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How Lambda School grew with no-code tools

Lambda School

A story from Makerpad
Quick Stats

Tools used: Typeform, Zapier, Airtable, Webflow, Salesforce, WordPress, Calendly

Money raised: $48M

Students: ~3,000 concurrent

How Lambda School grew with no-code tools

Hi! I'm Mitchell Wright. I'm currently a senior manager of growth and strategy at Lambda School.

At Lambda School, I've been involved in helping build the infrastructure we use to run the school on a daily basis. We use no-code tools in our admissions process, our teaching, and helping our students find jobs.

When Lambda School first started, we were in a bit of a weird situation because we hired developers, but they were the instructors for our school and were busy teaching and writing curriculum. We had just a couple of engineers for building products, but so much product that needed to be built. And it needed to be built fast!

At Lambda School, we use a large variety of no code tools for a lot of different processes. One of the main processes that we run with no code tools is our admissions process. We’ve gone through many different iterations of our admissions process in order to find different data points that help us know which students will be most successful at Lambda. Using no code tools has allowed us to test and iterate on this process.

To get the school up and running, we started off our admissions process using TypeForm for our application. One of the big benefits of TypeForm is the conditional logic flow. We were able to easily make changes and ask for the information that was necessary depending on things like which program the student wanted to join, and which country they were from. When we would receive an application that seemed like they would be a good fit to be a student at Lambda School, we would send them a Calendly link to schedule an interview with out admissions department.

The next big change we made was implementing a proper CRM, in this case, Salesforce. Now, when a student would complete an application, we used Zapier to do some data cleaning, and then pushed the data into Salesforce, where some additional automations would happen (mainly around emailing the prospective students with information on what their next steps would be.)

Then we moved off of TypeForm and moved all of our precourse work and application to WordPress. We used the Gravity Forms plug-in for the application and registration. We used the LearnDash plugin for setting up the precourse work.

We also moved our main marketing website to Webflow to allow our designers to build and maintain the site without major engineering involvement.

We chose the specific tools that we did because we had staff that had experience with those specific tools, and we knew that they would do everything we needed them to do.

Using no code tools, we were able to raise a series A and B. We scaled to ~3,000 concurrent students.

"At Lambda School, we use a large variety of no code tools for a lot of different processes. One of the main processes that we run with no code tools is our admissions process. We’ve gone through many different iterations of our admissions process in order to find different data points that help us know which students will be most successful at Lambda. Using no code tools has allowed us to test and iterate on this process."

The no code movement allows more people to participate in automation and building. There are a lot of tools and products that can be built without any engineering help. Those tools can be a huge time saver for companies by automating repetitive tasks.

Having a basic understanding of the product creation process is something that you don’t get just by understanding how to use a tool. I also think that having a basic understanding of programming and databases helps a lot when creating no code products and tools. One big problem I see people make when designing a no code solution is in the data model. Learning a little bit about relational databases can help in structuring your database in Boundless or your bases in Airtable.

I’m very interested in exploring the low code movement more. I know enough programming to work with APIs, and do simple data manipulation. I think that taking the simplicity of no code for things that are very common (creating web pages, user authentication, etc), and writing code for unique aspects of an app are where things can become very interesting.

"The no code movement allows more people to participate in automation and building. There are a lot of tools and products that can be built without any engineering help. Those tools can be a huge time saver for companies by automating repetitive tasks."

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