What no one tells you about no-code solutions

It goes without saying that no-code tools are here to stay.

For small businesses, it saves them money. No need to hire developers.

For enterprises, it makes them faster at shipping solutions. No need to wait for the sprint to deploy what you need.

Great, right?

(NOTE: This article also applies for low-code solutions.)

But here’s what they don’t tell you about no-code…

Maintenance is a pain in the a.

Most non-tech people that launch no-code have other full time duties (i.e. operations, people services, etc.). Usually, they do no-code as a side project, intentionally carving out time from their day-to-day for development.

But maintaining the app and debugging is usually unscheduled. Plus it takes up a lot of time. And it ends up being a burden.

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve launched a no-code solution as a side project to help the team. Your teammates love it, and they use it every day. They are depending on it now. Then one of them encounters an issue, and since you developed the no-code tool, they call you (Urgent!). Now, your other duties are compromised because you need to solve the issue.

I have been there before, and it can be stressful and inconvenient.

After a while, it becomes a disincentive to create no-code solutions because of the maintenance part. And that is not a good situation to be in.

So now the question is, how do we fix this?

1. Documentation.

Create one for every no-code, and put it where everyone can see it. You need your users to be able to diagnose and use these apps without you.

It does not have to be fancy. Bullet points is acceptable, but make sure there is an “Updated as of” date because these documentation can get outdated fast if you keep iterating your app.

Write your documentation for that newbie in your team who is not that technologically inclined. After you’ve written your documentation, ask yourself, “If the newbie read this, will he or she be able to debug my app?”

2. Use easy to learn, low maintenance no-code tools.

Not all no-code tools are the same. Some are harder to learn and some are more difficult to maintain. If you know you don’t have time to debug, get a tool that is easy to use.

One way to check is to get the trial version of the tool first before locking in that investment. Otherwise, you’ll have to live with it for some time.

4. Teach your colleagues to do no-code.

The benefits of teaching your colleagues to do no-code is already obvious.

But your team needs to allot a significant amount of time and resources to learn. And this means you are also taking time away from their day-to-day duties to be trained.

5. The next person in your team should know no-code already.

Save a lot of time in training your colleagues, and get a person in your team with experience already in doing no-code.

If your documentation is built, even better. Have the new person read the documentation, and he or she will be your new backup in 1 week.

6. Have a “no-code/low-code team” in your organization.

If your organization is big enough and is very supportive of no-code, it would be good to have an in-house “no-code team”.

Essentially, this team is devoted to maintaining all the no-code tools in your organization, as well as developing them. This is their priority, as compared to only having this as a side project.

Of course, this team might eventually run into the usual problems of an in-house tech support team, but that issue is another story.