Here are 4 no-code products Pittsburgh founders swear by

Let’s face it, not everyone can be a master programmer — or needs to be. Some people are learning to code, but they’re starting a company that needs a website sooner rather than later. If that’s you, never fear: Many a founder has been there and used low-code and or no-code products to fill in the gaps.

A low-code product that allows the user to develop an app or digital platform is designed to reduce their need to write code, while a no-code product is a product that can be used with no coding knowledge whatsoever. Both significantly increase how fast an application can be built and deployed, and allow for a lot less hard coding to implement new systems or customize their software.

The movement toward embracing low- and no-code tools has gained popularity over the past decade as such products enable companies to build products faster, do more work with fewer people, and enable companies to launch a website or app to show off their work regardless of employees’ programming abilities.

There are plenty of options that can meet the needs of different budgets. Still, it can be hard to know which product will suit your needs. That’s why Pittsburgh-based early-stage founder Innovation Works hosted a panel discussion during which founders shared their experiences using low-code and or no-code products.

Here are a few of the no-code products that Parcel Health cofounder and CEO Melinda Su-En Lee, Chaos Reactor Chief Product Officer Lauren Golembiewski, and Roadies CEO and founder Yaovi Kpoga said help them run their companies.

Webflow is a no-code product meant to deliver all the features that HTML5, CSS and JavaScript enable, but without the need for the user to know the programming languages ​​typically required. Kpoga said being able to use Webflow helped make Roadies, a blockchain-powered web platform that facilitates art investment, what it is today.

Chaos Reactor’s Golembiewski said she appreciates how visual the platform is.

“I consider Webflow pretty low code because it is still within the HTML CSS framework, but it makes it a lot more approachable and visual,” Golembiewski said. “I’m a very visual person, so I gravitate towards tools like that.”

Zapier is a no-code product that allows the user to automate repetitive tasks between two or more apps. Instead of needing to write the code yourself, you can just tell the application what you want.

An added bonus for the founders who use Zapier is that it allows them to multitask, while providing helpful feedback. They agreed that Zapier came with a pretty steep learning curve, but once they got the hang of it, it’s been very helpful.

“When I started working with automation platforms, [I used] Zapier first and then graduated up to what’s called Integromat,” Golembiewski said. Zapier offers “real calculation” and code-like functions users can apply to databases. “It lets you do a lot of things simultaneously with automation.”

HubSpot is a no-code platform that basically offers five products in one: a marketing hub, a sales hub, a service hub, a CMS Hub and an operations hub. One of the best parts, according to Lee, is that many of HubSpot’s products have a free option. This is no small thing for a founder whose business is in the early stages of development.

“We use the free version,” Lee said. “For me, cost savings is a huge factor.

ClickUp, similar to HubSpot, includes a few different applications on one platform. This means the user can work collaboratively, create marketing campaigns, and plan while tracking the progress of a project. Lee found ClickUp overly complicated, but Golembiewski said since her company relied so heavily on multiple people working together, it helped her team work together more effectively.

“ClickUp is one of the things that we use that really helped transform our team’s process,” Golembiewski said. “I think it’s really about understanding your team dynamics, your products and tools, and having that set first.”

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So there you have it — those are some founders’ recommendations for anyone shopping around for a good no-code solution. But we love getting advice as much as sharing it with you readers, so tell us: Have you ever used any of these products? If so, did they live up to your expectations? What are some no-code products that you’d recommend? Let us know: pittsburgh@technical.ly.


Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.

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