Aryan Arora, a computer science student at UCLA, was hooked on app development since his freshman year of college after winning at his first Hackathon. But it wasn’t until he discovered no-code tools like Bubble that he turned his interest in app building into income.
Arora founded NoCode UCLA, the first chapter of a nationwide, student-led undergraduate organization that educates students about no-code tools like Bubble and provides them with hands-on experience in app and website development. After launching in April 2021, Arora has grown his team at NoCode UCLA to 16 members. They’ve made thousands of dollars building no-code apps for startups like AnetaEd, Palgorithms, Rest, and Medisyn.
Interested in starting a NoCode club on your local campus and don’t know where to start? You can register for the NoCode App Development Summer Fellowship online.
Building Tech Before Bubble
Prior to his discovery of no-code, Arora was actively involved in iOS development, even working on image searching shopping tools for eBay.
While interning at a startup learning product management, Arora became excited by the ability to connect to users and develop solutions to their problems. “I began to understand how to build products that are not only good engineering innovations, but are actually useful for people,” explained Arora. “This was definitely a really key insight that I got much later than I would have wanted.”
The startup Arora was working at during his sophomore year was built entirely using no-code tools including Bubble. Arora was shocked by how quickly he could transform an idea into a product that served users with Bubble.
“I was able to make 6 products within the span of 3 months,” Arora told us. “This would have been next to impossible on any other platform.”
Despite his own interest in coding, Arora realized that code was not necessary in building some tech products. Ultimately, he found no-code tools to be more efficient for app development.
Launching NoCode UCLA
Arora also saw how barriers to entry in the computer science department had accumulated and made app development daunting for most students. “The classes that are offered are way too advanced,” Arora said. “They directly push you into C++ or other very hard software solutions, rather than a course that could provide an easy bridge that helps you first learn what a website or app should look like.”
This led Arora to the idea of creating a student organization that helps UCLA student founders build their apps with no-code products. Initially, he and his peers provided this service through DevX, another software-focused student organization on campus. The response on campus to this new service was overwhelming.
“It grew really fast, we had like 6 to 7 clients at a time,” explained Arora. “We realized that this should be a separate entity and expand to teaching students how to use no-code on their own, instead of just building products as a consulting service.”
Winning clients and earning money with no-code
By early April 2021, Arora and various other peers had launched the “NoCode” club on their campus, with a new focus on teaching students how to build on Bubble to foster a collaborative environment for innovation where all students can independently build products, without having to rely on a service or software engineers.
Within days of launching, Arora said they were already approached by various external clients and students seeking to have the team build an app for them. Their first external client was AnetaEd, an online wayfinder for young children to learn and play without parental supervision, an app which the group built in 16 days. NoCode has managed to earn thousands of dollars in just a few weeks after launch by producing apps and tech solutions for external startups.
As the club has grown over the past 2 months of operation, NoCode UCLA now has 16 members and over 50 learners who come to club workshops more casually to learn about how to use no-code tools. Arora explained how the ultimate goal is not growing members, but rather, growing learners. By raising awareness of no-code tools on campus, he aims to empower students to learn how to build their own apps, even outside of the NoCode club.
NoCode Goes Nationwide: How Tech is Changing on Campuses
With the growing ability of no-code tools to produce robust and powerful tech solutions, no-code is a great way to help any students’ innovative idea flourish into a full-fledged product. Moreover, Arora sees no-code as something that could be incorporated into computer science courses in colleges, and even earlier in education to minimize barriers to entry in tech.
With the approaching end of the academic year, NoCode UCLA is looking to expand to other campuses within the next few months to equip students nationwide with the no-code tools to efficiently develop tech solutions.
Bubble has partnered with NoCode to help them expand by offering a free, no-code crash course this summer along with further resources to aid students in jump starting their own campus chapter of NoCode this following academic year.