The essential differences between a career mentor, a coach or a sponsor

“Learn to code” is a common and frustrating refrain often thrown at job seekers, entrepreneurs, creative professionals and others. Depending on who says it, the intent can range from well-meaning to deliberately hurtful.

It does, in a way, make sense. Computer programming is the fundamental language on which modern life is based. And while many people use technology they don’t understand every day, from microwaves to cars, there’s something a little different about programming. It’s ubiquitous to just about anyone, just about everywhere, whether they use it for work or not. And more people are using it for work than ever. It’s the easiest sought skills in the labor market.

But “learning to code” isn’t practical for everyone. Not everyone with an app idea has the time to learn how to build an app from scratch, or the money to hire people to do it for them. This is where the low-code/no-code movement comes in. It’s about giving people the tools they need to bring an idea to life without having to learn a whole new set of skills. When you’re baking a cake, you probably aren’t grinding the wheat into flour, and when you’re building an app, you don’t need to start with Python.

No-code is not really a new idea.

The fact that computers have menus and icons is the result of early programmers realizing that non-programmers should sometimes use a computer. You can turn to tools like RPG Creator which allowed people to create their own video games in 1992. RPG Maker was like a Lego kit for creating a video game. And not only is he still going strong, but he has proven to be prophetic. Turns out giving people tools and a sandbox is a great way to foster creativity.

This has also been the long arc of the Internet. There was a time when meaningful participation in the World Wide Web meant learning to program. Places like Geocities have given you real estate to build a website. But you had to build this site yourself. We have went away of this as the internet has turned into a commodity. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are removing personalization in the name of consistency.

But the creative tools persist. Consider “WYSIWYG” or “What you see is what you get” web editors. It is tools like WordPress that have taken over some of this Internet customization. They give you resources to build a website and you plug them in wherever you want.

It’s a happy medium between building from scratch and handing it all over to you. This is the sweet spot of accessible creativity. (If you’ve never heard someone say “WYSIWYG,” it’s probably because these web development tools are so common they don’t really need a special name anymore.)

One of the biggest areas of no-code design right now is app development. These app development tools are similar to building a WordPress site. They give you the raw materials, and you customize and assemble them however you want. Adaloa no-code platform for building apps, lets you bring resources and ideas to the table, and gives you a framework to organize those ideas into an app.

They are not alone. AppOnboard, a no-code software development suite, Buildbox purchased, a leading no-code game development platform. Their combined resources represent an amazing library of assets, full of potential.

What does this mean for coders? Probably not much. Specialized skills are always in high demand. But for the rest of us, a slow democratization of development is underway, and it’s exciting to see it taking shape.

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