Don’t forget ‘Learn To Code.’ You can learn to code ‘No Code.’

Learn to code” has been a refrain for entrepreneurs for more than a decade. Do you want to open a new business within the highly-growth world of venture capital and IPO success? You can learn to code. Do you have a small idea of a digital product that could be made? You can learn to code. Do you want your company to be able to thrive into the 21st century? Code.

Why? Modern e-commerce requires new, constantly-changing technology. TikTok videos have replaced television commercials. No matter how great your idea, chances are there is already an app.

All of it is true.

Yes, I’m a coder. I believe learning code should be part of every student’s education. I’m not a critic of learning to code. This is a call to replace “Learn to Cod” with “Learn to No-Code.”

It is false to say that “Learn To Code” is true.

The anybody-can-code mantra was always kind of like promoting world peace. This is a wonderful idea. It’s universally desired and believed in. But, once you get into all the details, it becomes difficult to decide which side to support.

When you have to learn to code, the conflict that keeps popping up with “Learn to Code”, is that you are unable to develop a great idea and execute it.

Opportunity costs are real in the world of business. They start to add up when an entrepreneur does not execute.

It is a huge advantage to be able to use technology in 2020. Before you can “Learn to Code”, you must decide if you are interested in becoming a programmer. The divide between high-level and low-level technology is increasing every day.

The source code isn’t affected by the times, even though they have.

Programming courses were something I did in high school. Computers were my favorite thing. I loved computers. My first semester of college was spent in computer engineering. I didn’t like it. What I really was learning was how builders could build what I desired.

This philosophy is something I can understand. A surgeon must know all aspects of biology before making their first cut.

Technology doesn’t work like this.

Programming was not something I had thought about when I finished college. But I never touched code again, until I started my first company. After that, I was able to rekindle my love for technology and the possibilities of using it to create something from nothing.

Now, fast forward to today. My twin daughters just finished high school Java courses. They didn’t like it, even though they were successful. They didn’t have the passion to make something from nothing, and those courses did not fuel that passion. They were able to learn a lot about syntax. For the final, they recited it. They won the final.

That’s where the problem lies. Instead of learning code, they should be learning no-code. This is the same for anyone who does not know how code but wants to create something from nothing.

Learn to code is important for tech founders.

Even though my daughters are aware of the importance technology plays in their future, they still don’t know how to incorporate it into their lives. They will run screaming if they need to master the Book of Java and any other fundamental languages to build a complete stack.

No-code, on the other hand, teaches creative and critical coding design through experimentation and real-world applications. These concepts will prove to be far more valuable than just memorizing syntax for anyone who is serious about technology.

It’s true that the low-level code is much more common than “no-code”. This is happening now at a higher level. The top-ranking low-level developers today aren’t focused on creating the same applications for every company. They are instead building tools others can use for creating unique applications that solve new problems.

Entrepreneurs are the most vulnerable.

I built my company, Teaching Startup, without writing a single line of code. This was to show that it is possible. Although it’s imperfect, we reached 100 customers quickly and continue growing.

As I have more revenue, I will be able to hire coders who can write code that is useful. It won’t be nearly as expensive because I will have a road map that they can follow in real life.

I have been able, not only with no-code to reduce a large-picture idea into smaller steps. This allows me to concentrate on what “technology” is necessary for my business’ success and not spend time creating “technology that nobody will ever use.”

The reality of no-code is only going to become more real.

As any other coder, I wasn’t convinced at first of the idea of zero-code solutions, particularly for people who haven’t had a technical education. Although there weren’t many options a few decades ago, the concept of no-code has become more common.

No-coders have a lot of support available. You can connect apps with helper apps like Zapier or Slack. Most of the big SaaS platforms have built web hooks in their products so that they can integrate with other apps. These apps all can be connected through one platform that doesn’t require any code. This means there are dozens of wheels which don’t have to be rebuilt.

There are platforms like Flutter, which can seamlessly weave no-code and real code together. Or there’s Bubble.io, which lets you build software with no syntax.

Entrepreneurs who don’t code need to be as risky and spend their time on products that aren’t going to sell. If you are really skilled at no-code it can even pay for its development.

Most importantly, however, if we promote no-code learning as the best option, then we will produce more coders.

Inc.com columnsists’ opinions are not the views of Inc.com.

Publiated at Tue Aug 20, 21:08:37 +0000

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