I was introduced to the world of nocode while researching my blog post on luck and wanted to delve deeper. As a software engineer would I find any joy in linking applications together without writing any code?
I thought of a project, a website that lets people sign up to a webinar:
- The webinar will run in Zoom and everyone that signs up needs to get a link via email
- The email must be from my email address and with information about the event and sessions
- This is a demand generation exercise and the leads need to go into Hubspot
The trick to nocode seems to be knowing that you can glue your favourite applications together. Enter Zapier, the Pritt Stick that joins over 2000 popular applications together.
This is not meant to be a nocode tutorial, there are plenty of them around, but more an exercise to start thinking in terms of data flowing from one application to the next.
Airtable Form ➡ Airtable ➡ Zoom ➡ HubSpot CRM ➡ Gmail
My first step was to see if this flow is going to be possible in Zapier. A few “clicks”, “selects” and “type in your passwords” later and this all feels rather straight forward.
As a nocoder, I think I would quickly build a preference towards certain applications. I particularly like Airtable as I intuitively think of the data I want to collect as a spreadsheet. And Airtable can generate a web form to collect data from users.
As soon as a record is added to the spreadsheet Zapier kicks in and does its thing – passing data from one application to the next. No code. Easy.
What does this mean for software developers like me?
Firstly, we really need to think about how the products and services we build integrate with other applications. This quote from Airtable on the Zapier website is very interesting: “Users who connect Airtable with Zapier are our most valuable users — they’re more likely to upgrade to a paid plan and are using Airtable in more interesting and complex ways than the average user.”
Secondly, have you considered if you can glue a couple of existing applications together to prototype and test your next idea? This can be done really quickly and has the added benefit of making you think long and hard about the true value you can add.
Finally, is there any joy in this? I think so.