No Code, Low Code And Web3
When it comes to developing complex software, it used to be that an organization had to rely on expert developers, costing both time and money, especially when it comes to the blockchain. Granted, it is a complicated process to develop blockchains, smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps), so in the early days of Web3 development, it made sense. There were very few experts.
Now, that’s been flipped upside down. Traditional software development is on its way out, and dApps and other Web3 tools can be accomplished with low code and no code platforms that allow anyone with a keyboard and a pulse to create their own blockchain solutions quickly and easily. According to Gartner, by 2025 more than half low coders and no coders will be “citizen developers” with minimal knowledge of programming.
That can only offer good things for the future of the blockchain.
Low Code Development
No code development is a term used to describe the process of creating software without writing any code, but rather relying on a visual programming approach, referred to as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). These tools apply a drag-and-drop approach or by connecting different software applications together using APIs. This significantly simplifies the software or app development process, and emerged as a response to ever-changing business environments, as the shortage of skilled experts.
This makes it possible for non-technical users to develop simple dApps without any prior coding experience. That means anyone can create a working prototype of their idea on chain without having to outsource to a coder or programmer. This makes it ideal for quickly testing out new ideas or for building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). Web2 tools such as Hubspot, Zapier, or Airtable are prime examples of the low code approach, while Bunzz and DappStarter are popular tools to build dApps.
Hubspot, as a basic and relatable example, provides business owners with an easy way to build websites, landing pages, business blogs, and maintain a CRM, as well as any other content they need. When the organization registers with the service they’re presented with:
- Countless templates to choose from.
- Pages that are fully customizable simply by dragging & dropping.
- Responsive design that fits all devices automatically.
- Can easily fit into your your existing workflows.
- Has an app marketplace that allows you to integrate with your existing tools .
The main advantage of low code development is its simplicity and efficiency. Low code platforms allow you to quickly create working prototypes without spending a lot of time or money on development. Additionally, since low code apps don't require extensive coding, they are typically easier to maintain and update than traditional applications.
Low Code Has Limits
However, there are also some limits to using low code platforms.
One such drawback is that low code platforms can be inflexible and may not be able to meet all the requirements of a more complex project or dApp. For a prototype or MVP, low code development works, but as business logic becomes more complex, or you reach scalability issues, there will be coding and expertise needed. With a low code tool, there is a limited number of functions that can be easily implemented. If you need something more complex than what the tool offers, you need to look into custom code.
Many low code solutions do have a built-in programming language that allows you to write custom blocks of code as needed. This gives you the ability to add new features or modify existing ones to better suit your needs. So, the core functionality is there, but to really get the most out of the platform in the long run, low-code absolutely requires you to program certain things yourself.
This means low-code has a higher learning curve. You need to know more or less what you’re doing and have a grasp of the programming languages you need to work with. Unless you look to an outsourced developer. But, in some cases, integrating a custom code into a low code platform might end up being more costly than building a custom solution from the ground up.
Additionally, since low code platforms rely heavily on templates, there's a limit to what your app or website can look like. It may end up looking very similar to other apps created with the same platform.
While it has a place in the future of software development, it tends to break down with more complex solutions. It’s similar to Visual Basic in the 90’s. It was valuable at the time, and a lot of software was written in VB, but the complexity of some applications caused it to break down. Low code is predicted to go the same way. Useful, but only to a point.
No Code Development
No code development is a similar process as low code, but there isn’t any code writing whatsoever. Much like its counterpart, the no code platforms provide a visual interface that allows users to create dApps or code smart contracts by connecting different "blocks" together. This makes it possible for non-technical users to develop sophisticated apps without any prior coding experience on the blockchain, or anywhere at all. No code lives up to its name and requires zero software development skills or expertise.
For example, a Web3 tool such as Directual offers a platform for blockchain integrations and dApp building, quickly and easily, with no restrictions in programming. Bildr offers a way to build NFTs. You can easily create not only working prototypes and MVPs, but full products and services, without spending a lot of time or money on development. There’s no limit to scale.
Whatever the project is that needs to be built, there is a no code tool that excels at it. Some are better at frontend development, some backend, some excel at Web2 apps, or Web3 dApps like the example above. But these platforms don’t share the limits of the low code ones, which makes them perfect for building on the blockchain.
The Importance of No Code in Web3
The value that no code programming brings to web3 should seem pretty obvious; no barriers to entry. Just like the democratic and decentralized web, no code platforms offer an easy way to set up a project. You don’t need years of experience. Everything is pre-made for you and you just need to place the pieces where you need them. This makes dApp development on the blockchain just as easy as you would on web2. That’s great news.
There is still a lot of hesitation around web3, the blockchain, and the volatility of cryptocurrency markets. Coming from both regular, internet-savvy citizens or organizations, relying on the blockchain feels risky. It’s what they don’t know that makes them feel that way. This is where no code platforms can come into play; it’s an easy entry point into testing out how the blockchain can be a benefit to you, via a small project. It could be a dApp or an NFT. It doesn’t matter. There are hundreds of specialized tools and platforms in web3 that can help you do that.
The more that web3 developers, builders, and even novices contribute to the blockchain, the faster the widespread adoption of web3 can happen.
And we, at Grindery, want to be at the forefront of that movement.