Code Not Clicks

“Clicks not Code.”

That is one of the latest marketing slogans from Force.com. Now, I have nothing against Force.com. In fact I think it is a great platform. But what, if I may ask, is so bad about code? And why are clicks better?

First off, I am a programmer. Secondly, I program mostly in C#. Full disclosure, acknowledging the last set of negative comments I got. Yeah, I know I should program in Java or Python or Ruby or Kotlin or something else because it is obviously way cooler … but I don’t. I program in C#. Stop reading now if that causes you some religious reaction.

I think that code, no matter what language you program in, is the best way to express your intention. Code gives you the flexibility to say exactly what you mean and what you want to have happen. Yes, there is a learning curve. But after you climb that curve you are way better off.

With “clicks” you supposedly get increased productivity. I am not sure that is true in the long run. Those of us that have actually tried to develop an application using a platform abstraction like Force (or even SugarCRM, for that matter – which I think is a great product) are often disappointed with the result. Initial productivity gains are often negated by the need to go back in and create (using code) what it was you really wanted in the first place.

Clicks have limited flexibility. With code you have great flexibility. That is the tradeoff. Productivity vs. Flexibility. For me it is all about control. As an application developer I want to have control over what my application does. For me actually coding the application achieves that goal.

The cloud offers many options for developers. Platform as a Service, for example, is all about giving developers a place to deploy custom applications. Those applications may be created in the traditional manner by writing code or may, in some cases, be created by using a point and click interface. While vendors may tout the productivity benefits of the latter I would encourage all developers to look beyond the marketing hype. Actually writing program code (in the language of your choice) is, in many cases, the best way to create an application.

Happy coding,

Kevin Kell

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