When to Choose No or Low Code Tools

February 27, 2022

A few days ago I tweeted about false impressions of no code tools. In the thread I explain that while no code tools are easy to use for non-coders, they are much more complex for software engineers. This is a function of two things: coded alternatives to no or low code tools are easier to use for existing software developers, and if you need to customize a no or low code tool with code, it is much more challenging than customizing a code based system. As a result I propose Matt’s law for deciding whether to use no or low code tools: can you use it without coders? If the answer is yes and you’re willing to accept the limitations of the tool, it’s worth it. If the answer is no, you’ve outgrown the platform.

I propose this law because the sales machines of low and no code platforms have done a good job of seducing folks in the product management and executive roles. They show up promising increased development speed, reduced complexity, and improved reliability. Their demos dazzle. Software engineers like me are then sent to due diligence on the tool and recommend for or against adoption. After living through many implementations, this law encapsulates where I see them go well and where I see them go poorly.

If you want to read more about low and no code platform limitations check out my previous post: why low and no code is expensive.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.