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Nicholas Mendez
Nicholas Mendez

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Low code solutions for devs to consider.

How low can you go

Traditionally as dev's we may take pride in our ability of implementing systems 'from scratch'. We may scoff at tools that seem to provide 'shortcuts' for the work we do, but perhaps this attitude is counter productive.

Low code/no code is a term that refers to a class tech products and services which aim to simplify the implementation of technological solutions. This can be done at various levels and this post will give a breakdown of the eco-system at a glance.

Spreadsheets

spreadsheet apps logos

You've probably heard it before but the joke "economies and industries run on excel" definitely holds water.

Products like Excel, Google Sheets, Airtable and Noco DB are very effective for organizing data and can be integrated to work as a data source for web & mobile applications.

Builders

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These products provide drag and drop interfaces for quickly putting together an application or website. For websites there's; Squarespace, Wix and really recently Canva to name a few.

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For building applications there's; oracle apex for that work with larger scaled oracle databases, LiveCode, Microsoft Power Apps and Flutter Flow for cross platform applications built in flutter.

Static Site Generators

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These are nifty tools that let you create a fully static build of a website (no server-side code required). Tools like gatsby, eleventy and jekyll allow you to author a website's content with plain text files. Then, you can generate a full web experience from the files.

Management Systems

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Content/learning management systems, such as Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and Moodle are fullstack web applications that you can configure and customize for course websites, blogs and e-commerce. Many if not all of these options are popular and open source.

Backends

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Back end as a Service (BaaS) are products that let you manage various aspects of you applications such as hosting, auth, database, uploads, cloud functions in a very "serverless" way. The most popular one is probably firebase, netlify is vastly growing. Appwrite and Superbase are really cool opensource alternatives.

Automations

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Automations are really fun tools that let us create flows with popular products and services without needing to setup api keys and coding. For example you can let a form submission from airtable trigger an automated email campaign in mailchimp. Tools like zapier and IFTTT are very popular and more recently we have buildable.

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I will also include Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools like UI path, Automation 360 and Microsoft's power automate.

Why should devs care about no code?

The proliferation of lowcode shows a clear trend in the industry. There is a growing market of people that don't mind trading off in-depth customization for ease of use.

Meanwhile, as developers we may take pride of our 'from scratch' implementations but are we really doing that?

Yes, you wrote that code but you're using a framework, written in a language implemented on a runtime running on protocol by someone else's design. One can argue that your react.js is just a lowcode wrapper for vanilla JS.

Technology is all about building on top of work done by those before us and low/code is just an extension of that.

coding purity comic illustrating the previous point.

My parody of xkcd's purity

Conclusion

Many of these services can be integrated with to save us considerable amount of time. This let's us focus on delivering our core competency rather than stretching ourselves thin over various concerns of a software solution.

Note, this is by no means an exhaustive list. As technologists we need to be aware of all options that are available if we are to build the best solution for our users.

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ryderira profile image
RyderIra

your content quality is improvising day by day its quite impressive too . Hanuman mantra to punish enemies

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