Where next for no-code?

Charge VC
Published in
8 min readMay 4, 2020

This post is the first in a series on the no-code movement. Over the next few months, we’ll share our learnings from talking with founders, investors, and makers. To begin with, we explore the question of what makes a company no code.

“The best code is no code at all. Every new line of code you willingly bring into the world is code that has to be debugged, code that has to be read and understood, code that has to be supported. Every time you write a new code, you should do so reluctantly, under duress, because you completely exhausted all your other options.” — Jeff Atwood

The developer dearth

For all the ubiquity of technology in our lives, its architects are few and far between. Though exact numbers are hard to come by given the lack of credentialing required, there are an estimated 30MM software developers in the world, with 3.4MM in the US.

In and of itself, that figure is not particularly remarkable — there are considerably fewer doctors (1.1MM) and lawyers (1.3MM). But when viewed with a sense of demand in mind, the figures are striking. While the US has an oversupply of lawyers and should have a total shortfall of a mere 120K physicians and surgeons by 2032, software developers are in high demand. Before the current slowdown, the US had ~1MM tech openings, with the gap set to widen. On an annual basis, 120K computing jobs should be made available through 2022, while only 40K new graduates will enter the workforce.

This shortage has fundamentally altered the processes of both large and small businesses. As more companies look to build a technological edge in areas like AI, cloud computing, and data science, the fight for engineers has manifested in a willingness to secure talent with elevated salaries, signing bonuses, and other perks. As much as a third of tech openings remain unfilled after 5 months, resulting in significant productivity losses. Intriguingly, this is not a problem isolated to Silicon Valley; salaries grew more quickly outside the tech mecca than within it.

While increasing compensation might be a viable option for the deep-pocketed, it is considerably…

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