Nocode warm up series: are you ready?


The rise of Nocode is one of the strongest technology trends in 2019, which begins to change the way to build web and mobile applications, On July 6, 2020, Amazon AWS launched its own Nocode platform, Amazon honeycode service. As the beginning of Nocode warm-up series, this article will discuss the problems solved by Nocode, the background of its birth and common application fields.

Current new confusion: lean but not thin enough

In 2011, Based on his work experience in several startups in Silicon Valley, Eric ries published lean entrepreneurship. Its core idea is to put a minimalist prototype product into the market first (minimum viable product, referred to as MVP), and then carry out rapid iterative optimization of the product through continuous learning and valuable user feedback, so as to adapt to the market as soon as possible, reduce risks and avoid a large amount of funds required for early planning.

In recent 10 years, lean method has been widely used as a good medicine for product construction and company start-up, but what has not changed so far is the composition nature of software product team, because the design, development and implementation of new products require personnel with specific skills. In reality, almost every product team is composed of product managers, project managers / business analysts, designers and development teams. Even the simplest feasible product (MVP) usually requires the cooperation of personnel in several roles and takes several weeks to months to deliver them to customers. Moreover, finding and quickly starting these personnel with specific skills, or using outsourcing to complete the necessary steps, requires additional personnel cost and time cycle. The market demand is fleeting, and it is likely to wait for MVP to come out But it can’t continue.

Lean approach emphasizes “testing business assumptions with experiments”, which requires us to maintain an open attitude and focus on the methods that can best solve customer problems. Therefore, “let lean be thinner” has become a new demand at present, that is, shorten the time cycle from conception to MVP landing, and efficiently experiment with continuous new ideas. Therefore, we need a new way to break the last barrier of lean practice. However, we often hear such a sentence in the entrepreneurial team: “as long as we can get some development resources, we can build the next Unicorn startup.” The reality is that the shortage of development talents will not change soon.

Due to the continuous demand for applications and the shortage of skilled developers, this brings the requirement of civilian development skills to ensure that ordinary people can develop custom applications more easily. Nocode is a new mode to change the rules of the game and a typical example of “everyone can become a builder”.

Nocode warm up series: are you ready?

Evidence of the birth of the “new way” from history

Older it partners often have this feeling. Many new things today can always find clues in the past it development history. Let’s simply go back to the history of software to confirm the readiness of this “new way”.

In fact, the software industry is still relatively young, about 60 years. The original plan focused on military and scientific needs, and commercial software appeared around 1960. From 1960 to now, there are roughly four waves in the software industry.

The first wave of writing their own software (1960 – 1980)

In the 1960s, almost all software users were programmers. This is the golden age of real hackers. Want a new game? Write one yourself. Do you need a new programming language? Create one yourself.

Nocode has no meaning in the first wave. Why? Hackers can write code quickly and do all the work they need. This is not a good time to use the Nocode tool.

The second wave of personal desktop software (1980 – 2000)

Commercial software began to develop. These hackers became entrepreneurs and began to start companies. Games, productivity software and development tools are booming.

During this period, Nocode tools did appear, such as spreadsheets, which were very popular. The Nocode tool has made significant progress in the second wave, but it has not received great attention. Why? Because then the third wave of Internet began.

The third wave of web collaboration software (2000-2015)

The Internet has changed everything. More and more traditional businesses are gradually transferred to the network and begin to move to the cloud. The emergence of cloud gives entrepreneurs more freedom to focus on the business itself. Salesforce was founded in 1999, JIRA appeared in 2002, and Google Docs was released in 2006. Teams can write documents together, create business models together, develop work plans and design interfaces together. Internet driven collaborative software began to replace personal desktop software.

During this period, Nocode tools have been developed, such as spreadsheets have been transferred to the Internet. However, web development is not mature enough. We gradually learned how to use JavaScript, invented react, and began to gradually use a new way of web to realize the function of personal desktop software supporting collaborative work mode. At this moment, Nocode still needs to grow in technology and is not ready to be officially launched to users.

The fourth wave creates its own Nocode software (2015 present)

With the development of web, web applications with complex expression functions have become a reality. The resulting Nocode tools and platforms greatly reduce the time required to convert ideas into MVP, and no longer need to be a programmer before building products, which makes new changes from different industries and backgrounds possible.

Throughout these four waves of software industry, the Internet has made great contributions. With the emergence of personal desktop software, the emergence of mobile Internet, the birth of cloud services, the endless emergence of collaborative software and the vigorous development of web technology, it has laid a solid foundation for the arrival of the Nocode era.

Getting to know Nocode and its common scenarios

The emergence of Nocode enables non-technical personnel to use resources, obtain data and build workflow to solve users’ actual problems. As mentioned earlier, Nocode is not a new concept, but it reflects the future trend of popularization of development skills, that is, everyone can be a builder. As Charlie bell, senior vice president of AWS, once mentioned: “if everyone can innovate quickly and efficiently and things run smoothly, there is no doubt that the world will become a better place.”

If marketers can create and update websites, they can continue to iterate and try their own ideas faster; If the consultant can automate his unique process into a tool within a few hours, he can solve the customer’s problems faster and reflect the value of his efforts; If small business owners can build applications according to their needs, they can improve business efficiency through automation and save valuable time to expand new business.

The emergence of Nocode relies on the agility of mobile Internet and cloud services, with the help of gradually improved web complex function expression and easy-to-use visual interface to realize users’ mobile and collaborative needs. Everyone can become a builder, make lean thinner, make MVP closer to users faster, and realize rapid trial and error and continuous iteration.

Nocode can provide seamless integrated Web Workflow and data-driven application rules for any business. The following are five common application scenarios of Nocode in reality:

  1. Bi reports and dashboards

Bi analysts or developers can access data in real time with Nocode and transform it into insightful data grid, visualization and key indicators. Whether dealing with sales data or project management data, you can use real-time analysis to make informed decisions.

  1. Migrate legacy apps

The migration from traditional applications to modern systems is a difficult experience for programmers and managers. Nocode platform can alleviate migration problems and reduce costs without purchasing ERP development and consulting services. The Nocode platform can make UX modern and more efficient. The entire migration process from configuration to de coding, from testing to deployment is easier than ever.

  1. Improve operational efficiency

Business users can handle application development by themselves and apply their skills to custom applications according to their industries and work functions, which can improve the overall business operation efficiency, including supply chain management, invoice management, equipment tracking and order management.

  1. Data management application

The data source can be connected to any database, such as MS SQL server, mysql, PostgreSQL, etc., and has the functions of editing, inserting, deleting and updating data. Business users can quickly and effectively build their own database applications. Information collection, storage, sharing and collaboration have also become easier.

  1. Business process application

Managers often spend a lot of time creating workflow business processes. With the help of fast and intuitive drag and drop function, Nocode has become the best tool for business workflow modeling.

This is the first article in the whole series. Later, the author will discuss the contents involved in the Nocode system – stay tune for next episode!

Author of this article

Nocode warm up series: are you ready?

Huang Shuai
Cloud Architecture consultant of Amazon AWS professional services team. Responsible for Cloud Architecture Design and optimization of enterprise customers, Devops organization consulting and technology implementation. He has many years of experience in architecture design, operation and maintenance and team management in the field of software R & D, and has in-depth research and enthusiasm for Devops, cloud native microservice governance framework, container platform operation and maintenance, chaos engineering practice, etc.