We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before. 

At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses. 

Each week we’ll be highlighting a member from our community and sharing their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.

This week we are chatting to Tessa Thomas from Toronto, Canada.

Tessa is the founder of RecruitHQ, a review platform for athletic programs - helping high school athletes find their best athletic scholarship opportunities. Hey Tessa, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?

My no-code journey started back in 2014/2015. I built a web app called Fit Knowts, pronounced "fit notes", it was built using Squarespace and Knack. It was kind of like Blinkist, but for health and fitness professionals. I turned 30 books across different areas of interest (strength and conditioning, nutrition, running, mobility etc.) into 5-page, digestible summaries.

It was a fun project and I learned a lot along the way, and even got the rights and permissions from some pretty big publishers to produce the summaries, but it fizzled out within the year unfortunately. I was having fun learning along the way and getting creative with how I could piece things together in the back-end without the ability to write code.

In 2016 and 2017 I began consulting as a former college student-athlete, giving free webinars and in-person talks with teams about the college athletic recruiting process. I used Squarespace to build that site and Thinkific and Memberspace to build out a small course to go along with it, it was called the Student-Athlete Academy.

Two years ago, I found Airtable, it blew my mind then and continues to do so today! I started using it to build a database of current college student-athletes (just softball to start with) as a tool to help myself in my consulting. I could use the database to tell families which colleges were graduating players in each position and put together a list of coaches they should reach out to based on that info. I thought maybe other recruiting consultants would find it helpful as well, so that became College Rosters.

I actually took an iOS course in 2019 to turn it into a mobile app and while I did complete the beta and learned to code, I could tell that it really wasn't for me. My brain just didn't work in that way, syntax was always a struggle and opening Xcode made me nervous and anxious instead of excited to build. Around the time of the iOS course I had an idea to add ratings and reviews to the roster search tool and that's how Recruit-HQ came to be.

It was my version of Glassdoor, but for college athletic recruiting. Current high school athletes could see anonymous reviews of athletic programs from former college athletes alongside roster openings (instead of job openings like on Glassdoor). Lucky for me, I found Makerpad right around that time as well and knew that with the help of such an awesome community I could find a way to build it with no-code tools.

Things were moving a bit slow with Recruit-HQ at the end of 2019, I was having quite a bit of trouble finding former college athletes to leave reviews (just submitted through a Typeform).

I was pretty excited to see all of the no-code tools that were now available compared even just 18-24 months prior, so I started working on another project - Pipeline Solutions. I builtout a few automations using Parabola for the fitness studio that I work at part-time. Of course we could not have foreseen what was coming in 2020 in terms of COVID-19, but one thing it did allow for in my situation was more time to work on Recruit-HQ and Pipeline Solutions. Flash forward to today and Recruit-HQ has almost 1,400 reviews from former college student-athletes on the platform and Pipeline Solutions now handles automations for about a dozen fitness studios and counting.

For me, it's been a pretty wild year in no-code. It has been fun, creative and not without its challenges. Overall an exciting time to be building in the space.

That's great to see your progress over the last few years and also building projects focused around your own experience & interests. So can you take us through the no-code projects have you built in the past and what tools did you use for them?

fit knowts Built with: Squarespace, Knack‍‍Student-Athlete Academy Built with: Squarespace, Thinkific, Memberspace, LaunchPass, Trello
College Rosters Built with: Airtable, Trello, custom web design
Recruit-HQ Built with: Webflow, Typeform, Zapier, Parabola, Jetboost, Airtable, Pory, Memberstack, Chart.js
Pipeline Solutions Built with: Webflow, Google Data Studio, Parabola, Paragon, Tillypay‍

That's a great range of tools & it shows there are many different combinations of platforms to try with no-code! So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?

Recruit-HQ is currently pre-revenue with close to 1,400 reviews on the platform, it's live, and we're just getting started, focused on getting our first 100 free members.Pipeline Solutions is live and reached $1,000 MRR within the first month, however due to COVID-19 many fitness studios in our region had to close again, but they'll be reopening soon, so hopefully we'll be able to pick up where we left off in September and expand into other regions as well.That is true! Lots of in-person businesses have been finding new ways to adapt and no-code has been a big part of that. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come? 

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the businesses, and everyday solutions that are being built with no-code, it's really mind-blowing to see what people are making and how impactful the solutions that they're creating are. ‍

There is a such a range of options & opportunity within no-code currently. Do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?

Such a tough question, but I'm going to have to cheat a bit and pick two: Webflow and Paragon—they both feel limitless, and doable at the same time, which is a pretty amazing combination. I think Bubble might be next to try, I'm not 100% sure yet. I'm looking forward to trying out their updated UI.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Tessa! We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon! Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!