No-Code Code Generators, Wait. What!?!

Airtable, known for its low/no-code marketing posture is experiencing rapid growth and adoption by users who need to create code and by many who want to learn how to code to take full advantage of the platform.

The irony does not escape me.

About two years ago I predicted Airtable would soon enable users to create javascript code; seven months later, they did. I called it, but this was an easy prediction - it had to happen.

A few weeks after Script Blocks was released, I made a similar prediction concerning code generators. I guessed aloud how long it would be before we might see some smart systems able to create complex scripts that perform some pretty useful automation and tasks.

Mark that one off - today I got a preview from Dan @openside and I’m excited that he made this a reality. Watch for announcements on this soon from Openside.

Imagine a tool where you point and click, make a few selections, and it displays the script action code needed to meet your objective. One might ask -

Why even generate and show the code - just plug it in behind the scenes and leave it at that, right?

Three really good reasons -

  1. Airtable doesn’t make this possible for after-market developers at the moment.
  2. There are huge advantages to having the code and using it as is or with subtle modifications.
  3. You can learn from code generators.

I predict code generators will be big for the no/low-code segment and especially Airtable because we have now started to see a big influx of power-users and hyper-users who are likely to be comfortable with some degree of code.

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I heartily applaud code generation tools.

When I started writing code for Microsoft Word, I started by using Word’s ability to “record” a series of mouse clicks and keyboard strokes and convert them into Visual Basic. That in turn led me to adapting the recorded code, and eventually to the code I demoed in my BuiltOnAir interview.

The app that I released on the Airtable Marketplace is a code generator of sorts. After a bit of pointing and clicking, my app produces an Airtable formula.

To all the coder-curious out there—come on in, the water’s fine.

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You should link to it and show a snapshot here!