Will No Code Tools Replace Programming Jobs in 2024?
No code tools have changed the way we build products. We can now create complex SaaS applications without having to write a line of code. In this post, we’ll explore how we created (and monetized) our own SaaS, without code and what we believe the future holds for programmers.
How Afraid Should Programmers be of No Code Tools?
In this blog post we’re going to look at the impact that no-code tools are expected to have on the programming community this year. If you’re unfamiliar with what no-code tools are and you want to see a few of them in action, watch the video below.
The Heated Debate: Code or No Code?
There is a heated debate on the internet about how no-code tools are going to impact programming jobs. Some people claim straight out that no-code tools will replace the majority of programming jobs while others on the other end of the spectrum see no-code tools mostly as play toys which open a very limited set of possibilities. Perhaps they could be used to create an MVP or prototype…. But when it’s time to get serious, people on this end of the spectrum believe you need to up-skill and take the full-no, rather than no-code route.
I”m here today to put in my two cents because at Kibi.one we run a no-code code incubator course as well as an agency, but we also launch many of our own projects. Those projects have taken on many different shapes and have been built using a wide range of tools ranging from n0-code to full code tech stacks.
For example, in the past we’ve built a full code small cap crypto analysis tool from scratch. We then went on to sell that project for $80,000 over on flippa. I have a video where I walk through the building and selling process for that platform which I’ll link to below.
Or on the other end of the spectrum,, we recently built a writing tool called Scribble. This tool is an advanced writing tool that helps writers plan their novels, create their worlds, design their characters and much much more. We recently scaled this platform to doing about $2000 / month and it was entirely created using no-code tools. Again, I have another video dedicated to the building of this platform which I’ll link to below.
I bring this up because at Kibi one we have experience at both ends of the spectrum. So I think this puts me in a unique position to have an opinion because I have one foot in both worlds.
So let me jump in
What are No Code Tools Capable of Building?
First: let’s talk about what each is capable of doing. I think the most obvious benefit to taking a full code approach is that the sky is really the limit in terms of what you can build. There are so many programming languages out there designed to do so many different things that, when it comes time to build, you really have a wide open field. I was running an idea by a programmer on our team recently and I asked him if it would be possible to build what I had in mind. He responded by saying, “it’s never an issue of if it can be done, but how long it will take to do”. And this is really one of the biggest benefits of taking a full code approach. There are just way fewer limits of what you can build.
On the other hand, most no-code tools have some built-in limitations with regards to the scope of what you can build. For example, if you wanted to build a photoshop competitor or video editing tool. Currently no-code tools choke when it comes to any type of image, video or audio processing requirements. This isn’t to say this won’t improve in the future, but right now, the processing power required to build a media editing application like this just isn’t there.
But there is a flip side to this argument as well. That flip side is that most people out there don’t want to build processing power intense media editing applications. Most people want to build logic based applications. They want to build social media applications with similar logic to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Or they want to build directories or multi-vendor marketplaces like AIRbNB. Or they want to build mobile apps which act as two sided marketplaces where buyers and sellers are brought together. For example, something with logic like door dash or uber. Or other common products that we see frequently are CRMs, internal management tools, SaaS applications like our writing application for example, financial dashboards, online courses, job boards and the list goes on.
And for these logic based applications, no-code tools work wonders. This is really where no-code tools shine. And obviously it’s not that taking a full code approach you couldn’t build these applications as well, but the major benefit to taking a no code approach is that you’re able to build at a speed, which in our experience has been 5 to 10 times faster, than taking a full code approach. Essentially, what would take us 10 months to build using a full code tech stack would only take a month or two to build using a no-code tech stack. And this savings in time also means huge savings in money. And this is why, over on Kibi.one, we have a no-code development agency, and more and more non-technical founders are opting to work with no-code dev agencies simply because we can build products from scratch, much cheaper and much faster.
But, even though I’m bullish on no-code tools, I also see their limitations, beyond just the “power” issue or the “scope” of what you can build issue.
The Limitation of No Code Tools
No-code tools tend to give you quite a bit of control out of the box. But in reality a lot of what no-code tools are doing is abstracting the complexity of the code away from you and giving you easy to use and understand knobs and sliders and input fields which are allowing you to control the code, without having to code. For example, if we were to go over to bubble and create a group on this canvas. I could go over to my design tab and add color, margins, and round the corners if I wanted to. But when it comes to design, even though these elements I’m given access to change are the most commonly changed elements, they are obviously not all of them.
