3 Ways to Familiarize Your Citizen Developers with Mendix

Louis Maas - At Mendix World 2014, Gartner Analyst David Norton told attendees there is no stopping the rise of the citizen developer. “You can’t stop the gifted amateur,” he said. “What we can do is facilitate it.”

Mendix developers sogeti iconThis is exactly what Mendix aims to do. The platform provides citizen developers with a way to more quickly build apps, which allows them to show their thoughts to the world and add value to their organizations. Everyone who has worked with Mendix knows that it makes both developers and users happy. It's easy to learn, even more so now that the introductory course is available online for free. But first, the citizen developer needs to know about Mendix and have the opportunity to try it. This is where you, the resident Mendix enthusiast, can take the reins and help them "see the future!"

But how to familiarize your citizen developers with Mendix?

To help get you started, here are three ways you can familiarize your citizen developers with Mendix and spur broader interest in the platform:

1. Provide a Way to Communicate & Share

Provide a way for all Mendix users in your organization  to communicate and collaborate. One obvious option is the social collaboration features within the Mendix platform but there are also wikis, forums, or whatever your company’s intranet provides (or you can find online).  Use these tools to broadcast information and create interaction. This will allow developers to share experience and knowledge or to ask questions. This is also the ideal place for you to share all the information, tutorials and guides available online with your Mendix developers-to-be. Help them help themselves become a Mendix master!

2. Facilitate Hands-On Experience

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." - Confucius

Mendix uses this quote to advertise their workshops and it could not be more true. Because most company training is a mindless broadcasting of knowledge,  you remember a fraction of the information, if anything. Mendix presents the perfect opportunity to deviate from this norm.

Organize a meet-up for everyone who's interested, advertising that they will get hands-on experience and might well walk away having built their first app ever! Keep the atmosphere of the meeting informal and even fun;. we provided cookies and mint tea at our hands-on meeting for example. Start the meeting with a short introduction of Mendix, but make sure most of the time is reserved for allowing people to try it themselves, getting hands-on experience. Provide help with their questions, set up some step-by-step guides on building a simple app and watch them enjoy themselves.

3. Host a Hackathon

If you have a small group of experienced Mendix developers (or anyone who has completed the basic Mendix training, or has some project experience) there is another way to let everyone know you mean business: organize a Hackathon! Hackathons are a high-performance, fast deadline competition, building an app with a common goal. In one evening or for the more hardcore, in 24 hours, teams try to create the best, most creative solution to the challenge. You could either pit Mendix teams against each other  or even better, Mendix vs. a traditional programming language or two. Show them the power of Mendix in contrast to the old world of thinking. You can use an assignment around an internal issue your company is facing or if you want to go big, get a charity involved. Make sure people know about the event and award prizes for the best solutions. In the end, the winner will be you!

Do you have Questions or do you like to exchange thoughts about Mendix?

These are just some examples of ways that we've empowered the citizen developers in our company. If you have questions or want to exchange thoughts on the subject please send an e-mail to Arjan Meijer or call him via: T: +316 205 97 448

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