TL;DR - I avoid codeless tools if I can. But, I might be open to using them if my needs will never change significantly.
I have used two codeless automation tools, one for non-testing work & another for testing work. I have seen short demos of some more. I noticed that such tools are essentially a UI layer over code/frameworks. Ex. Functions can become drag & drop widgets with text fields for inputs & output fields. Custom code can be another widget which opens up a code editor etc. Ex. SoapUI is one (free) such tool for API automation (REST & SOAP). Try a few realistic use cases on it and quickly see how frustrating it can be.
Coded automation is hard to develop & maintain. It is hard to find & retain good employees to do coded automation. But, it also has flexibility as you mentioned. Code tools have benefits like searching, refactoring, debugger, integration with linting & code analysis tools and more. These features are unlikely to be available in codeless tools or might be broken/rudimentary.
Some points to think about -
- How will you refactor repeated stuff in codeless tools with few clicks?
- How will you automate checking for bad practices in your codeless tests?
- If codeless tool produces code/tests in proprietary/hard to work with format, then how will you migrate away from that tool?
- What if tool company sinks or takes several missteps that have material impact on you?
My uneducated opinion on AI based tools - Use them to assist you in your work, but don’t let them become the mainstay of your testing needs/work. AI is not very intelligent and it might be a while before we can be confident in it.
Go to stack overflow or the company’s tool forum to see the kind of problems (if any) that users face. See the resolution. Look at any feature request boards of their tools. You might find plenty of red flags there, enough to convince you to avoid the tool.
If the tool seems ok to try, then do a project with a small team, i.e. a proof of concept, to see how it works before you invest in it.