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It felt odd when I first learned programming. It took too long. It was really difficult. Solutions for problems were mostly workarounds. People I tried to learn from spoke as if they were from parallel universe. The one where everything is obvious and I’m just being stupid. For some reason it felt wrong.

Nowadays I lead IT projects and get similar feeling from time to time. Running late on schedule, fixing bugs that generate next bugs, shipping software that’s not quite ready. Next developer being always smarter than the previous one. MVC is best. No, MVC is already outdated. OOP — great. No, functional programming. Angular 2? That was a week ago, now it’s 9.

That’s not even top of the mountain. Developers’ salaries went up 300% during last three years. Simple MVP is $50k, simple mobile app is $50k. Three years of experience makes you a senior, making more than lawyers, government, doctors, professors. Europe is on the course to miss 1,000,000 (million!) IT jobs in 2022.

As an entrepreneur and online business owner — I’m lost. I don’t want to take VC money. I want to give value without compromise, on my terms. Bootstrapping feels natural and fair. But all ideas are buried under endless development nightmare.

This has to change. The world has to adapt. And thankfully it is.

I first learned about automation from my friend developer who wrote a bot scraping multiple websites with car offers and sending him a notification the second someone posted an offer within specific criteria. That’s pretty cool, I though. Maybe I could apply this to my websites.

Since then I’ve learned a lot about so called no-code tools, allowing you to quickly create an MVP, website, app; LEGO tools, connecting multiple services and exchanging data; Cron jobs; AWS Lambda; Marketing automation; Chatbots and more… You can extend it with programming but it’s much better. It’s programming 2.0. One that I’ve been subconsciously waiting for. It is fast. Easy. Straightforward. It feels right.

After some time with the help of bots and automation I was able to reduce my team size from 12 to 4, while earning more overall (not to mention my part) and serving thousands of clients each month. For an online business, you can automate 90% of the process — sales, marketing, ads, invoicing and billing, returns, a large part of customer service. If you sell physical goods with dropshipping you don’t even see the products you sell.

Internet business is changing. You can see billion dollar businesses like Instagram and YouTube that require very little staff. Basically any established business will have a really hard time competing with similar model, but automated. Jason Bloomberg in his article on Forbes.com, puts it this way:

As today’s enterprises undergo digital transformation, they become software-driven organizations — and thus having developers on staff who can hand-code software has become an increasingly strategic necessity (…) Low-code and no-code will disrupt this entire pattern.

According to researchers, 40% of current jobs will disappear in only few years. They’re not to be replaced, they are to be automated. My bet is I will live up to a time when no one has to work. And that’s a good thing. All of the common tasks are going to be performed by robots. Food growing and supply, transport and delivery, medical diagnoses, treatment and everything else. By all means it’s probably even closer than we think. People will opt-in to work and the work will be purely creative, artistic, involving imagination, innovative.

Until then, the best thing you can do, especially if you’re running an online business in any form (e-commerce, as a freelancer, influencer, maker) is to learn the tools and techniques that will let you automate common tasks and work smarter.

I found no good resource when I was trying to apply this to my business. That’s why I decided to give back the skills and mindset I acquired on my way and created codeless.how, where you’ll find practical examples of how you can run your business on autopilot. I hope to see you there!

This article was made possible by MakerPad, the platform to learn how to build powerful applications without code.

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