No Code Marketing Gone Wild

No Code is Here

The age of no code is finally upon us. People in the industry know what it is. Customers are asking for it. Even public sector RFPs are starting to specify it. But for most of the twenty three years that I’ve been building a no code platform, the market didn’t even know what no code was. And for much of that time, failed expectations and marketing overhype by the no code industry led to skepticism in the marketplace. And unfortunately today, this is still true. Because of marketing hype and craziness, people still aren’t being given a full understanding of what it actually means to them, and that is hindering people’s perception of what no code is capable of for them, in their unique situation.

No Code Marketing Gone Wild, Confusion

“No Code is Only For Simple Use Cases” - Marketing’s Legacy

There has been a stereotype that has persisted for many years now that no code only addresses very simple use cases. In fact, there is a lot of frustration around no code because serious IT people have dipped their toes into the water and been burned. For a long time, the entrance of no code into the mainstream market was actually held back by the very marketing hype that was trying to propel it.

Every time one reads some flavor of “build an application in minutes!”, they should understand that is marketing speak, and not likely factual for a particular reader’s circumstances. There is one critically important piece of information that the marketing person isn’t sharing; what features are possible in this application?

Over the years a lot has changed about no code, and it’s finally coming into itself as a mainline tool. My hope is that marketing teams don’t continue to sour the customers’ experience, and in so doing encumber the industry with baggage and poor perceptions.

Buyers Have a Wide Range of No Code Needs, Tools Only Satisfy Some of Those Needs

The primary expectation gap that continues to frustrate customers in the marketplace and delay the adoption of no code is quite simple:

I believe the No Code industry needs to do a better job telling customers exactly what problems they solve, and even what they don’t solve. It’s a huge pie, there is room for a lot of tools.

Types of No Code

In order to dissect what no code actually means for a given customer and their use cases, one needs to understand the types of no code tools that are out there, and what features they can deploy with each type – SEPARATED FROM THE MARKETING HYPE!!. In this short post, I’ll try to give you a quick guide.

(1) Partial Stack No Code

Traditional development generally comprises three layers of functionality; the Data Layer, the Presentation Layer and the Logic Layer. It’s no surprise that no code tools have gotten popular addressing aspects of these component layers. There are many tools out there that target only one or maybe two of those layers. For example:

Presentation Layer Tools:

Build websites using Wix or Weebly

Data Layer Tools:

Spreadsheet automation using Appsheet

Logic Layer Tools:

Simple integrations using Zapier

Partial Stack Tools generally speaking are not the source of misunderstanding with the base of customers, as it’s pretty easy to quickly understand the limitations of this sort of tool.

(2) Full Stack But Limited No Code

“Build an App in Minutes!”

This category is for tools that offer “build an app in minutes”, but they rarely mean YOUR app, with YOUR specific needs, wants, and desires. This category is generally the source of much of the confusion in the space. While a given customer has some probability of being able to deploy their application on the tool, there is also usually a significant probability that, in the end, after much trial and error, they can’t.

“Use a Plugin!” (Equals Low Code)

To get around the tools inherent limitations, most vendors resort to some version of “Use a Plugin!” or “Write some code!”. If the vendors’ marketing material includes both types of language; “build an app in minutes” and also “use a plugin”, then very likely the tool is not inherently capable of delivering the buyers’ needs in a purely no code environment.

(3) Full Stack No Code

True full stack no code tools allow powerful interaction with all three key layers, presentation, logic and data. They don’t require you to resort to plugins. And, they deliver a wide range of feature rich, enterprise grade custom applications. If the vendor is offering sophisticated enterprise grade applications and are not touting use of plugins or an IDE, then this qualifies as full stack no code.

Bear in mind, delivery of enterprise grade applications requires advanced security, scalability, compliance and other systems administration and dev ops tools. For true Full Stack No Code development the buyer should be on the lookout for all of these capabilities.

Try out for true, Full Stack No Code Development! Start here


The no code space has been hindered for many years by the perception that it’s “not for serious applications”. This simply isn’t true. What IS true is that marketing people have muddied the waters by not stating precisely what their tool sets actually deliver. In truth, there are a wide range of customer needs, and a wide variety of tools to meet those needs.

No Code has arrived, and people are starting to look at it in ever larger numbers. To keep their attention and good will, It’s critically important that the no code community steers them straight!

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