Whether you want to build the next big no-code agency or you never plan on touching an “editor” in your life, there’s plenty of reason to get up to speed on the no-code movement.
No-code platforms provide robust and intuitive alternative solutions to a dwindling pool of problems that, until recently, only software engineers could solve. With no-code tools like Bubble, anyone can build powerful software solutions without coding, from hobbyists to enterprises to founders-by-night.
Keep reading to learn how no-code fits into your next big plan.
What Is No-Code?
A Brief History of No-Code Tools
Visual programming was a key predecessor of no-code development platforms. Visual programming made it possible to interact with computers through graphical user interfaces (GUIs) instead of strictly through text and code. This advancement cut the amount of work needed to construct new apps, bringing development times from months to weeks.
Allowing people to learn with visual cues led to the development of "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) editors in the 1970s. WYSIWYG editors allow users to see the finished form of a document or multimedia project as they work on it in real time. Microsoft Word is a common example.
The rise of low-code solutions was the next step toward contemporary no-code platforms. Low code tools offer more visual, modular components for developers. Because low-code solutions like Outsystems emerged to save developers time, making their components interact usually takes knowledge of one or more programming languages.
A Movement for No-Code Solutions
From programming with 1s and 0s (“binary”) to today’s no-code solutions, boiling complex problems down to digestible components has been a basic building block of computing. No-code elevates those components to shorten the gap between human logic and computer logic. That can look like a tool for making customizable finance dashboards without code, or a tool for building a web3 app without code—you get the idea.
The number of ways we solve technological problems is growing exponentially, and no-code is at the forefront. No-code leaders are advancing programming to a point where the lack of coding knowledge or time isn’t a barrier to creating powerful software. Bubble founder and co-CEO Emmanuel Straschnov is thrilled to break that barrier: “Revolutionizing programming is one of the most amazing opportunities of our time.”
Everyone can build software faster—full stop. People from seasoned software engineers to total newcomers benefit from the speed and flexibility no-code platforms offer. As a result, there are tremendous benefits for businesses of all sizes. Many startups build products with no-code tools because it’s a cost-effective way to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). Enterprises continue to use no-code and low-code solutions, with 60% of custom apps coming from outside the IT department. Teams and individuals save time and money while delivering a superior product. Even founders who know how to code still choose Bubble.
“Expanding the pool of programmers to include everyone who can learn no-code is a massive form of economic empowerment and will let a lot of people participate in creating the future who would otherwise have been shut out,” says Bubble founder and co-CEO Joshua Haas. No-code can benefit everyone who has a software idea.
Develop a Prototype or MVP in a Matter of Days
Compared to text-based coding, the best no-code app builder can take you from idea to finished product much more quickly. The process often starts with building a functional prototype. Creating a static prototype has limitations, and actually coding a prototype before testing your concept can be a huge waste of time and money. No-code tools are reducing this risk.
They make it possible to start with a prototype and gradually turn it into a working product without timely handoffs between designers and developers. With no-code, more stakeholders can work on the prototype or MVP together.
Save up to 100X the Cost of Traditional App Development
The average salary of a full-time developer in the United States is over $100,000 per year. Depending on the app, one developer won't be able to do the job alone. That means building an app with traditional coding requires an entire team of employees who all command high salaries. Building software with teams of developers is wildly expensive, which is why so many tech companies burn cash at such a high rate.
You can try to get outside funding to keep up with your expensive payroll or find a way to keep costs low. No-code solutions provide cost-effective alternatives. There are two key ways businesses might realize the cost savings of no-code development compared to traditional development:
- Non-technical people can use no-code solutions to develop apps without any help from programmers. This means a founder can develop the technology for their startup idea without hiring a team. Alternatively, a team of non-technical product designers can bring their ideas to life without support from a team of developers.
- Technical employees can get more done. Often, a business will still have one or more programmers on staff. A no-code solution can help those developers get more done faster, keeping costs down and helping the business release software faster without hiring more engineers.
Because of the cost of traditional app development, the tech stack is one of the primary considerations when determining how much it will cost to start a business.
More Collaboration Between Teams, Fewer Dependencies on Engineers
No-code tools also reduce the burden on engineers and help cut costs. Development tasks can be delegated more strategically with designers and non-technical employees able to do some of the work, so engineers and programmers can save time and effort for the tasks no one else can do.
This fosters a natural alignment between business, product, and technical teams. Feedback loops are tighter because there are fewer handoffs. Iterative feedback makes teams more agile and efficient.
Higher Efficiency for Engineers
No-code is the future of programming. It's expanding the limits of citizen development and giving people without specific technical knowledge to create apps. It’s also saving engineers a ton of headaches and providing similar utility to low-code tools for building and customizing software.
Joshua Haas put it best: “Being able to throw together a user interface in minutes without fumbling over CSS? Delightful. Banging out some business logic without worrying about where your data lives or tripping over syntax? Amazing. Never having to write CRUD logic across multiple layers of the stack ever again? Paradise.”
Explaining the Top Misconceptions About No-Code
One of the biggest misconceptions about no-code solutions is that they eliminate the need for programming. However, GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath pushes back on the idea that programming is all about writing lines of code.
“Programming isn’t about typing,” he says, “it’s about thinking.”
In that sense, no-code isn't so much about replacing programming than streamlining it. But the tech industry is shrouded in no-code misconceptions. Below, we address the three most common ones.
Myth #1: No-Code Is Limited
Many believe that no-code solutions are only for website development. For example, a no-code website builder like Webflow, Squarespace, or WordPress is great for creating static web pages. Squarespace differentiates itself with great templates. Webflow provides more control to people without coding knowledge. WordPress has a steeper learning curve, but is ultimately more powerful.
