In today’s installment of our rapid developer profile series, we are featuring Luis Mejias, Senior Application Developer at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. Hear how he uses Mendix to test and prototype insurance products rapidly in front of customers’ eyes.
What is your education and professional background? Did you have any prior development experience?
I came to the United States eight years ago looking for better opportunities as a software developer. I have been a developer for more than ten years, with experience in several programming languages including Delphi, Java and Python.
How were you introduced to Mendix? What was your initial reaction?
When I was hired, Berkshire Hathaway was already working with Mendix, and my first responsibility was to work on the Mendix application. At this point I had no training or experience with and went to a formal training at the Mendix headquarters. The training was very helpful and I was in a unique position because I was able to look into all of the apps that Berkshire Hathaway had already built on the Mendix Platform. I was able to really see how these apps work and were built.
When I was first introduced to Mendix I was skeptical about the platform and whether it could deliver what it said it could. After I took the training and began to develop in the platform, I became very comfortable with it and immediately appreciated the power that the platform provides. The Mendix Platform allows you to concentrate on the business needs of the app. We don’t have to deal with the tiny nuances of the app when working with Mendix because it is all taken care of for you.
What was most helpful learning Mendix?
The fact that I was able to dive into those existing apps created in Mendix was a valuable experience and helped me learn how to build my first app. Other than the existing apps, the documentation and Mendix blog are very informative and the forum is a great place to get any questions you have answered.
What have you built using the platform? Which app/project are you most proud of?
As a Mendix developer for only 3-4 months, I am working on a loss control evaluation application. During the process of developing the app, I have been able to show it to customers and they are very pleased to see how the app works and behaves. I feel lucky to have chance to create an app from scratch. And I think the strongest point of the Mendix platform is that you can prototype an idea that a customer has, put it in action, and can show them to get feedback. If they decide on something different, it is not a big deal because it is little effort and takes very little time to make changes.
Have you had any “a-ha moments” using Mendix?
I have those moments almost everyday. When I do something that seems super complicated and then I search the Mendix resources and forum and see how easy the option is, I say “oh, that’s amazing! Its not complicated at all.”
What advice would you give to other Mendix developers?
I would say to a developer with lots of experience with other coding languages to give Mendix a chance. The Mendix Platform saves you a lot of time and you will be amazed what the platform can do for you. I would also advise other developers to check the community blog and don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the forum.
How has Mendix made your life easier/better?
Mendix makes my life easier because I don’t have to spend so much time working with a different language, or spend weeks dealing with plumbing code that customers don’t care about. What they really want is a quick solution for their business challenges. It is so easy to develop on Mendix. The platform is a time saver and allows me to move in an agile way with the customer. Often, the customers doesn’t know what they want, but I can show them ideas and options gather feedback. And then I can make changes immediately.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I love movies. I have a daughter and a son in college, both who major in something to do with movies. So I especially enjoy watching movies with my family. Also I like outdoor activities like soccer, tennis, cycling and camping.