Why it’s perfectly OK to use no-code tools as a developer

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I remember the first three games apps I’ve developed around 2012 were built using GameSalad. The interface was a bit clunky, but I’ve spent a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of the software. After painstakingly learning how to create the sprites and backgrounds for my games, I had them published on the iOS and Android app stores.

GameSalad_Games_RedLotusDesignz2012.png

I felt proud of creating my three apps. There was just one problem.

I was afraid to tell others that my games were built using a no-code tool. Because of my low confidence, I eventually removed them from the app stores as I didn’t want others to think that I was any less of a developer who didn’t know how to program on the mobile devices.

When I started freelancing as a web designer around June 2016, I decided to help the spiritual community in creating websites under the Squarespace platform. Even though the platform is geared towards users who wanted to create their websites, the company does have a dedicated directory that lists Squarespace web designers and their previous projects.

Squarespace custom websites.png

Although I’ve built static websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript in the past, I’ve usually come to rely on the Squarespace platform as my clients wanted a presentable e-commerce website that encourages their customers to book tarot & astrology readings on their sites. With the Squarespace platform, I’m able to provide custom CSS based on their aesthetic requirements.

After much contemplation throughout the years of building websites and apps, I realised that it didn’t make me any less of a developer. Rather, the no-code tools have empowered me to create websites & apps as a starting point which eventually led me to learn more about what goes under the hood. In the case of my web development and gaming experience, it’s why I’m committed to learning more programming languages in those areas in hopes that I’ll have a better understanding of how they fit together.

As a developer, there are a couple of reasons why you may want to try going the no-code route:

  1. Time restraints.
  2. Cost factor.
  3. Using it as a prototype to see how the website/app idea functions before fleshing it out with intricate features.
  4. Creating workflow solutions to help companies scale without requiring a large downtime for others to learn the platform.

Given the ongoing debate between coding vs no-code methods, I do believe we need to end the stigma that developers who simply want to build websites and apps must learn a programming language to be considered “legit.” Rather, we should be encouraging others that if they have a vision, let them go forward with it. No matter what approach they choose, it’s up to their discretion. In my case, I go with the 50 / 50 rule - some projects I’ll work on will require coding while others may end up needing no-code tools.

I hope that it’ll encourage developers to take a chance on no-code tools if they wish to make their websites & apps without having to worry about proving themselves to the public. Concentrate on making it happen, not on the “what-ifs”.

If this article resonates with you, feel free to share! You can connect with me on my web development journey over at Twitter.

Emil Moe's photo

Took my a while to allow myself for this, but now I also use non-coding tools. The outline here is an inspiration for myself to tell my thoughts, so bear with me, I will save my read till I have outlined my own story to avoid replication. 👍

Show +1 replies
Emil Moe's photo

Diana Chin

Sure. Mine is just my thoughts about it, now I will read yours, which might be more in depth 😊

Why I Believe No Code Tools Are OK – And When

Diana Chin's photo

Emil Moe Fantastic! Just checked it out and replied on your post :)

Tapas Adhikary's photo

Nice tip..I liked the way you explained it with your own story.. Thanks for sharing.

Diana Chin's photo

Thanks, Tapas! So glad to hear you like my story :)

Margaret Goldman's photo

Great write up. You should tag the post with "General Programming".

Syed Fazle Rahman's photo

Great tip, Diana. Thanks for sharing.

Diana Chin's photo

Thanks, Syed!