No code? More like just enough code!

I have been building on no-code platforms for more than two years. I started with the Typeform, Zapier, PDF Filler combo. Then I discovered Community.Lawyer, which let me quickly deploy Docassemble-like guided interviews. At that time I decided to build on Community.Lawyer instead of learning Docassemble.

I am writing this post to explain why I changed my mind about no-code. Here's a sketch of an outline.

How much code does it really take to run Docassemble? Turns out not that much.

I got most of the way just following instructions published here:

Overview of docassemble administration
From paper to webform, made easier | The Document Assembly Line Project
Legal Tech Class | Legal Tech Class
The aim of this project is to create a collaboratively built textbook for teaching law school classes about legal technology.
Create an Amazon Lightsail instance | Lightsail Documentation

Writing interviews will take a lot more code, but here's why that's a good thing!

I can reuse and repurpose any code I write, so progress will accelerate as I accumulate a useful library. Whereas I cannot reuse things I build on no-code platforms.

For example, I developed a standard way for collecting names in Community.Lawyer. Each app required me to build the standard question block from scratch instead of copying it from previous projects.

Ultimately, it seems there is a point where no-code no longer saves development time. While no-code helps get a quick start, it starts to sandbag over longer term development cycles.

In the near future I want to develop this article by looking closely at these articles:

Designing Docassemble Interviews for Maintainability, Start to Finish – Lemma Legal
Is this the right time to ditch your proprietary document assembly platform? – Lemma Legal