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Welcome to the Revolution!

Welcome to this new series called Join the Low-Code/No-Code Revolution! In my Answering the RFP series I address common questions contained in most website RFPs, and you may have heard me mention Low-Code/No-Code development in some of those videos.

In this series I’m going to share the story of how Low-Code development is completely changing the website development world. 

However, every disrupting technological advance always meets resistance. And unfortunately it’s no different in the website development world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are well over 200,000 professional website developers employed in the United States alone. And until recently, the only way to build a custom website required programming in PHP (in the case of WordPress sites), as well as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. But things are changing.

Now there have been options for No-Code websites for quite some time. A basic WordPress site can be set up with an existing theme without any coding. And there are also platforms like SquareSpace and WIX that have been around for awhile. But when you need a custom site with custom content types and advanced functionality—until recently, you needed a website developer with all those skills. 

But not anymore. Over the last four or five years No-Code frameworks have almost entirely removed the need for coding. 

In this new Low-Code/No-Code Revolution series I’ll be pulling back the curtain on how this all works. It’s an exciting evolution and it has profound benefits for clients with Low-Code frameworks under the hood. But I also need to warn you. If you still have website developers on staff—trained in all the core tools and programming languages, get ready for some push back! 

Nobody ever wants to be in a position where technological development makes their skills obsolete. When I first started working in advertising, in the early nineties, all of our typographic needs were fulfilled by photographic type houses. We’d have to send out manuscripts with handwritten specs, and a day or two later we’d get our photographic type galleys back to paste up for production. When digital typography emerged those type houses did their best to disparage computer generated typography. But alas, within a few years all those shops were out of business. And if you listened carefully you could hear the ghosts of former linotype operators laughing in sweet revenge, as those photographic typography machines that took their jobs in the seventies, got their come-up-ins.

Now it’s fine to have sympathy for jobs that get displaced by innovations in technology. But that’s the way the world works. And to be clear, there are still plenty of jobs for professional web developers, but those jobs are shifting away from building websites directly, and moving toward building the tools that are now being used to build Low-Code/No-Code websites. 

Over these next few videos I’ll walk through some of the recent history of the Low-Code/No-Code revolution. But for the rest of this introduction let me share some of the benefits clients gain who have Low-Code frameworks driving their sites.

First, and most obvious – when you eliminate the need for coding, there will be tremendous development cost savings. If that were the only benefit it would be enough to move clients toward Low-Code solutions. 

But that’s not the only benefit. Another huge benefit is how flexible a Low-Code site can be. When you build a site using Low-Code frameworks, they come with all sorts of options for content expression under the hood. So while a website may initially only use a handful of those features, there are many others standing by whenever the need arises. 

And because there are so many options ready to deploy it’s very extremely easy to extend the features and functionality of Low-Code websites.

What’s more, all of these features are continually evolving. The product developers of Low-Code platforms all compete with each other to gain and keep market share. And so the frameworks under the hood gain more and more functionality and ever increasing capabilities and you don’t have to do a thing. All that valuable R&D and product development is included in their modest plugin license fee.

One last benefit of Low-Code development is that there’s no friction between strategy and design and final expression in the development process. Let me unpack that with my own story. 

I started building websites back in 1995. Most of those technical programming languages didn’t even exist yet. All you needed to know was basic HTML and how to make a gif or jpeg. That was good for me because I went to art school, and didn’t know how to code. But very rapidly websites became technically demanding and designers had to hand off their ideas to programmers for implementation. And that handoff would almost always involve some loss of creative vision and control. Or alternatively it added a lot more cost for code changes and iterations. 

In fact, one design dynamic that plagues the web development process—is the reality that sometimes great ideas don’t emerge until the designers or the clients can actually experience a fully functioning clickable website. But with the slow and costly coding implementation process standing between design and fruition, that valuable dynamic gets muted under budgetary and schedule demands.

But Low-Code development puts the expression of design and strategy back into the hands of the designers and strategists. Things have come full circle, I can again mold and model and play with ideas directly on a functioning website. This immediacy has a tremendous impact on the creativity and ability to experiment and iterate with clients.

Low-Code/No-Code development really is a game changer. And I’ll be diving deeper into the story in upcoming videos, and debunk some of the objections that old school web developers make against Low-Code development.  

Until then. 

Viva la Revolución!

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