First-ever Academic Study of Airtable Developers

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Dear talented Developers,


I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to you today as a Ph.D. student in entrepreneurship at the University of Calgary. I am part of a research team led by Dr. Mohammad Keyhani, conducting a study on the no-code / low-code revolution.


Your expertise as an Airtable extension developer is highly regarded, and we would be honored if you would be willing to participate in our study. Your knowledge and experience would be invaluable to our research, and we would greatly appreciate a 45-minute interview to gain deeper insights. However, if a 30-minute slot would be more convenient for you, we would be grateful for your time nonetheless.


 I provide a calendar link or work with any preferred scheduling tool that you may have. Please rest assured that our study has been approved by the University of Calgary ethics board, and we strictly adhere to ethical guidelines to ensure the confidentiality of all information.


Thank you for considering this invitation, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.




Mahdieh Sarbazvatan

Ph.D. student at Haskayne School of Business

University of Calgary

2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4


2 Replies 2

Can you please provide a little more information about your study?

You mention that you are studying "the no-code / low-code revolution," then refer to "expertise as an Airtable extension developer". However, developing an extension is *not* no-code or even low-code. Writing an Airtable extension requires knowledge of both JavaScript and React. Do you want no-code/low-code developers or do you want extension developers?

What led you to choose to study Airtable developers? How do you know that there have not been other academic studies? What are you hoping to gain from this study? How will the results of this study be published and when? Will participants be compensated? Given that top Airtable consultants charge upwards of $300+ per hour, a non-monetary compensation is probably in order. 

Do you need developers with a range of experience? If so, how will you know if you have a representative sample? How many developers do you need? Do you have a website?


Thanks for replying.

  1. For this particular part of the no-code ecosystem we are studying now (marketplaces of no-code platforms), we want the coders! In my experience though most of those coders are also users of the platforms (e.g. Airtable extension developers are also Airtable users).
  2. We are studying several no-code platforms that are mature enough to have relatively active marketplaces (Bubble, Webflow, Airtable, etc.)
  3. Part of my job as a researcher is to conduct a literature review to see what has been done before and what new contributions we can add. No-code platforms are relatively new and there is not that much literature on them. Specifically, there is no literature on the marketplaces of no-code platforms. However, there is literature on marketplaces in general that we will definitely build on.
  4. An understanding of how marketplaces form around no-code platforms, when do they work better or worse, and how the platforms can design better marketplaces or implement features and mechanisms to make them work better.
  5. Like most PhD students in business I aim to publish their work as peer-reviewed journal articles in respected academic journals such as those listed here: but I also aim to publish more popular-audience material as well, such as blog posts or possibly a book co-authored by my supervisor (Dr. Mohammad Keyhani). 
  6. Unfortunately, most grad student projects like this do not have a budget to compensate interviewees. Typically if we find that we cannot recruit interviewees among a particular target population we have to rethink our study design.
  7. I suspect the more experienced a person is with the Airtable marketplace, the more insights they will have for my research. But there is no strict requirement on the level of experience.
  8. Qualitative studies (e.g. interviews) have different sampling criteria from quantitative studies (e.g. surveys). While representativeness and generalizability are important criteria for quantitative studies, qualitative research focuses on gaining an in-depth understanding of participants' experiences, perspectives, and nuances of the phenomenon being studied. Qualitative studies often use purposive sampling, which involves selecting participants who can provide rich, detailed, and diverse insights into the research topic.
  9. I would like to interview at least four Airtable extension developers.
  10. I have a LinkedIn, and my supervisor has a profile on our University’s website:

I hope the above points help,