It is often said, both interms of technology and life in general, that if you want something done well, then it is best to do it yourself. And for startups developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), this is very true.
Some startups have a great idea but lack the technical skills to make them a reality. In many scenarios, with the demand for software developers so high, startups with smaller budgets struggle to get the skills they need to develop their product.
As accelerators and incubators are understandably tentative about accepting new businesses without a technical co-founder or a ready built MVP, the absence of the required coding skills means many potential tech businesses never get off the ground.
What are low/no-code platforms?
But, as Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director, Studio Graphene explains, the arrival of low/no-code development platforms (NCDP) has made it possible for founders to quickly build and launch their own software without any programming skills.
It might sound like a pipe dream, but no-code tools are unlocking doors that were once barred shut for those startups with great ideas, but with next to no coding experience.
You might have already heard some buzz about the movement, and while the terms ‘no-code’ and ‘low-code’ are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences that set apart the design and use cases for each type of platform.
No-code development platforms in particular are revolutionary for non-technical creators, whereas low-code is most useful for developers with prior experience who are looking for a faster way to test their ideas. Instead of launching straight into coding, programmers are able to quickly create a product to test their idea’s merit, but they will need some knowledge of coding languages to work within a platform’s constraints and streamline the development process.
Put simply, no-code development platforms provide both developers and non-developers alike with the tools they need to build applications – and fast. By utilising graphical interfaces and configuration tools, this means that businesses can create back office, web and mobile interfaces with ease, and without having to write a single line of code.
As a result, these platforms are dismantling the idea that it is only skilled developers that have the ability to create innovative applications, and encouraging a faster-paced digital transformation for organisations on all accounts.
Why startup founders should look to NCDPs
Whether you’re a programmer or not, it goes without saying that writing code costs precious time and money, especially when it comes to testing new and risky ideas. As a result, non-technical startup founders in particular would do well to look into no-code development platforms as a viable option for their business.
Without dedicating the vast majority of their budget to software development and hiring skilled programmers, founders will be able to test a variety of options when building their MVP without burning through all of their funds.
Not only do NCDPs allow budding entrepreneurs to become self-sufficient developers in their own right without breaking the bank, they can also enable creators to manage, curate and update their application on the fly. For example, if a team member realises that some tweaks or an entirely new feature is needed to improve their application, they will be able to quickly build these features themselves.
It comes naturally that with this ability, creators will be much more knowledgeable about the intricacies of their offering and the development process itself. As a result of this increased skillset, founders will be able to implement more agile development processes in the future, allowing them to build novel products better than ever.
With the help of rapid prototyping, budding entrepreneurs will be able to develop solutions to even the thorniest problems in days – perhaps even hours.
While I would still encourage non-technical founders to learn a programming language alongside the use of NCDPs, it is clear that there are many benefits to be gained for startups leveraging no-code software.
Such platforms are vital for testing new ideas at pace, with big companies such as Amazon taking note and developing their own no-code software, they will usher in a whole new generation of self-sufficient non-technical founders. Ultimately, when it comes to app development, the future of coding is no code at all.
About the author
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Ritam Gandhi, the Founder and Director of Studio Graphene – a London-based company that specialises in the development of blank canvas tech products including apps, websites, AR, IoT and more. The company has completed over 100 projects since first being started in 2014, working with both new entrepreneurs and product development teams within larger companies.
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