When I first heard about nocode last year, I set out to educate myself. I read articles, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos to learn more, and have lots of questions about taking my first nocode steps.
Which tool should I use? Which project should I build? Which community should I join? Does Vietnam have any nocode community?
But not knowing how to start, the confusing information made me stop to continue my life as usual. But a few months later, I felt an irresistible urge to build things (no code needed).
This time, I decided to break up the time, it's like a daily 30-minute study routine and start 100DaysOfNoCode . It has helped me connect with new friends, learn to leverage the right tools, and bring my own ideas to life.
By completing 100DaysOfNoCode and empowering 100 others to learn nocode, I was able to see first-hand what worked and what didn't when I started. This article distills the nocode insights I've gained so far and will help you cut through the noise to leverage the power of this emerging technology.
5 steps to get started with NoCode
You can get up to speed on learning nocode as quickly as possible, I have condensed my experience and insights into 5 almost sequential steps.
1. Determine why
Yes, this space is incredibly interesting. But as a founder, your time is scarce and there is always an opportunity cost, so don't jump over nocode as this is a great trend.
Before you start worrying about which nocode engine to choose and the like, you need to understand exactly why you want to take advantage of this space. A few valid reasons you might want to:
Build your MVP
Optimizing the efficiency of existing operational processes
Quickly prototype new product features
Stay up to date on the latest developments in the codeless program
Create a growth engine
Regardless of whether it's one of these, a combination, or something else, jot down your reasons.
This is important, because nocode evolves quickly and changes constantly, so if you don't have a yardstick to measure your progress, it's easy to get lost and distracted.
2. Select the tool to get started
Now that you have a reason why, it will be easier to choose which tools to learn and build with. But before I run through these, I'd like to warn you about this: NoCode is still early and no tool is comprehensive yet, so while some tool platforms have the advantage of being a pioneer, this That doesn't mean in a year or two there won't be another alternative.
With this, you should build by use case rather than duplicating specifically on one tool or another.
However, because there are so many tools available, I've selected what I believe is the most versatile and useful that can accommodate most, if not all.
Airtable as database
Airtable is a spreadsheet hybrid database that gives you database functionality with a spreadsheet user interface.
It's intuitive, powerful, and can display your data in multiple ways including Grid, Kanban, Calendar, and Form views, enabling itself for most product, marketing use cases and project management.
In addition to using it internally, you can also connect it to platforms like Softr (mentioned below), Pory, and Stacker to turn your data into front-end applications.
Zapier for automation
Zapier is the glue that holds different platforms together.
It helps to move information between two apps using triggers and actions. For example, before Zapier, if someone completed a lead generation form on your website, you would have to manually add this information to Hubspot. Zapier automates this manual process.
This video talks about how a startup leveraged Zapier's workflow to become a $10 million company.
Bubble for building web apps
Bubble is arguably the most powerful visual web application development platform available today without code.
It has a visual editor, database, workflow logic generator, and can connect to third-party APIs. With such functionality, you can create complex web applications including forums, booking apps, task trackers, marketplaces, CRMs, and dashboards to name a few.
This article goes deeper into what you can build in Bubble.
Adolo for building mobile apps.
Adolo is a platform for building web and mobile apps that can be published to the App Store, Google Play, or as a Progressive Web App.
You can create attractive and functional apps with billing, push notifications, databases, charts, user authorization, and can connect to external APIs and integrate with Zapier.
Watch their demo to see what you can build.
Softr to build landing pages
Softr is an easy-to-use landing page builder for creating fast, clean looking websites.
Ease of use allows you to spend more time on your content and messaging and less time building.
They also recently added web app functionality, so you can create job boards, shortlists and more using your Airtable database as a backend.
3. Join the community
This is where the NoCode user community is. Here are 5 reasons you should join:
Ask anything - learning any new skill is hard, so having someone else check for you will push you forward.
Shared knowledge - good communities are those where members help each other. If you're learning alone, you won't be exposed to the tips, tricks, resources, or time that others learning the same skill can give you.
Collaboration - 70% of non-coders intend to use these tools to build a business. This means that being part of the nocode community will not only give you access to people learning the same skills as you, but also to entrepreneurs just like you. This can lead to helpful one-off Zoom calls or, in the case below, a full-blown co-founder partnership!
Expert help - although the nocode space is still nascent, there are people who have been around for a while and have expertise in one or more tools. So if you get stuck, you'll always be able to support the users in your community.
Inspiration -s no-code is relatively easy to build, the speed at which people in the community launch things are inspiring, guilt-inducing if you're not working and pushing it all at once, so Surrounding you with these people will only be a good thing.
Join NoCoder - Nocode user community in Vietnam to learn more knowledge.
4. Start learning
Now you are ready to learn.
While these nocode tools are much easier to learn than coding, this does not mean it will be advantageous.
Just as it's hard to choose which tools to use, it's also hard to find the best sources to learn them.
In keeping with my recommendations above, I've curated some of the best stuff to start your learning in each tool:
The Airtable Ultimate Guide will give you the fundamentals in 2 hours
Airtable Tips and Tricks that will get you from 0 to 1
The Airtable Power User Guide will take you from beginner to advance
Get started with Zapier
View Course 101 of the University of Zapier
First 10 days with Bubble
Read 'How a Startup Launches and Sells in a Week on Bubble' for inspiration
Take Bubble's 101 and 102 courses
Read through and apply Bubble's 'How to Build' series
Watch No-Code Coaching app's Youtube channel
Take this Bubble Bootcamp Udemy course
Watch Adalo's Tutorial series on Youtube
It doesn't have a low learning curve, so you won't need any learning resources.
These are good learning resources, but they only scratch the surface of what you can consume. This is a great thread to find some other gems.
5. Start building
This step does not come after the previous step. Learning and building should go hand in hand.
Don't pretend that every new video, article, or podcast makes you more proficient with these tools. It doesn't work like that. In fact, you won't know where you are with these tools until you actually start using them.
There is no good programmer without using a project-based learning approach. That is also what you should do. Make sure to create something in each new tool you choose, whether they're fun, disposable projects or something you'll need.
Again, here are some beginner project ideas for you to tackle using my recommended tools:
Airtable - create a nocode log to track your learning progress or a database to visualize your product roadmap.
Zapier - jot down any repetitive tasks you do during the week and choose ones you can automate.
Bubble - create a folder using this tutorial
Adolo - create a custom to-do list app
Softr - create a landing page for your startup idea with an 'early access' registration record as part of your idea validation process.
Determine why to start with the types of tools you want to learn and use.
Tend to build rather than consume by creating small projects that will help your startup.
Join the community to take nocode and your startup to the next level.