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How to Get Started with Low-Code/No-Code Tools

Our simple advice on kicking off any project with low-code/no-code tools

​​By: Alex Allain, CTO and Co-Founder at USDR

As USDR celebrates our two year anniversary, we’re pulling back the curtain and showcasing some of the techniques we use to scale USDR and help our partners serve their communities.

This is the final installment of our low-code/no-code series. Be sure to read over our previous posts, linked below.

We’ve spent the last few posts exploring implementation and insight on low-code/no-code tools, investigated their strengths and weaknesses, and invited you to “think like an engineer” when selecting the tools for your needs.

We hope you’re excited and ready to start diving into some of these tools with your team. One final question remains: What do you do next?

Getting Started

The simple answer is: just try it out on a small project. Because these tools are excellent for leaf nodes in your system, there is relatively little risk to trying out these tools in one of these smaller projects that might otherwise be difficult to get done using a traditional process. The learning curve is also relatively gentle–for someone with a technical background, it will take hours or days rather than weeks or months to get up to speed.

In some cases, these tools can even be picked up by individuals with little to no technical training. In those cases, it can be helpful to have a guide through this process or someone to show what an initial buildout might look like. USDR is happy to help in this capacity.

If you’re running a central team that supports non-technical individuals, you might be wondering what you can do to learn more and how should you be thinking about staffing up to support this. One model we imagine is taking a similar approach to USDR itself, but at local scales where you have a small group of central experts who support & bootstrap a larger group of non-technical developers. These individuals could help with the initial buildout or advise on implementation, ensuring people think through security, privacy, scale and other issues up-front.

Don’t forget to read through our guide on low-code/no-code tools. Check out the previous posts here:

We’re here to help

The tools that USDR has used have helped us support governments solving real problems for people — quickly, at low cost and with minimal staff time. When these solutions are appropriate, they empower teams closest to the work — resulting in better solutions that can be adapted to changing conditions. If you’re considering a project and wondering whether these (or similar) low/no code tools are appropriate, reach out to USDR for advice. We’re happy to share our experiences so you can make a more informed decision.

If you are a government partner looking for support, please reach out to us here. We’ve worked with these tools on engagements with governments across the country, and are happy to discuss how these tools could help you as well. Similarly, if you are a technologist or public servant looking for ways to use your skills on high-impact, high-urgency projects, join our USDR volunteer community and see our open staff positions.

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U.S. Digital Response (USDR) places experienced, pro-bono technologists to work with government and organizations responding to crisis, to quickly deliver services and infrastructure that support the critical needs of the public. We’re nonpartisan, fast, and free.

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U.S. Digital Response

U.S. Digital Response

Connecting governments and nonprofits with pro bono technologists and assistance to quickly respond to the critical needs of the public.

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