It’s time to drop 'No-Code'

January 2, 2021
min read
Michael Skelly, CEO, Stacker

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I’d like to drop the the term no-code. I love the movement, but hate the term.

I hate it because it’s always comes hand in hand with its even more ungainly sibling “low code”. Sometimes they’re used interchangeably. And sometimes, they get smushed together as “no/low code”.

I hate it because it has an awkward optional hyphen.

But mainly I hate it because it kinda misses the point. I recently used a product that proudly claims to be “no-code” , but encourages you to create logic via flowchart with so much looping and nesting that it begins to look like a circuit board. Even as a programmer, it was getting impossible to reason about. It was not just no better than code… it was strictly worse.

Nor is code a bad thing. Excel is arguably the most popular development environment in the world, and people are really quite happy to type in little bits of code in its weird syntax.

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This formula should be taken out back and shot.

It’s actually pretty empowering for people to be able to venture into doing a little bit of code within the framework of a wider app. So we shouldn’t be offering up the name “low code” as if it’s an apology.

In search of something better

Naming things is hard. But I think we can get somewhat closer to the spirit that what we’re doing is building the tools and platforms for the future, that will let people who don’t call themselves developers do all the things that developers can do today.

I think what we’re doing is not no-code or low code. It’s beyond code.

… other suggestions gratefully received.

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