No-Code vs From-Scratch - the future of software

New technologies are continuously evolving how we build software. With a recent shift toward “no-code” tools, nearly anyone can participate. But how do you choose what tools are right for you? Should you use no-code? Build from scratch? For most of us, a happy medium might be best. Let's dig in.

The Pros of No-Code

No-code platforms like Bubble, Softr, Webflow, and Carrd allow you to build web apps without writing code. I've always been a huge proponent of making technology more accessible, and these tools definitely deliver. They enable:

  • Rapid prototyping with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) interface
  • Easy deployment without worrying about server maintenance
  • Templates to get you going even faster

As empowering as these tools are, there are some limitations as well. The tools are built to be broadly useful which is great for common use cases, but can mean it's challenging (or in some cases impossible) to implement complex logic. Data security, high-availability, and other important concepts are out of your hands, which can introduce complexity when you are working with enterprise customers or customers with sensitive data. If you’re building with the intent to sell, an app built on no-code might fit better into some purhcaser's portfolios than others. It doesn't mean you're written off, but just be aware of the purchaser's goals.

The Pros of Building from Scratch

I won't dig too deep here because most people are much more familiar with this track since it has been along much longer. Traditional software building, or building from scratch, requires a longer learning curve but guarantees a fully customizable software platform where functionality is only restricted by the abilities of the developers. This model gives control over data security and has lower maintenance costs, although it introduces more complexity around implementing each of these features and potentially choosing vendors to help you do so. And crucially, the exit options when building from scratch are generally not confined by the stack you build on.

When to Use Them


  • Apps that don't require complex logic, don't handle sensitive data, and don't have complex integrations
  • Prototypes of new ideas
  • Internal tools that would otherwise require time from your engineering teams

Build From Scratch

  • Apps that need high levels of customization, have highly complex logic, handles sensitive data, requires high performance (think real-time, zero latency, high availability, etc.)
  • Products that need special deployment setups such as complex deployment pipelines or separate deployments for separate customers

The most important takeaway here is that both have strengths, can we have the best of both worlds?

The Happy Medium

The best of both worlds might look different for each team, but could look something like:

  • Using No-Code to prototype and get feedback on new products and features
  • Only build the validated ideas from scratch
  • When building from scratch, leverage AI tools to help expedite some of the manual or tedious tasks (another post about AI coding tools coming soon. Sneak preview: these tools are great IF you have a good understanding of the architecture and can pair it with a good testing pipeline)


From quick to comprehensive, software builders have a breadth of options from no-code to fully built-from-scratch. Individuals and businesses get to decide the route they want to take based on their project and their goals.

Remember, the trick is not to adopt the latest tech just for the sake of it, but to leverage the most suitable tools and strategies that can best solve your particular problem or business needs. Through this approach, we'll see a more inclusive, efficient, and dynamic software industry emerge.

Ready to explore further? Contact us to start a conversation about software engineering at your company. We’re focused on practical assessments and plans to prep your organization for upcoming technical due diligence.