Not to speak in abstraction, let me give you an example. If I go over to bubble here and I add a calendar to my app. As you can see, I’ve just added a calendar and it contains all of the functionality I would need to create any type of booking application. So out of the box, I can drag and drop in seconds a component which would take a programmer many hours to code. But if I don’t know how to code I’m going to hit walls very quickly. For example, in my case, I might want to change the color of the calendar’s grid. Right now it’s gray, but I might want to change it to match my application’s color palette, which does not include gray. But as you can see, in the appearance settings tab of this object, although I can change many visual elements within this component, such as the “event color, “selected event color” “current day color”, “background style” and so on, there is no option which allows me to control the grid color. This is just one simple example, but this is an issue you see in no-code tools across the board. And that’s that, no0code tools try to abstract the complexity of the code away from you and they simplify the building process and speed it up all through this abstracting…. But in doing so, they also take away power and control. Essentially, they are saying…. You know… out of the 50 properties you could modify with code, you’ll likely only want to use 10. So we’ll give you access to modify those 10 properties through an easy to use no-code panel, but the other 40 things we’re not giving you access to…. Well we hope you just don’t want to control.
And this, for us, has always caused problems. And for most no-coders who refuse to upskill and learn the basics of coding, this will continue to be an obstacle. And this is why many no coders whop products which are less than perfect. It’s not that they don’t have a vision of perfection in their head, it’s that the tools they use within their tech stack, don’t allow them to achieve it.
So this, for us anyway…. Has been the true dark side of using no-code tools.
Taking a Low Code, Rather Than No Code Approach
However, luckily, most of the best no-code tools have built a workaround. And that even though they have abstracted a lot of the power away from their users, they have built in tools that allow power users of their software to regain access to those lost properties and parameters.
For example, within bubble, I could add this HTML element and as long as I know CSS, which I do, I could simply inspect my page, find the element I want to gain additional control over, find the property I want to change and then simply write out the code for the new style over in my html element. The only catch here is that I have to know how to code. In this case, at least HTML and CSS.
And I think this is great for no coders and coders alike. Because essentially, what no-code tools like bubble are doing is that they are giving you the opportunity to get 70 or 80 or 90% of the way there using their built in drag and drop no-code tools. And then, from there, it’s not a hard stop. They are saying “for those of you who need to go the extra distance, take our tool off “autopilot” and switch it into manual. At this point, you’ll have to get your hands dirty in code, but in our experience it’s usually not that much. It’s generally just for edge cases and small nuanced things we have a specific vision for, that are not common enough for a no-code tool to build in as a default component. So yeah, for those we have to build them from scratch, using code.
And this is why at Kibi.one, even though our program is a no-code incubator program, we actually take more of a low code approach. And that’s because the majority of our own success has come from taking a low code rather than a fully no-code approach.
Knowing how to code has helped us solve logic problems within our applications much quicker.
KNowing how to code helps us know where to look when we run into problems.
Knowing how to code allow us to build components or even entire applications which can’t be built, using no-code tools
So in short, even though we run a no-code saas incubator program as well as an agency, I don’t think no-code tools replace the need for programmers. I think it really comes down to defining what it is you’re trying to be. For us, we’re primarily product builders. Therefore we prioritize getting a product to market quickly. Building each of our applications from scratch taking a full code approach would be ridiculous. And that’s because no code tools, and now even A.I. tools can do most of the technical heavy lifting for us. There is really no need to make things harder than they need to be.
So while I don’t think no-code tools replace programs by any stretch of the imagination, I think programmers need to understand the power of no-code tools and start asking themselves some hard questions. Why would someone hire you, for example, to spend 3 hours creating a SaaS dashboard using a full code approach when they could hire an agency like us over at Kibi.one to whip up the same design and logic in 30 minutes using bubble.
So where does this leave programmers? The truth is I’m not entirely sure. In our company, I’ve seen the role of a programmer change. We very rarely put programmers on simple tasks any more. For us, programmers are now dealing more with fringe cases, strange features, hard to solve problems or they work on products currently not suitable for no-code tools.
So that’s my 2 cents. I hope you found it valuable and I’d love to know where you see the future of programming jobs going in the future with the acceleration of adaptability of no-code and A.I. tools.
Also, don’t forget, if you are interested in learning more about our no-code incubator program where you’ll learn not only how to build, but also how to monetize no-code applications, I’ll leave a link as well as a coupon code for $100 off below. In our course, you’ll launch a product side by side with us and watch us start a no-code project from scratch and then pass it through our 8 stage growth framework. Our live build, at the time of this recording, is currently in stage 5 of 8 and we’re just about to pass over $2000 / month in recurring revenue.
So that’s all I have for you today. I hope you found this helpful and don’t forget to like and subscribe as we publish new information for no-coders regularly.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Build SaaS Platforms Without Code
Kibi.One is a platform development incubator that helps non-technical founders and entrepreneurs build software companies without having to know how to code.
We're so sure of our program, that if it's doesn't generate a positive ROI for you, we'll buy your platform from you. Watch the video to the right to learn more.