray Author

Yeah I agree that the tools are not being honest to people about what they can truly do. Thanks for your comments!

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chrisdrit profile image
ChrisDrit

You have to ignore the literalness of the term, and that's hard for developers to do.

The no code thing is a good thing. It opens the doors for those who lack the coding super power we all possess. And for all of us with this power, it keeps us focused on the goal versus the rabbit hole.

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cwraytech profile image
Christopher Wray Author

I think you are right. Thank you for your thoughts.

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flynnieous profile image
Matthew Flynn

25-30 years ago "no code" was called "4gl". Those of us who remember such things remember the messes that had to be cleaned up. Also, we remember the dependencies that were created on the vendors who were selling these solutions: no code = no easy way to fix it yourself once the vendor is out of business.

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evanroggenkamp profile image
Evan Roggenkamp

No code is annoying, because it’s a buzzword and a lot of buzzwords get overused or get “hyped.” I don’t think no code is true to its name, but hey if you can empower a lot of non-developers to build applications, by all means that sounds like a valuable resource.

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cwraytech profile image
Christopher Wray Author

For sure. Thanks for your input!

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mirelaprifti profile image
Mirela Prifti

"No-code" tools are great for prototyping ideas and learning to think more efficiently in terms of functionalities/logic. The hype behind it though has created the illusion that you can completely replace developers by combining 5-6-7 no-code tools to build something you have no idea how it works or if it's safe to use. Having said that, I'm a designer myself and use Webflow as a design/prototyping tool. But I see lots of people wanting to build products on top of it...

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tylerlwsmith profile image
Tyler Smith • Edited

I'm not a fan of "no code" tools because I think their implementation is too dogmatic: they see code as something dirty and to be avoided. Sometimes, a few lines of code are much more powerful than what its no-code counter part can accomplish elegantly. Regular expressions are a great example of this.

That said, I'm a big fan of "low code" tools that provide opportunities to drop down into code when you need the extra power.

I love using WordPress page builders like Elementor for this reason: I can drag-and-drop a page together extremely fast, then I have escape hatches for custom HTML/CSS/JS/PHP if needed. Sure, if I wrote it all by hand it would handle responsive breakpoints a little better and it might be a bit faster. But it would take me three times as long for something that is only marginally better.

The real challenge is understanding the boundaries of what no-code/low-code tools can reasonably accomplish, and making sure you stay within its capabilities. I've seen a project manager commit to using a low-code tool without understanding its capabilities, and the whole project ended up way behind schedule and WAY over budget.

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greggomatic profile image
Greg Thomas

Similar to some of the comments below, NoCode is great for getting started and for technical managers to proof things out. My experience in using these platforms is that the customer always comes up with a requirement that at some point will require code and then you're into coding.

That's where the magic happens, integrating code with no-code. It might look like no-code on the surface, but the all the "hard stuff", all the "complicated stuff" is being driven by sophisticated code.

Primarily because NoCode is not at the point where it can adapt and grow to every industry's workflows.

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

I believe no-code is a great tool for scientists and people learning to think logically. I have come across it several times in science and in education. However, I think it needs more research and development.

  1. Consider Scratch? I have taught fourth graders Scratch and some kids couldn't get enough. I don't know if Scratch is the best way to learn coding, but children under high-school age need to learn how computers work and how to manipulate them easily. Once, I was chastised by other teachers that I thought my kids could be programmers!?! But what better way to learn Cartesian coordinates? Vectors? Translation? Transformations? Boolean logic? Need I go on?

  2. I have also seen it used successfully in science by biologists and chemists that weren't formally taught C.S. Netlogo is one of several tools that I have seen used to simulate everything from bee behavior to egress simulation by fire engineers. One guy I knew in grad school was from Suadi Arabia. He needed to simulate fire escape routes since the Saudis don't want to mix the male and female populations even in emergencies. (???) Crazy but true.

Besides, who hasn't watched Star Trek TNG and watched Jordi program the 'holosuite' just by describing it? Who doesn't want that? ;))

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

I was looking over another post on No-code and thought about ONE more item that you might be interested to learn about, Galaxy. Ultimately one can work with something like this...