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Code x no-code, what is it good for?

Code x no-code, what is it good for?
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #32 • View online
Today 6PM EST, I’ll be streaming Base design best practices with my colleague Victoria, customer success manager at Airtable. Similar to last week but a completely different usecase.
In other news, I’m moving my streams to Twitch. You can find me at twitch.tv/AutomateAlltheThingsTV. Click the follow button and you’ll be notified when I’m live.
Why move? Ultimately, what I love most is building things and learning from others live, and Twitch is the platform built specifically to make live experiences amazing. Moving to Twitch will allow the streams be more interactive, let me stream more often and just generally make the stream (I hope) more fun. Replays will still be available on Youtube.
I’m also going to open up the stream to others – I know a few things but collectively, we can learn much more. I’ve got amazing folks from Parabola, Autocode and others on deck to come teach me (and you) how to Automate All the Things! Stay tuned.
Final note, the Learn Airtable scripting series is going to happen on Airtable’s Twitch channel! For the next 4 weeks at 4PM EST on Thursday, I’ll be learning how to write scripts in Airtable with my colleague Giovanni Briggs, customer solutions engineer. Come learn with me at twitch.tv/airtableTV
As always an updated calendar with the ability to sign up, add to calendar is at aatt.io/calendar
Apologies for the excessive housekeeping, and, now, without further ado, the main event

Heyo!
A legitimate question to last week’s missive on why no-code has motivated me to attempt to learn to code again, is what can you actually do with code in a no-code tool?
Building apps on app
The first thing that code allows is to extend the functionality of a no-code tool, building an app on top of an app. Once a userbase for a tool is large enough there exist missing features that are deeply valued to some set of that userbase. That subset may not be large enough for the tool itself to be considered valuable. But large enough that budding entrepreneurs can find users who are willing to pay additional costs to augment their no-code tool. A good example is miniextensions which builds extensions on top of Airtable. Some of their apps are small enhancements specific to a certain usertype, others are simply features that are lower priority on the roadmap. You can also think of Jetboost which improves search on Webflow. I often wish I had persevered to learn to code so I can be part of Airtable’s or Webflow’s (or Monday.com or Smarsheet’s) flourishing app developer ecosystem. God knows I wouldn’t lack ideas, but unfortunately I lack the knowledge.
The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know
When you start learning a no-code tool, you start off like everyone else. You learn the build blocks of that specific tool. With Airtable, you think about how to add your data, organize it and build out your workflow. From there, you increase the complexity of your base to better reflect the nooks and crannies of how your team works. But you eventually get to a point where your workflow is so dialed in that you exhaust what can be possible with existing building blocks. At that point you use workarounds.
Maybe your blocker is that you want to link two records automatically based on the value of a field in both (other than the primary field) like Jason. His usecase is balancing an invoicing and accounting system.
Jason Staats 🔨
How I bootstrapped a $5k MRR non-accounting service in our firm this year with no marketing

✅ Largely automated
✅ Managed entirely by offshore team
✅ About $3k/yr per customer
✅ Built exclusively with @airtable

#accounting #nocode #taxtwitter

The deets 👇 https://t.co/GsyMVz0tEu
This is so specific to Jason’s workflow as an accountant that it doesn’t make sense to build within the product itself (or for an app developer to create an extension). But it’s so little code! A few lines of Javascript unlock Jason to create this wonderfully useful workflow.
In Webflow, custom codes allows you to extend the functionality in specific places of the tool. For instance, a little bit of custom code (that I copy pasted!) allowed me to pull a referral parameter on Webflow form submit which was crucial to a referral marketing workflow. Webflow is not built for referral marketing per se (there are dedicated tools for that like referral Saasquatch) but a little bit of custom code was all it needed to become a referral marketing tool!
I’m excited to explore the space between code and no‐code on Airtable’s stream tomorrow and in the future on my stream with tools like Autocode, Zapier’s code step and Parabola.
Learning the fundamentals of Javascript won’t make me a coder—I have no desire to spend my days programming—but it’ll make me a better no‐coder.
Best
Aron
PS I’m looking for bases to review live on the stream. If you’d like me to review your Airtable base, reply to this email! It could be the structure, automations you’re trying to build or something else!
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Aron Korenblit

Weekly thoughts on the working smarter not harder using no-code tools + a weekly Airtable tip. Written by Aron Korenblit

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