Developing Applications with No Programming Background: Jaeyoon An
In today’s maker profile, we are featuring Jaeyoon An, Senior Consultant of RAD Solutions at EPI-USE. Hear about the app he helped enhance with custom logic.
1. What is your education and professional background? Did you have any prior development experience?
I studied industrial and system engineering at Georgia Tech. I had limited Python and SQL knowledge, but only really got into application development when I started my current job at EPI-USE.
2. How were you introduced to Mendix? What was your initial reaction?
I joined EPI-USE as a business intelligence (BI) consultant but chose to pursue more of an application development career. The company already used Mendix. I took an in-house course which was really helpful. I could hardly imagine building an app from scratch all by myself. I’d never heard of low-code or of visual modeling before. The course showed me just what I could achieve with Mendix without any knowledge of programming languages. I still especially like the microflow approach to development. I find dragging and dropping my logic into these microflows to be really easy and user-friendly.
3. What was most helpful learning Mendix?
As a beginner to application development and to Mendix, the interaction offered by the on-site training course I did was really good. I also find the Mendix online materials and training to be very helpful, especially for someone like me that has no prior programming experience.
4. What have you built using the platform? Which app/project are you most proud of?
I’ve been using Mendix for EPI-USE client projects since 2016. One project was to take a client’s existing mobile app and make enhancements. The app helped the client’s contract employees track their income, taxes, and other payroll matters. I added touch ID and touch log-in features to the app with custom logic, and integrated other APIs related to money transfers. Utilizing the Google analytics widget, we collected and analyzed user data in real time, which allowed us to research user behavior. Overall, our client was very satisfied with this application and Mendix because we were able to implement new features and accommodate user feedback within a short time. That was my very first Mendix mobile project, so I’m pretty proud of that one!
5. Have you had any “a-ha!” moments using Mendix?
The Mendix app store is amazing! It’s vast. The fact that you can simply select a component and drag and drop it into your workflow is a huge time saver versus somebody coding it every time, for every application. It’s especially valuable for non-coders of course, allowing us to build and understand back-end code in a more visual way. Take the Google Maps component for example. The widget is easy to use in Mendix. You just select it, place it into your workflow and the full functionality of Google Maps is added to your application.
6. What advice would you give to other Mendix developers?
Mendix is a great tool for converting your logic into an application without having to write code. You need a head for defining the logic in the first place of course, but once you’re clear as to what you want to build, writing the application is pretty straightforward. Start by listing out the processes and the logic, then work on the implementation.
7. How has Mendix made your life easier/better?
Mendix has saved me from learning multiple programming languages. I can manage the entire application lifecycle, all aspects of an application, by myself without heavily depending on more technically-skilled developers for additional help.
8. How would you describe Mendix in your own words?
I’d describe Mendix as a means of turning your imagination into a reality. We all have so many different ideas and with a tool like this, you can explore them and turn those that work into real applications.
9. What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy playing golf and hiking.