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Attaining inclusivity by using low-code and no-code apps

June 2, 2022 by Rich Kurtzman, Brand Communications @ Fathym

When it comes to low-code and no-code development and how they interact with inclusivity, it’s a little bit of a chicken and the egg situation.

Which came first? Which led to the other?

The truth is, they came onto the scene at the same time for us at Fathym.

Going back to our inception, we’ve been looking for ways to help make it easier for everyone to build their own website, even if they don’t have a background in coding and development. We were also founded as a micro frontends platform, and with that being the case, we had to keep payload size in mind.

Low-code and no-code solutions became a necessity to accomplish both tasks at the same time.

Low code lowers the bar, no code erases that bar

Low-code development means likely having to use some coding, but not much compared to conventional development. No-code is what it sounds like, no coding. Both options usually include a dazzling user interface and each of them will bring many options for designing beautiful, fun and exciting websites.

As an introduction to the world of coding, we allow users to use low and no-code solutions, like static site builders which require very little knowledge to use. Simultaneously, those static site generators are a way around giant download sizes which can accompany micro frontends. Plus, they are highly customizable and performative (See: Fast!).

There are expensive site-builders out there, however, we use free and open-source options, opening the door to those who don’t have endless resources to spend on tech. And just because they’re free, it doesn’t mean they’re not great.

11ty is a “simpler static site generator” as they call it, and we’ve found it works wonderfully. It’s lightweight, fast and functions well with zero boilerplate JavaScript needed on the client side. Both as a content management solution, as well as the user-end of a headless WordPress.

It's also important to keep in mind the positives and negatives of no-code tools.

How we’ve implemented inclusivity

One example is our head of Brand Communications, Rich Kurtzman, who uses Docusaurus to write and post his blogs. He had zero developing experience when he came to the company earlier this year, but now he dives into VSCode and has figured out how to make markdown work for him.

It’s in that same vein that we support “citizen developers” who have little to no developing experience but still want to learn and break free from restrictive, expensive options. No-code options like 11ty, Gatsby and Docusaurus are just some of the ones which we implement, and we welcome our community to bring their favorite open-source options by bringing over the code from a GitHub repository.

And here’s the great news while building your own website for yourself, you’ll not only be learning valuable information on how static site generators work, and how to build websites, but on micro frontends, too.

According to analysts, the no-code space is expected to grow over the next three years. So, we are on the cutting edge of this trend. And you will be, too.

Of course, it’s not just citizen developers who can benefit from no and low-code systems, but developers can too.

Our George Hatch used static site generator 11ty to create his Redwood Crystals website. While he does have developing experience, the goal was to “flashup” a website, or create it in a matter of minutes instead of days or weeks.

Recipe Video tutorials

As we continue to adopt users at a great rate, we’re producing our “recipe” videos, which help anyone get that site going incredibly quickly. Again, lowering the bar and helping code newbies get going.

Our recipe videos, posted on YouTube for free and open to the public, allow users to be walked through the process of starting a site in whatever particular JavaScript framework they’d like to use.

For instance, this is our recipe for starting a site using Angular:

We have also hosted two different Discord Live sessions at the time of this blog's publication, and we'll continue to bring the live webinars in the future, too.

Join Fathym

Join today for free and start your learning adventure for free. We are looking to include anyone and everyone who would like to learn and level up!