4 min read

Explaining No-Code to Engineers


Understandably, engineers can be skeptical about no-code and what it may mean for their organizations. They shouldn’t be—here’s how engineers stand to benefit from these platforms.

This article is a continuation of our ongoing series about to make the case for no-code to various stakeholders within an organization. Our first piece laid out why no-code platforms are an attractive option for CIOs looking to drive strategy; our second piece examined why no-code is an ideal fit for CEOs looking to innovate and capture new value. 

Since software engineers are on the frontlines of the app development process, many have unique concerns about no-code. It’s only natural that your engineers might express some hesitation about adopting a no-code platform. But engineers actually stand to gain a lot from reshaping the development process with a no-code platform. Here, we address the main concerns engineers may have about no-code and explain the benefits most relevant to them.

The Concerns of Engineers

Engineers are the driving force behind an organization’s digital transformation, and they are closer to the application development process than anyone. It’s unsurprising that many engineers are hesitant to embrace no-code platforms. Most experienced engineers have spent years developing their skillset, so many naturally doubt that no-code can offer the same level of functionality and power that code can. Others fear that no-code will replace them

Encouraging engineers to embrace no-code begins by addressing their concerns and dispelling some of the most common misconceptions about no-code:

  1. Many engineers are concerned that platforms with prebuilt modules and a drag-and-drop interface cannot possibly have the same level of flexibility as traditional coding.
  2. Because no-code development platforms can easily onboard business users, engineers are also apprehensive about their companies no longer needing employees with their skill sets.
  3. Finally, many are concerned that turning to no-code encourages the proliferation of shadow IT, or technologies deployed without their oversight or approval. The presence of shadow IT can increase risk and lead to compliance issues.

These concerns are all understandable, which is why it’s important to understand why no-code won’t threaten their jobs or their responsibilities in the way it might seem. In fact, as the demand for software continues to increase, engineers will play a critical role in the success of no-code platforms within their enterprises.

How Engineers Stand to Benefit from No-Code

It’s true that no-code platforms are often designed with business users in mind—they use modeling and visual functions to eliminate the need for a codebase altogether. The more accessible interface suits the needs of business users who want to take part in building enterprise-grade applications.

Even so, software engineers should rest assured that no-code platforms are not intended to replace them. They also do not lock skilled developers into rigid development tools. In fact, no-code platforms can encourage greater innovation on engineering teams, empower cross-team collaborations, and offer unique advantages to experienced engineers.

Here are three key ways experienced engineers can benefit from no-code:

Increased Productivity

Far from replacing what engineers do best, no-code allows engineers to more productively utilize their skill sets. Because they understand what’s going on “under the hood,” engineers can easily adapt to a no-code platform and use it to build high-quality applications with greater speed. With more time and flexibility, engineers can push the boundaries of what the platform can do, experimenting with the platform’s native functions while accelerating the app development process. This can dramatically improve productivity, allowing engineers to build complex software with far less effort than traditional methods.

Reduced Opportunity Costs

No-code does not replace traditional engineers with business users — instead, it empowers both parties to do more. No-code lets business users take on some of more basic development tasks, freeing up engineers to tackle the most complex aspects of a given project. In short, no-code platforms allow sophisticated engineers to focus on sophisticated problems.

Companies will certainly still require trained engineers to tackle their most complex technical challenges, and engineers will be happier when they’re able to spend their time on more challenging, value-add projects. But with no-code, not all app development requires experienced engineers. Dividing development projects between business users and developers can reduce stifling tradeoffs and enable organizations as a whole to take on more complex and innovative projects.

Opportunities for Collaboration

Finally, by introducing a more accessible interface, no-code helps create a more collaborative environment across entire organizations. Business users have traditionally struggled to effectively communicate the requirements they need from a given application. As a result, engineers continuously spend their time creating software that does not meet the actual needs of the business.

With a no-code platform, business users can have a hand in the development process themselves and more clearly communicate their requirements to engineers. No-code’s visual workflows create a common language that both business users and engineers can speak. This also makes it possible for the team to provide more consistent progress updates that can ensure constant alignment with the business team. Better cross-team collaboration not only accelerates the development process, but it also results in downstream improvement of internal operations.

In Conclusion

Engineers are understandably skeptical about what no-code will bring. But as more organizations adopt no-code platforms to tackle their IT project backlogs, it’s becoming clearer that they can bring widespread benefits to business teams and seasoned programmers alike. Instead of replacing developers with business users, no-code empowers both to innovate together.

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