The History of No-Code and How It Came To Be

The History of No-Code and How It Came To Be

Simon Jenner

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

With no-code's popularity growing in the past few years, it can be easily to forget where it started. Let's travel through no-code's history, beginning all the way back in 1985.

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Contrary to popular belief, no-code did not just recently emerge out of thin air. In fact, the technology has been available for building MVPs in one form or another for a surprisingly long time.
Although, the rapid rate that the digital world is growing is certainly enhancing no-code’s presence. The current pandemic is even promoting the use of no-code as entrepreneurs are utilising idle time to found new startups, though might not have the financial resources to devote to traditional coding development.
So, with no-code on the rise in 2020, where did it begin? Let’s journey 35 years into the past.

1985: Microsoft Excel
In 1985, the very first iteration of Microsoft Excel for Mac was released.
This spreadsheet program provided users a simple way to enter data into a system without the need for writing code. Instead, the code was already written on the backend, allowing simple calculations and data manipulation.
Although used offline, this digital introduction to the world introduced the possibility of creating something without coding.

2003: WordPress
WordPress brought no-code capabilities online in 2003, followed by Shopify in 2004.
WordPress was the first opportunity for users to create websites without the need for a coder or developer, offering simple drag-and-drop functionalities. Meanwhile, Shopify emerged as a wonderful solution for e-commerce sellers to have an online storefront. These platforms created an environment for entrepreneurs to find their niche and cater their work towards an audience.
These two platforms are still widely used now in 2020 with over 455 million websites created with WordPress and over 500,000 active stores on Shopify.

2006: Google Sheets
Google Sheets brought the capabilities of Microsoft Excel to an online space in 2006, allowing for collaboration among individuals, businesses, and entrepreneurs alike. 
In modern day, Google Sheets even has an app that can be downloaded on all smartphones and tablets, allowing for no-code on-the-go.
As explained in our blog about no-code tools for your startup, there are even platforms that allow you to create an app from Google Sheets within just minutes.

2007 - 2020
In modern day 2020, no-code has grown far beyond what Microsoft likely imagined back in 1985. With well-known platforms like Squarespace for building websites and Bubble for mobile and desktop app development, startup founders have fewer barriers to achieving their dreams than ever before. 
Where these founders previously had to spend an extraordinary amount of time and financial resources into finding the perfect coder for their team, they can now learn no-code on their own, becoming their own technical co-founder. They are also able to get their MVP apps to market within a month, whereas it used to take them approximately 18 weeks with traditional methods.

2020 & Beyond
No-code is unquestionably taking over the startup world one founder at a time, creating what we at MLabs like to refer to as a No-Code Revolution. By democratising development methods, no-code is certain to continue growing and thriving. 
In fact, as more and more founders begin to utilise no-code for their startups, we are bound to see our first No-Code Unicorns by the year 2022. 
Our No-Code Bootcamp is designed to get you up-to-speed on the capabilities of no-code, helping you take your Big Idea to market in just 4 weeks. Sign up today to get started.

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