While these are the no-code solutions people often think of, the no-code space is actually very diverse. The resources mentioned are ideal for building websites, but there are other no-code solutions that make more sense for more sophisticated apps.
Even some who know about no-code app builders think these solutions are only suitable for lightweight apps. However, this is also a misconception. No-code builders have built everything from a payroll and time tracking tool used by over 100,000 small businesses to a team engagement platform elevating the remote work experience for teams at Google, Meta, and more. Sophisticated apps might require some support from engineers on top of a no-code solution, but no-code builders have built all kinds of things without code.
Myth #2: No-Code Isn’t Equipped to Handle Privacy
You might have heard that no-code platforms aren't secure enough. This argument typically hinges on the assumption that the out-of-the-box security no-code tools provide isn’t reliable. That assumption is mistaken.
The best app-building platforms place a high emphasis on security. At Bubble, we know our users are building apps for business purposes, so we provide enterprise-grade security and scalability. For example, the founders of HelloPrenup placed a particular emphasis on security because their application involves sensitive legal documents. They appreciated that Bubble already had the security fundamentals covered. Answers to privacy questions founders might not even think to ask are folded into Bubble’s infrastructure.
That said, not all app-building platforms are created equal. If you have questions about security, governance, and related performance metrics, we recommend vetting your platform with care.
Myth #3: No-Code Isn’t a Useful Skill
No-code tools make life easier for engineers and non-technical people alike. Learning to build with a no-code solution requires much less effort than mastering various programming languages. Moreover, putting the time in to master no-code opens up opportunities for would-be developers who might have never entered the tech space otherwise.
There are dozens of successful Bubble agencies with paid Bubble developers, and the hiring landscape is changing to accommodate the increased popularity of no-code tools. So if you’re wondering whether no-code is worth the time to learn per se, the answer is yes.
Picking the Right No-Code Tools
The best way to start using no-code is to pick a project and dive right in. Here are some of the ways people have successfully leveraged no-code platforms.
Use Cases for No-Code App Building Tools
There are several great no-code app builders on the market. The choice often comes down to what you want to build:
- Bubble is the most powerful all-in-one solution. You can build or customize internal tools, automate simple tasks, validate your startup idea—the sky’s the limit. You can even build other no-code tools with Bubble.
- Notion helps you draft and organize your project ideas, notes, docs, and wikis, all in one place.
- When you’re looking for a simple way to automate tasks for your job or in your everyday life, you can build a workflow in Zapier.
How do I start no-coding?
If you’re still wondering how all this works, our Getting Started: Key Concepts in Bubble course is the perfect primer. You can learn about responsive design, data types, workflow logic, and versioning on Bubble.
If you’d like a more hands-on learning experience, our new Getting Started: Building Your First App video course is perfect for you. You can get step-by-step instructions to build a project management tool and come out of the course with a working web app. There’s even a template for you to build along with!
If you’re not worried about the learning curve but wondering what to work on, check out our list of no-code app examples or our Showcase page for some inspiration. You can also visit our ecosystem to see the plugins we have available, learn how to publish your own, and see the ways other people have extended Bubble.
With no-code, everyone with a good idea and the drive to succeed can build an app. If that sounds like you, then what are you waiting for? Create a free account and start using Bubble today!
Frequently Asked Questions About No-Code
I’d like to hire a no-code developer or agency for a project. What should I do?
If you are looking for someone to help you build your app or accelerate your startup development, you can submit a “request for proposal” to no-code agencies and developers from around the world.
Why would I want to hire a no-code developer?
Some people are committed to the benefits of a do-it-yourself approach, which no-code is great for! But others choose to hire a no-code developer to get all the benefits of no-code without a personal learning curve, including:
- a faster development cycle
- an easier to maintain tech stack
- lower costs compared to traditional programming
I’m a no-code agency and I’d like to hire freelance developers for my no-code agency. Where should I look?
The most straightforward place to find a no-code freelancer is to check out the Bubble forum—a variety of no-code developers and other agencies use our forum to engage the community.
It’s never bad advice to consider hiring smart and creative people looking for something new and turning them into no-coders—from artists to filmmakers to designers. Finding your next Bubble developer can be as easy as guiding them through the learning curve.
Can I build [my specific app] with no-code?
Aside from some highly technical edge cases, yes! You can build most web apps with no-code. There are even no-code platforms powerful enough to build other no-code platforms, and Bubble is one of them! You can also use no-code tools to highly customize web apps, internal tools, and anything else you can dream up.
Can no-code scale with a lot of users?
The best no-code tools are equipped to handle high signup and login volume. Every Bubble app has a built-in “User” data type, and some Bubble apps currently have hundreds of thousands of active users. Whether you want to build a global marketplace, a social network, or an internal tool for a growing team, no-code keeps up.
How does Bubble handle my data securely?
Bubble is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is compliant with certifications such as SOC 2, CSA, ISO 27001, and more. We use automated code testing, vulnerability testing (including OWASP Top 10) and continuous monitoring technologies.
We use AWS RDS’s AES-256 encryption to encrypt data at rest. You can see for yourself the encryption we use for data in transit. For issues surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we have tips for making sure your app handles your own users’ data and privacy securely.
If you’re looking for an enterprise solution, our Sales team can tell you more about our Dedicated plans, which features isolated hosting, region-specific servers, enhanced reliability, and more.
I keep hearing about “the no-code movement.” How do I join?
You’ve already done most of the work! Sign up for a free Bubble account and join our forum.
You can also follow us on Twitter (or use the hashtag #nocode) and LinkedIn for the latest on virtual and in-person events for no-coders of every skill level. We’d love to see you!