Quick comparison of code and no-code

Quick comparison of code and no-code

April 8, 2022
No-code empowers people, because it reduces the Wall of skills required to do the simplest things. For non-coders, no-code makes possible what was impossible. For coders, no-code makes easy, faster and cheaper what they could have built themselves.
I’ve noticed a 10 to 20 times increased speed when using no-code tools for delivering products into production. Usually, it requires to use both no-code (~95%) and code (~5%) for the small bits that aren’t possible/secure/efficient/maintainable enough using no-code.
No-code is great for early founders. Those who hire a developer to do everything with code will hit the market much later than those who learn and build everything themselves. But, even those will be slower than those who hire a developer to build the system using mostly no-code.
Oh, and you’ll have much less technical debt to deal with when using no-code, once you figure out you need to move the business to a different angle. Coding is slow and takes a lot of time and efforts to get right. Also, it doesn’t support well “business changes”, especially at a strategic level, because it’s usually not designed for this in the first place.
“Early founders” doesn’t mean you must be a startup. It applies as much to the Indie Hacker as for the new project of a Fortune 500 company. If the business is new, if you aren’t entirely sure of where the value is and how to get it, start with no-code. You’ll thank yourself later.

A word of caution regarding scalability

No-code doesn’t always scale well. It’s pretty rare, even.
It’s important to be aware of the scaling limitations and anticipate them properly. Plenty of founders use Airtable knowing things will get difficult once they reach 50k records, you need a backup plan for when it happens.
Beware of over-engineering though! Anticipating things too soon will only hurt the business and defocus the team from what actually matters right now.
We’ve used Airtable for 4 years and still do, the 50k records limit has never been an actual issue for us, and isn’t close to be. We probably spent too much time worrying over that fact. In comparison, UX issues from user flows were much more a burden due to other limitations of our no-code tools.

In summary, no-code tools can be great and provide a real boost to ship your product, but they are no silver bullets and must be chosen with a lot of care. Overall, the benefits can be huge, and it’s less risky than coding, until you know exactly how to make a profitable business.