No-Codish: How I learned to embrace No-Code tools

It seems like everywhere I look (or at least in my social media bubble 🙂) lots of people are talking about the No-Code movement. No-Code tools enable non-technical people to build applications through web and mobile apps that work as a replacement for traditional application development.

Reconsidering the value of No-Code

Initially, I disregarded the value of these tools because, for the most part, I don't need them to build an app ... I can code. However, after talking to others and seeing some interesting examples in the wild, I have reconsidered that stance. Mainly because I don't love all parts of coding. For instance, does it make sense to create a mini content management system every time I want to work on a small project? Probably not. Maybe the value for me is the time saved from working on the least valuable parts of a project that can probably be replaced later. Users don't care about any of that. Their only concern is what value it provides to them.

Creating the Tweet Knowledge app

This realization sat with me for a while until I found the right project, and finally, it hit me. Twitter is full of motivational and insightful tweets that I was saving to Twitter bookmarks. These tweets eventually get lost and forgotten. I wanted to keep them in a different place and also showcase them for others.

As a solution to this problem, I created Tweet Knowledge. It's a one-page app that provides one inspirational tweet when the page loads and a button to load another tweet. I spent most of my time doing user interface development and thinking about the design. The creating workflow for adding tweets was the easiest part, and it is what makes this project sustainable.

The creating workflow for adding tweets was the easiest part, and it is what makes this project sustainable.

No-Code workflow

Here are some details on the workflow, which includes Zapier and Netlify. When I encounter a tweet that resonates with me, I send an email to the Zapier email parser, and from there, using Zapier, I'm able to add the tweet URL to an Airtable document. Adding a row to Airtable triggers an application build in Netlify. The app in Netlify is the only part that I actually coded. It's a small Gatsby(React) app that pulls the latest tweets from Airtable with every build.

Future plans for No-code

Zapier and No-code as a solution for quickly creating parts of an app workflow or a whole app is something I'll keep in mind for all projects going forward. It has allowed me to focus on the most impactful parts of a project. Eager to see where else I can apply a No-Code approach.

Also, feel free to check out

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Originally posted at December 17, 2020

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