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Why No-Code Won't Take Your Jobs

Recorded:
April 13, 2022
Released:
April 20, 2022
Modified:
May 10, 2022

Thanks to FlyCode for sponsoring this episode, our listeners get a free trial via flycode.com/htmlall

Some developers see no-code as a threat to their jobs, they treat it as a form of automation, which will eventually replace them. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss why they don't think no-code is coming for developers' jobs. Instead, the duo sees no-code as a mostly positive influence, bringing new and exciting opportunities to the expanding web development industry.

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Show Notes

Episode Sponsor

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What's This One About?

Some developers see no-code as a threat to their jobs, they treat it as a form of automation, which will eventually replace them. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss why they don't think no-code is coming for developers' jobs. Instead, the duo sees no-code as a mostly positive influence, bringing new and exciting opportunities to the expanding web development industry.

Show Notes

  • Automation is a big fear in many industries today, including tech
  • Years ago, and continuing to today, many industries have had human jobs replaced by automation, speaking from experience - the factory-industry where many positions have been overtaken by robotics
  • Programming and coding have been thought of as safe for a great number of years due to the capabilities of automation-tech not being advanced enough to create software the way that human coders do
  • With the advancement of machine learning, and related emerging technologies like GitHub co-pilot, the infancy of developers being ousted by automation seems to be at its beginning
  • While these developer-level automation tools have a long way to go, it doesn’t take very long to tech to advance, and therefore people are understandably worried about their livelihoods
  • There is one other thing, however, that many developers see as a current and active threat to their jobs and that is no-code tools, which is the focus of today’s episode.
  • While they’re not generally automated in the “self-coding” or “robotics” sense, they are allowing people to great web apps and websites that were once only understood and created by professionals in the space
  • As with many technologies, the easier to create projects got knocked out by no-code tools first, simple portfolio websites with mostly static content have basically been mastered by no-code tools at this point
  • Slowly, but surely, these no-code tools advanced further and further, adding more advanced features (in no particular order) such as email forms, image processing (the user doesn’t need to worry about compressing + resizing), having CMS capability (so a no-coder can use the more advanced tool to make the site and dictate how the CMS works, and a non-tech savvy person can control the content on the website), and then of course e-commerce (which is possibly more relevant today since the covid lockdowns then it ever has been before)
  • So with all this functionality under their belt, many of these functionalities mastered at this point, and more functionality always on the way, is no-code going to take your job? We don’t think so…and here’s 5 reasons why

Reasons

  • No-Code doesn’t mean, No-Skill
  • No-code tools are rather advanced pieces of technology, they’ve advanced to the point where you can actually have bugs in your no-code setup that you’ll need to solve yourself due to conflicting configurations and not due to bugs in the no-code software itself
  • This indicates that no-code software isn’t super easy to use all the time
  • This can be seen by no-code tools that include both a creator (ie the Webflow Designer) and a CMS (the Webflow CMS) which allows for both a person that controls the look, feel, and functionality of the website to work on it with the creator, and a non-tech savvy person to just control the content - if the creator was super easy, there would be no need for a separate CMS for content
  • People often need to be relatively tech-savvy to use no-code tools, understanding the basics of the computer their using, having skills like
  • Collecting proper images and sometimes having to resize them, or even compress them for file size (assuming the no-code tool doesn’t do this)
  • Understanding the basics of web design, and how to choose and apply fonts that create a consistent experience across the website (ie you don’t want every blog post to have a different font family typically)
  • The basics (at least) of SEO - you can have a website function in no-code, but you can certainly mess up it’s SEO without knowing what you’re doing
  • Some very light code knowledge is always nice when bumping up against a limitation of a no-code platform, for example, understanding how to embed a YouTube video that you want in a very specific configuration is a good skill to have - that many don’t
  • Side Note: There are certainly some no-code offerings that are after the “setup your ecommerce shop in 1 hour” sort of ease, but they typically offer limited functionality in order to reach goals like that, the software controls the experience
  • The Platform is in control
  • When you’re using a no-code tool, the platform you’re on is ultimately in control of the tool they provide
  • If you rely on a specific feature, that feature could be modified, or even taken away entirely
  • For example, Mike and I have hit some weird limitations with the Webflow CMS where you can’t underline text in a rich text field, with a small popup showing up saying that underlines are best for links and that they’ve disable the keyboard shortcut (ctrl + u), this also includes a lack of a code viewer, and a lack of nested lists (ie can’t have nested bullet point lists)
  • Custom software exists for a reason
  • No-code platforms often have limits on the amount of traffic and pages that you can have, even on their highest offered plans
  • When these limits are outgrown, a custom piece of software is often the next step in your business
  • If you business has outgrown a no-code tool, usually it means the business is doing rather well and you’ll be graduating to some sort of enterprise-grade CMS or software suite that will manage more than just your website content (ie a CMS + ecommerce platform + marketing platform) That enterprise-grade tool is often created and maintained by a team of developers, it is almost always not created with a no-code tool.
  • The platform wasn’t created in no-code
  • It’s almost a cliche of the automation industry, but it is a fact that some people that would have their job taken away by a no-code tool, may get a job creating that no-code tool itself
  • No-code tools are generally not created in no-code tools themselves, offering a very specific set of features and a totally customized experience in order for them to stand out from their competition
  • With the ever-expanding feature sets of no-code tools, they’re no doubt sometimes built with other programs in-mind. The no-code tool developers can’t create every single feature from the ground up, without maintenance costs and coding timeframes getting out of control. Therefore creating even more demand for programmers (ie At our last check, Webflow uses the popular embedding tool Embedly)
  • Your project may grow and change, but that might not align with the no-code tool
  • Some projects last a very long time or are passion projects
  • These sort of projects oven evolve over time, maybe a hobby blog becomes a proper media outlet with a full team of content creators
  • Passion projects often are meticulously put together, the simplest change to a heading may take weeks to finally decide upon and so they need granular control
  • In either case, your project may start to bump up against the limitations of the no-code tool that you’re using. This could be because the project you initially created has changed so dramatically that the parameters/featureset of the no-code tool you chose no long align with what you need
  • The no-code tool is a project in it’s own right, and your project may also feel the affect of that. For example, If your website is all about really high-end photography and you offer site viewers a compressed preview of your images on the webpage, but then also a download button to see the full 4k edited version with no compression - what happens when your no-code tool starts to implement file size limitations, or other limitations like format ones (sorry only jpg, only 1080p max)

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