No-code apps as well as no-code platforms have been gaining popularity in recent years; these are sometimes referred to as low-code app builders depending on specific features, although they are two different things. Although they started being a simple solution for people with no coding skills who wanted to learn the principles of app development, no code development is now considered a valuable and budget friendly solution for building apps. It is common to see how some of these alternatives are being used to make simple mobile and web apps with a minimum programming knowledge on behalf of their creators.
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As coding becomes an essential work skill and the code itself something that powers much of our daily lives, there are many questions surrounding no-code, and app creators seem to wonder how this technology will impact their profession. Will no-code development tools replace traditional coding methods? Will everyone be able to build apps? Will the traditional way of creating apps become obsolete? The answers to these questions and their consequences are not trivial. Whichever way the code world goes, it will have a deep impact on the technology industry. In particular, it will impact app development.
As an app development company, we believe that, although useful, no-code tools are not going to replace traditional software development practices. In this post we discuss no-code apps and how they really impact the world of app development.
Knowledge of writing code is becoming an essential work skill all over the world. There seems to be no doubt about it. Many discussions on the future of work revolve around the need for an upgrade in the workforce. Even schools are teaching children how to code from a young age while focusing on STEM career paths. This paradigm shift can be explained in part as the result of a growing digitalization and automation of the world.
With technologies like Machine Learning and IoT becoming part of our daily lives, the global workforce has seen a steep increase in the demand for tech-savvy professionals. This has impacted the demand for software developers. At the same time, we’ve also seen how no-code app creators have gained popularity. This has triggered important discussions regarding app development. For many, the rise of low cost, no-code apps is imminent.
This is not a minor issue. Simplifying the learning curve required to develop an app can signify a major revolution. Empowering individuals to build their own apps, to a certain extent, is analogous to the period in modern history where entire populations learned to write.
Is a No-code Solution right for you?
As good as this sounds, one important question arises: is a world where everyone builds their own apps really possible? There is a lot of optimism around this topic as new no-code app building platforms are making it easier to develop apps.
At Koombea, we believe no-code solutions are not the optimal solution for building a world-class app, but they can be ideal for small businesses and startups with limited resources. When it comes to aspects like workflow automation and unique data collection, a custom app development process and a bigger budget are needed. As a result, no-code apps are unlikely to disrupt the status quo, but they will surely redefine some aspects of the app industry. There are good reasons to support this argument.
Building an App
There is a fallacy surrounding app development. Many people believe that the only thing necessary is having knowledge of programming languages. The reality is that this is only a part of what is needed to develop an app.
Building an app is not rocket science, but it isn’t a walk in the park either. It requires a wide variety of professionals and skills that go beyond coding. Even if it were possible to develop a basic version of a business app with drag and drop features and design templates, many other elements would still be needed, including professional app developers to build an app. These are some of those necessary elements.
User Interface to Meet Your Business Needs
Web and mobile applications are not only about what happens in terms of the programming language. Customers, and users in general, need a user friendly interface that allows them to access easy to use app functionalities. Making this happen in an outstanding way requires a specific set of skills.
Even more important than the interface is the broader concept of User Experience. This refers to the overall Customer Experience (CX) that the user perceives when interacting with an app. It encompasses a wide variety of aspects like notifications, configurations, features, customer support, speed, ease of use, and reliability, to mention a few.
In general, there is a lot going on in terms of app design when creating an app. From the implementation of design thinking to researching what constitutes a great functional design, there is much more to an app than just code. A no-code tool may be useful, but it is still a long way from solving design problems.
DevOps & Project Management
Building apps isn’t just about the code solutions. There are many other aspects to it, and DevOps is one of them. As more technologies become cloud based, app creators need to know how to make sure that an app works properly in order to solve business challenges. This means not only uploading an app so that people can use it, but also updating it, making it secure, guaranteeing data privacy, and making it scalable.
No-code platforms lack important features that are necessary to guarantee an app’s quality. App Quality Assurance is a highly specialized field where competent and qualified professionals are needed. Guaranteeing quality in terms of software needs people with a solid background in computer science or related fields. That’s why the best Quality Assurance tests are done by engineers rather than regular analysts.
Even if it were possible to simplify and automate all of the previous aspects of the app development process, Agile is something that humans would still do best. The reason for this? Agile can’t be easily put into code. It is a working philosophy that depends not only on technical coding knowledge but also on human creativity. The best app development companies know this and that’s why they embrace Agile as their mantra.
The Future of App Development
There is still much to do before the entire app development process can be simplified to the point of a no-code tool. As app developers, we welcome these initiatives. They are very useful for building simple apps and can draw people into the exciting world of software development.
For some companies, a no-code app can be a great starting point. They can be used to build prototypes and MVPs which can be used to gain traction. If this is your case, consider building a no-code app that can be customized at some point with the help of an experienced app development company. Remember that no-code tools cannot replace existing app building practices. This is especially true when it comes to building world-class apps.