Zerocoding principles


“There is indeed some snobbery. But a lot of it is just not accepting change. I still meet people who are sure that mail should be sent through their own SMTP servers instead of the conventional Mailchimp, because it is more reliable that way. It seems to me that snobbery before zero-coding has the same roots. Previously, everyone raised their servers, now they are quietly working with large providers. Zerocoding is the same next level: some blocks of the program will be taken out if they are sure that they work and are provided with a clear interface.

In zero-coding, you can make full-fledged products, but in some cases you should limit yourself to MVP

Zerocoding allows you to create a version of a product that solves the user’s problems and results in the first money. If a chatbot, landing page or a simple mobile application in your business is a full-fledged product, it can be created and maintained using zero-coding.

If in your business the product is an ecosystem or a platform solution that you want to develop and refine for a long time, then zero-coding most likely will not cover all the needs. To create such a product, you have to do development.

“What is considered a product is a matter of terminology. By product, I mean a thing that does some work for a user or an entrepreneur – whether it’s a mobile or web application. For me, a chatbot is also a product that lives not in a browser, but in a messenger. Just like a landing page: it helps to explain to a person what we want from him and get his contact. This is exactly what you can nazerokodit: quickly and independently.

Vadim Mikhalev, founder of the largest zerocoder community and the first online zerocoder university

“A product through the eyes of a programmer is something complete that can be maintained, developed, and so on for a long time. I myself understand zero-coding well: I have a small educational business, and we have a landing page on Tilda, a mailing list on Mailchimp, webinars on Zoom. I really like this mechanic. But for many programmers, zerocoding is a strange magic for which there is no documentation, and which it is not clear how to develop.

Zerocoding does not always evolve into development – sometimes it just moves to a new level

If you need to constantly scale, then zero-coding is more of a temporary solution for you. But you don’t need to immediately move to a full-fledged development: zero-coding tools come in different levels of flexibility and power. Often, in order to develop, it is enough to move to the next zero-coding tool – then you can still do without a large development team.

“If you run into the limitations of a zero-coding tool, you can always switch to another one. Any tool should be treated as temporary. First, we check that there is a market for the product. Then, if we need to move it to the next level, we move to the next platform. At some point, it may become code, but this is not necessary. I have such a sticker in the zerocoder sticker pack: “we grow up – we code”, that’s how I see it somehow.

Vadim Mikhalev, founder of the largest zerocoder community and the first online zerocoder university

“Our product Directual is just about the next level of zero-coding. We came to it from the development side – we simplified some parts of the process and slowly found out that, it turns out, we were making a zero-coding tool. As for scalability and maintainability: a part of the internal IT of the PIK company has been working on our platform for three years already – document management and an internal knowledge base. Everything is well supported. At one point, clients were evaluating out of curiosity how much it would cost to move to some traditional programming language, and came to the conclusion that it would take years.”

Pavel Ershov, CEO Directual

You need to go into development when you have to code a lot in zerocoding

At what point is it logical to abandon zero-coding in favor of developers? The speakers agreed on the following: if you have to write more code to develop a product than it is convenient to do in a zero-coding platform, then it’s time to think about full-fledged development.

But we must keep in mind: in order to start development, you will have to learn how to hire developers. This is long and usually expensive, so it’s important to be prepared for the fact that moving to code is a lengthy process.

“I decide like this: if you start a lot of coding, you need to move on to development. Let’s say you can write Javascript code on the front on Webflow: you can send a request to the API, interact with the back. But this code is written in native Javascript and absolutely does not allow using the power of modern frameworks. If you have more than 200 lines of code, then it’s time to leave this tool.

Zerocoding is cheaper than development at the start, but may lose its advantage over time

Speakers agreed that zero-coding is usually cheaper on a small scale or at the beginning of a project – for testing, hypothesis testing, prototype or MVP. If the project grows, zerocode can be expensive. Tariffs, for example, for Low-code tools depend on the number of active users (or operations): when the bill goes into the thousands, it may be more profitable to think about development.

Specialists who know how to competently build products from zero-coding tools are also expensive. Not as expensive as experienced developers yet, but numbers will rise in the future. But they work ten times faster, and you can support the finished product on your own.