So there was this article on the delusion of NoCode platforms. This mostly rings true.
Let’s start by saying upfront that Lucy is, as described by many people, a NoCode platform — a platform to help people easily build certain kinds of solutions. The premise is that Smart Buildings and Smart Workplaces need a certain set of common functions and features and Lucy makes these easy and then adds extra bells and whistles on top of that.
We think of Lucy as a ‘LessCode’ platform. A platform to rapidly go from idea to solution in a specific domain and provides tools to let you do it without getting caught in details that do not matter to you. But sometimes, rapidly achieving outcomes is best done with a little bit of code here and there. Manipulating complex JSON structures or writing formulas to detect equipment failure might be better handled by writing a script than by visually laying out blocks. ‘Code’ is just a way of expressing the solution to a problem. Visually stringing together components or blocks is another way of expressing the solution to a problem.
Many times, visually composing blocks to solve a problem is the right level of abstraction and can be very productive. But some times, writing code can concisely solve the same problem in a much simpler way and can be more productive. Some times, stitching together existing components isn’t the right level of abstraction.
Some NoCode platforms (like Glide) do hit a sweet spot of letting you build solutions without requiring any code. What makes it work is the simplicity of the problem space — they define a very clear tight boundary around what you can do and make it super easy to build solutions in that space. It works great if your problem fits neatly in that space.
Other platforms, like Lucy, have a larger problem space with a much blurrier boundary. In these cases, it’s important to have an escape hatch for when you need it. That’s why we call Lucy as LessCode platform.
No code required— until you do, and then it’s there for you.
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30 January 2020