The Agile Echo

My personal 2023 list of AI & No-Code tools 🤖⚙️

Let me share my personal list of AI and No-Code tools that I've discovered and used in 2023 (and before). It will not be an exhaustive, immense list of tools - but it will be very concrete. If you are passionate about AI and No-Code, I’m not sure you will find new tools here, but you will find tools I used and tested, with a short review of my experience, or tools that I already studied a bit and wants to try soon in the future.

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Dan the Dev
Dan the Dev


Hello, developers! 🚀

First of all, a small announcement: this is the last “content-focused” newsletter of the year - what I mean is that next week I will share a personal retrospective of 2023, a short recap of what I achieved and learned in the last 12 months - and then, the newsletter will be back in January, after holidays.

This week, I’ll be sharing a small “Christmas gift”: my personal directory of AI and No-Code tools that I've discovered and used in 2023 (and before). It will not be an exhaustive, immense list of tools - but it will be very concrete. If you are passionate about AI and No-Code, I’m not sure you will find new tools here, but you will find tools I used and tested, with a short review of my experience, or tools that I already studied a bit and wants to try soon in the future.

Hopefully, this list will be useful for you all to reflect on how AI and No-Code could enter your daily work habits and improve your productivity!

Some thoughts about AI and No-Code

Small note: I will simplify the post here by writing “No-Code” - but I will also include some “Low-Code” tools. This is for two main reasons: the first one is that it will make it easier to read; the second one is that, in general, in real-world usage, you will still need to code a bit to integrate your system with a “No-Code” tools, similarly to what a “Low-code” tool requires - the difference is that “No-Code” tools might be enough by themselves in some context, as standalone tools.

I’ve been interested in No-Code tools since 2021, and 2023 has been the year of AI, and it’s full of tools out there. No-Code tools are inevitably more mature, in general, since they have been around a lot longer - but AI tools have way more traction at the moment (and some tools are also both No-Code and AI).

I think that the time is mature for us, as Software Developers, to start adding some of those tools into our toolbox for our daily job, and that’s where this list comes from: my own experience in starting using these tools in the real world.

One of the things that astonishes me is that looks like AI tools have been accepted more by Developers than No-Code - I mean, AI is fascinating, especially for tech people like us, but No-Code is way more mature at the moment and offers solutions to simplify some architectural patterns.

This is one of the points I want to touch here: No-Code is cool, and has a lot of potential - give it a chance!

The second point is: be careful! Especially AI tools, but also No-Code tools, are still relatively young - make sure to a spike and/or POC to test it works as desired and monitor the tools to be sure that they can sustain your system and that you can trust them.

The third point: be open-minded! Some ideas to use such tools will be straightforward, but for others, you will need to be creative.

I think 2024 will be the year when such tools will become “common enough” in our systems and can help us speed up some of our implementations!

The list of tools

AI Tools

Tools I Use Often

  • Grammarly: An AI-powered writing assistant that helps improve grammar and writing style - I have used it since 2021 and in the last year I got access to Business features thanks to my company: worth it! The effectiveness of Grammarly, at least in English, is amazing!

  • Ideogram: An image generation AI, an alternative to Midjourney, DALL-E, etc. It is pretty simple to use via a simple browser UI, and generated images are pretty nice, especially for comics-stiles; it also produces written text well enough. I typically use it to generate the images for my newsletter and other type of content.

  • ChatGPT / NotionAI: I mostly use these two to help me with the draft, outlines, and ideas for content creation. I think NotionAI is generally better in its outputs, at least for text content creation, but only when I can use my Notion Second Brain content as a reference. In other conditions, ChatGPT is more flexible and returns good text too.

  • Quillbot: A powerful paraphrasing tool that uses AI to generate alternative suggestions for text: sometimes, I’m not sure that what I wrote in English is actually fluent to read, or just need some suggestions for synonyms to avoid repetitions, etc. When Grammarly is not enough, Quillbot is a great additional tool to get help on that! Can also be useful when you need to find a good name for a variable/class in programming, to look for alternatives.

Tools I've Used a Few Times

  • GitHub Copilot: You all know this one! I will be honest: it’s not completely in my flow at the moment. I hate the definition on the website (“Your AI Pair Programmer” - please, pair programming is something else), but I can get over it :D I just have to find a way to use it better. But it’s powerful, and can speed up some coding stuff: I will increase usage for sure!

  • Gummysearch: An AI analysis tool that leverages Reddit audience data to generate business ideas. It’s amazing the amount of data and information that Gummysearch can provide - some default audiences are offered from the tool, but you can try to create your own and generate a custom data fetch. Some info about the audience is behind a paywall, but if you are looking for niches and business ideas, this is a great tool!

  • Founderpal: A marketing strategy generator powered by AI. You just describe your idea and you receive a user persona and suggestion for marketing that idea. As simple as this. Don’t expect a tailor-made marketing strategy in detail, but some actionable tips and initiatives you can put into practice, for sure!

