Why You Absolutely Must Document Your No-Code Software
I’ve released almost 200 versions of my web-based app to paying customers over the last 18 months. And I’m not even officially on version 1.0 yet. So last week, when I released version 0.9.24.25 via my no-code platform of choice, Bubble.io, I broke … well, almost everything.
What’s worse, it wasn’t a catastrophic break, the kind you can find with a few minutes testing. But a few days later, a customer reached out to our support team with a strange issue. It led me to discover a glitch in my logic I otherwise never would have caught. It could have lingered for days and made a huge mess of my data.
Thankfully, I was able to go back to my documentation, realize what I did and when I did it, and make a quick fix. It took me about five minutes to find and fix the glitch, and it only impacted that one customer.
However, without that documentation, it could have taken weeks before I realized what I had done, and maybe just as long to remedy it. All while revenue slipped through a gaping hole in my app.
No-code is no joke. It may make coding feel like a game, but you can’t treat it like one. You need to document everything you do.
Yes, You Need To Document Code You Didn’t Write
I’m a former (recovering) developer. And one of the reasons I love no-code so much is because of all the stuff I don’t have to do, like set up the infrastructure, rebuild a lot of functional wheels, and learn and remember the minutiae of syntax. But there’s one practice I made sure to carry over from my development days, because I remember how hard it was to fix shit when people were screaming at me.
As foreign a concept as “documenting no-code” might sound, it’s absolutely crucial, not only for recovering from your mistakes, but to keep you from getting lost in the weeds as you build a bigger and broader application or serve a wider market.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a developer to properly document no-code. The bad news is that there’s no form, format, or even a central repository to keep track of all the parts of your app…