Programming Without Code: The Rise of No-Code Software Development
Microsoft’s Power Apps, Oracle’s Visual Builder, and other tools let you create software without needing to code
Code is the backbone of most software programs and applications. Each line of code serves as an instruction—a logical, step-by-step mechanism for computers, servers, and other machines to perform an action. To create those instructions, one must know how to write code—a valuable skill that’s sometimes in short supply.
But what if you could build software without writing a single line of code? That’s the premise behind no-code development, a software development method that has been gathering momentum. With the help of no-code platforms, it’s possible to develop software without writing any underlying code.
“No-code allows people who don’t know how to write code to develop the same applications that a software engineer would,” says Vlad Magdalin, co-founder and CEO of Webflow, a no-code platform for building websites. “It’s the ability to do without code what has traditionally been done with code.”
No-code development could also be regarded as a form of visual programming. Instead of text-based development environments, users manipulate code elements through drag-and-drop user interfaces. A popular example is MIT Media Lab’s Scratch programming language, which uses graphical programming blocks to teach children and adults how to code.
Despite being a product of technological evolution, no-code development isn’t a novel concept. The computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools of the ‘90s predate today’s no-code platforms. But CASE tools, as their name suggests, only aim to aid certain activities in the software development life cycle—and not the actual coding itself. Microsoft Visual Basic and Adobe Dreamweaver—which still require knowledge of code—are considered earlier iterations of no-code tools. [READ MORE]