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Interview with Angela Castillo

“No-Code allows non-technical users to build simple software”

Jean Kiltz
© Shutterstock / StockStyle

What exactly does no-code and low-code mean? Why is it receiving so much attention right now? How will it develop in the future? Angela Castillo answered our questions about these techniques, what they hold for the future, how they are currently being used, and more.

JAXenter: What exactly does no-code and low-code mean?

Angela Castillo: No-Code and Low-Code are alternatives or different approaches to traditional software development. What people mean when they say they take a“No-Code or Low-Code approach” it means that they are either writing very little code, or utilizing no code at all. Instead, they build using visual interfaces that, depending on the platform used, replace a certain programming language. People can build websites, web apps, mobile apps, internal tools, automations for companies, and a lot more with No-Code and Low-Code techniques.

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JAXenter: For what complexity of systems would you recommend this approach?

Angela Castillo: People that are familiar with No-Code will say it is very good for creating MVPs and for prototyping. And that is true, it is amazing for that purpose! However, No-Code and Low-Code can cover a very wide spectrum of complexity. In one way or another, these approaches are used by a variety of audiences, from startups up to huge corporations like Liberty Mutual, or Spotify. Governments have used No-Code and Low-Code software as well.

JAXenter: How widespread is no-code / low-code already?

Angela Castillo: Creating software without a technical background is an undeniable trend. According to a Forbes article, about 60% of all custom apps are being developed outside of IT departments. This means non-technical employees are building what they need to make their work more efficient. How? With No-Code and Low-Code tools. 2021 has been the year where we’ve seen lots of huge investment rounds for No-Code and Low-Code providers. From big players like Bubble, to smaller but definitely growing organizations. So it is an exciting time to be part of this movement. Even Amazon is trying out their No-Code tool with Honeycode.

JAXenter: The technology in its basic form is not that new, why does it get so much attention now?

Angela Castillo: You’re correct that the base technology is not new for certain implementations – for instance, WordPress is one of the earliest examples of No-Code or Low-Code. However, it’s now expanding beyond its initial predicted scope, which is why it’s generating so much attention. The fact that your Tech team can go back to creating really complex and life-changing software, instead of dealing with custom software that non-technical people can build by themselves is very exciting! In addition to this, it’s not only software and interfaces that they can create using No-Code, but also automations and data visualizations. Think about tools like Zapier or Tableau. These tools were created to enable regular business users to do tasks that had to be done by their technical peers, and now they can take care of them all by themselves.

JAXenter: How does it benefit developers?

Angela Castillo: Today, developers are doing repetitive, tedious, non-creative work. No-Code allows non-technical users to build simple software, freeing the developers to focus entirely on innovative technologies, creating the next-gen optimization algorithms to improve operations, or building the code that’s going to take the first human being to Mars.

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JAXenter: Are there limits to what no-code / low-code can do? Like how is the support for the underlying frameworks and how are dependencies resolved?

Angela Castillo: Yes, there are some limits depending on the use case, but the good thing is No-Code tools tend to be flexible and you can tweak things using regular code, if you definitely need to. That being said, as No-Code becomes more popular, the community grows, and more plugins, integrations, and add-ons will be created, making regular code less necessary.

JAXenter: Lastly, a look into the future: How will no-code / low-code develop in the next years?

Angela Castillo: Gartner and Forrester actually believe that very soon 75% of app development will be done with a combination of Low-Code and traditional development. Vlad Magdalin, of Webflow, says he believes we are only seeing about 10% of what SaaS could be because they are so hard to build. But if we make it easier via No-Code or Low-Code platforms, it could be a vastly different reality. Also, as said earlier, a lot of investment is being put on these tools right now, so it is very likely that the movement will only get bigger.

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Jean Kiltz works as an editor at S&S Media since March 2020. He studied History at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

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