Tools I Want to Test in the Future

  • Video 2 shorts converter: A tool that converts long videos into short, engaging clips: I want to come back with podcasts and will publish them also in the video version, so the idea is to repurpose shorts from the podcast video, of course, in addition to dedicated shorts. I selected a group of three tools to test: Vizard, 2short, and Quickvid

  • The promises of Rewind are amazing: Rewind runs in the background capturing your screen and audio, then compresses, transcribes, encrypts, and stores your data locally (so only you have access) and you can chat with him and ask questions about all that happened, like meeting notes, email drafts, etc. Something that might be worth trying!

  • An AI-powered tool that can extract data from a web page and put it in a spreadsheet. I have a couple of side projects where I would need such a tool to collect data from non-formal sources, and in general, it happens quite often that you need to collect data in a company so it’s a tool that can be useful to learn also for suggesting it when someone need to do something similar.

  • An AI-based question-answering platform that integrates with Notion - the idea here is to connect this to my Second Brain databases on Notion to see what it allows me to do and if it’s more useful than Notion AI itself. If the questions are more free, it might be interesting!

  • AI-TDD: An AI tool for Test-Driven Development - and here, I’m dreaming. What I want to do is try to practice doing TDD with me writing tests, and AI implementing and refactoring the code. The idea behind this is that I expect in the future AI could remove the need to maintain code from us - because it will be able to it by itself - but good Agile practices will always be useful to reduce risks, be sure code does what we need, release often, etc - and this could be the first step in that direction!

No-Code Tools

Tools I Use Often

  • Substack: The platform I use to handle this newsletter - it’s easy to use, allows for premium subscription and other potential functionalities I might use in the future, and it’s continuously evolving.

  • Notion: A versatile workspace tool that enables collaboration and organization. I use it for a multitude of stuff: my daily job Journal, my personal notes about all the learning content I study (from books to online courses, blog posts, podcasts, etc.), tracking my quarter/weekly objectives, organization of all related to Learn Agile Practices (newsletter content calendar, podcast content calendar, but also workshop content, etc). It’s amazing and easy to use, and it also has APIs, that can always become useful somehow.

  • Carrd: A simple and intuitive website builder for creating landing pages and portfolios. It’s very basic and simple, with low pricing but with high value in return, I have my website built on top of it and also use it for landing pages and forms - I will use it for sure to launch my TDD Workshop next year!

  • A simple link in bio website builder, with a UX/UI that reminds me of Notion in some elements - I like simplicity and I used this for a basic link in bio for my social pages.

  • Supabase: A backend-as-a-service tool based on a PostgreSQL database with a web UI interface to configure it and handle data, and automatic REST APIs exposed for each table in the DB. It’s amazing, I used it for some simple microservices in the past, especially for the read-side of a CQRS approach because the automatic APIs prevented the team from writing a lot of boilerplate code.

  • Zapier: An automation platform that connects various apps and services - it has a lot of integration already existing and available, allowing you to connect popular tools without coding - but also allows you to create your own connector to connect your system to others.

Tools I've Used a Few Times

  • Adalo: A no-code platform for building mobile and web apps - I helped my old CTO build a simple CRUD app for a non-profit association once, it worked well and was easy to set up and maintain.

  • Webflow: A visual web design tool for creating responsive websites - I built a couple of websites for startups on this. If you only need a static website, that doesn’t integrate directly with an application, Webflow is pretty nice, and much more lightweight and simple to use than WordPress IMHO.

  • Hasura: A GraphQL engine for building scalable and real-time applications - it can be connected to a database and then automatically expose the GraphQL to enable a client to access data, allowing also to set up permissions easily. This was the first tool I used with the approach described also for Supabase, to automate the read side of a CQRS infrastructure; compared to Supabase itself, Hasura can be used on a custom DB without requiring to use of a separate PostgreSQL DB.

Tools I Want to Test in the Future

  • Retool: A no-code platform that enables to creation of a UI for a given REST/GraphQL API - I tested it for fun and I noticed it integrates very well, especially with GraphSQL, and can be a good option in the future to test for internal tools.

  • Notion as CMS: Utilizing Notion as a Content Management System for Websites. I have at least two use cases in mind: first of all, actual website content handled via Notion (some tools already allow handling a newsletter, or a blog, using a Notion db as source for the content) - the second use case is an internal tool (as you can notice, automating an internal tool is one of my main ideas: the reason is that those tools typically burn a lot of time and money). Imagine using Notion as CMS for an e-commerce, or any other customer-facing tool where you want to give control to stakeholders over the control - instead of implementing a tool you might use Notion and then sync the data via the APIs.

Until next time, happy coding! 🤓👩‍💻👨‍💻

Go Deeper 🔎

🤖 AI Tools Directories

⚙️ No-Code Tools Directories

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