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Low-Code Meets Open Source

I already wrote about Zapier's acquisition of Makerpad, a clear sign that "No-Code" isn't a short-lived fad. The fact that products like Sheet2Site and Softr have emerged - both powered by "legacy" spreadsheets - is actually a sign we've been No-Coding for years. We just didn't think of it that way.

Amplication's appearance on ProductHunt yesterday reminded me of another emerging trend - Low-Code. Or, rather, the emergence of Low-Code and Open Source as a powerful combo.

Typically, Low-Code and No-Code solutions are "closed source." You can build and customise apps and workflows to a certain point, but don't always have the freedom to explore beyond smart defaults. Sources of data, destinations for data, and destinations for output are often limited.

This is where a sprinkling of Open Source can add a ton of value. A while back, I penned some reasons to love Divjoy. It's on the "advanced" end of the Low-Code spectrum but, with a few weeks of accumulated knowledge, it's incredibly powerful. Not just for building. For learning.

Divjoy allows you to export code - raw output, or straight to CodeSandbox - and turns a Low-Code experience into a Learn-To-Code experience. High level concepts are defined through a visual UI. Tweaks and iterations can happen, over long periods of time, through code.

Availability and shareability of Open Source projects is a big reason why I, and many millions of others, learned to code. Knowledge that was once limited to degree courses at universities was democratized when HotScripts, StackOverflow, and FreeCodeCamp came along.

Jamstack-friendly products like Divjoy, Amplication, WeWeb, and Stackbit bridge the gaps between No-Code, Low-Code, and Open Source. Tools that unlock creativity visually, and through code.

For aspring engineers and entrepreneurs, it's easier than ever to start building, and start learning.