The big question is, if your organisation does commit to this, how are you going to make sure the right people know the basics of no-code, how the specific tool works, and how it’ll work in your specific environment? We told you it was a big question. Otherwise, you’ll have an IT department full of fear and anxiety, and all kinds of security, governance and compliance issues in the post.
A no-code training programme isn’t just about getting people competent using no-code tools – it’s also about making sure they’re able to implement no-code into your specific business setting reliably and safely.
The NCDT view is that if you’re really going to make no-code work and proliferate across your business, you need to own the training and create your own bespoke programme. The tool or platform you opt for will always provide plenty of training and support, but it won’t take into account your own processes and idiosyncrasies.
There’s always likely to be an overarching theme for your training programme, depending on what you’re looking to build. It might be to build forms, a dashboard or a project management app. That said, the goal remains universal:
To put someone non-technical into the training programme so that when they come out, they can reliably build a robust app without messing things up.
There should be four levels to a robust programme.
LEVEL ONE: How no-code works
The first port of call is for people to understand the basics of what no-code is and how it actually works. We’ve got plenty on this, and we’d certainly point you towards our NoCode University. It’s essential that people are familiar with some of the critical elements and concepts when it comes to building software: we’re talking about databases, business logic, interfaces and APIs.
The next stage is to introduce the concept of systems thinking. This is basically a problem solving approach that means you’re able to see a ‘system’ as a whole; how the different elements and components of a system interact with one another. It’s important because it’ll help the average non-technical individual think about their work and problems in a framework that’s applicable to building software. Without that, there’s a huge gap in understanding.
While you can keep this relatively light, a basic understanding is essential. We’d say this is perhaps the biggest factor in someone’s capability using no-code: if you spend a lot of time on it, your trainee will come out really ready to roll with no-code.
This is arguably the bulk of your training programme, as you get to grips with the particular tool or platform you’ve opted for. The training the platform you've chosen will provide will be best-in-class. Generally, they’ll recommend you to do some project-based learning, relevant to what you’re building. So if you want to build a CRM app, you might build a very basic app that’s able to collect info from a user. Then you might move on to a more complex version of your app.
Next steps: Your no-code tool provider will have all the materials you’re looking for.
LEVEL FOUR: How to safely bring no-code software into your environment
Here’s where you get really bespoke. This last level is when you dig into the intricacies and complexities of building software and apps within your organisational environment. This is going to be different from business to business: what applies to a heavily regulated sector like healthcare or banking won’t be the same as retail or HR. What are the things that need to be considered from a legal, regulatory and cultural perspective?
Then you need to outline what the IT governance process is like within your organisation. When a software engineer joins an IT team, all of this stuff is outlined as part of their onboarding but most employees won’t have this training. That means they need to know. Let’s say you have a webpage you want to go live with. Who do you need to speak to to get a domain name? Where are you hosting it? Whose permission is needed for it to go live?
Finally, what are the technical intricacies bespoke to your business or organisation? Here’s where you really ought to be involving the IT department: finding out their worries and concerns about where non-technical people will go wrong. Solve the key problems that they’re going to raise.
Next step: This is an internal job that’s going to involve you working closely with your IT department.
How to deliver it
So you know the outline of what your training should consist of, but what about actually delivering it? We’ll always argue for a bespoke training programme that’s best-in-class. The work you do at this point will have a huge impact on how successful no-code implementation is – and how widely it goes.
You’ll almost certainly need a facilitator who knows their stuff when it comes to no-code. But if you’re embarking on this journey, that’s going to be necessary anyway. Then, there are three key ways training programmes are executed:
You take people out of their role for a 2-3 week workshop: an intensive crash course on no-code that covers everything.
You launch an ongoing programme that takes up an hour or two every week. A bit like an after-school club. At the end, there should be some kind of certification.
You create a custom online course. This entails creating the materials upfront: a combination of NCDT content, vendor content and your own bespoke materials related to your company. Have people take the course online and take some type of test to ensure they’re certified.
A training programme is something to take very seriously: the more time and effort you put in at the start, the more you’ll help avoid problems later down the line and the likelier the chances of widespread no-code adoption. Creating a bespoke training plan that’s tailored to the IT environment at your organisation is the only way to go.