At Mendix World 2014, our CEO Derek Roos announced several great additions to the Mendix App Platform ecosystem, like a completely free Community Edition, a new App Store, and a cool new Launchpad that fuses the ever-important connection between app-users and app-modelers. The Launchpad comes with a few standard apps, like the aforementioned App Store, the Developer Portal, and a new ‘Get Started’ app that aims to take you through your first few days in the Mendix App Platform. In this post, I’ll go over the mobile app development tools you have at your disposal to get started, practice, and improve your Mendix skills.
The Get Started App on Your Launchpad
The Get Started app (sign-in required; get your free MxID here) lives at the top left corner of your Launchpad. It features a series of video tutorials that use an example Company Expenses application to walk you through the basics of Mendix. At the time of this blog post, there are 9 videos including one general tour of the platform, and an explanation of the example app. More in-depth tutorials include lessons on managing an Agile project in Mendix, building database structure in the domain model, working with business logic using microflows, and deploying your application to the Mendix Cloud.
If you’re just getting started on Mendix, these videos are the best way to get up and running quickly. You’ll be ready to start building your own app after tinkering around with a few of our example applications.
Academy Projects & Example Applications
In the Mendix App Store, click on Samples under the Applications menu to see all the example applications you can try out, including the Company Expenses app that’s used in the Get Started app tutorials. One of the coolest features in our new app store allows you to directly open these applications in your browser, or directly open their models in your Mendix Business Modeler (the modeling-environment where you build your Mendix apps, for any Mendix newbs reading). They’re great for learning new ways to set up and organize your application and the various widgets and components available to you in the app store. You can also take a look at how our engineers have structured their application models, which may result in some questions for the Community.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Here’s where your friends in the Mendix Community can really help you up your game. Not only are there hundreds of experienced Mendix developers and business engineers using the Mendix Forum (some of them from top-notch firms like Accenture and Capgemini!), but our own expert services and R&D engineers are there to help answer questions too. Just like any other development ecosystem, practice makes perfect. So go build an app from scratch, extend an example app, and ask questions. Once you sharpen your basic Mendix skills, you’ll be ready for the Academy.
Mendix Training & Certifications
At this point, you should be ready for a Mendix Academy training course to solidify your self-learned knowledge of Mendix and fill in any gaps you might still have. What makes Mendix so great is that you don’t have to be a hardcore developer to use it. In fact, the majority of our professional services team were business majors! So keep that in mind as you develop your skills: there’s an easy way to do everything in Mendix.
The Mendix Academy offers an Introduction Course that goes through all the fundamentals of Mendix. With thousands of successful graduates out there, I’m confident that you’ll be building awesome web and mobile applications by the end of the introduction course. Then there’s the Advanced and Application Administration Courses – both of which focus on more complex areas of the platform required for deploying production-ready, enterprise-class applications. Learn more about these courses and their associated certifications at academy.mendix.com.
Mendix Expert Workshops
If you’ve gone through the Mendix Academy courses, built a few of your own applications, and you’re ready for Mendix expert status, we recently launched a set of Expert Workshops on specific topics to take you there. The following 7 workshops are open for registration right now at academy.mendix.com.
- Mendix 5 Features & Conversion Workshop – A thorough update of all the updates in Mendix 5, including App Services, layouts, snippets, theming, multi-device apps, and more.
- User Experience Workshop – Learn how to make usability a key part of your project from the start, and tips and tricks for creating beautiful, intuitive applications.
- Testing Workshop – Using existing automated testing tools with Mendix, and learning the right approach for each component of your application.
- Styling and Theming Workshop – Give your applications a clean, simple, professional look and feel by reusing 3rd party bootstrap themes or customizing existing themes to match your brand.
- Component-Based Development Workshop –Learn how to scale your applications to grow with your company by productizing components and working within distributed teams.
- Application Performance Workshop – As your applications grow in complexity and number of users, you’ll need to pay attention to how it’s modeled to optimize performance.
- Widgets Workshop – Create custom widgets for your Mendix applications and learn how Mendix extends the Dojo lifecycle.
So, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re building something for yourself and want to use our free no-questions-asked Community Edition, or your company needs something more substantial, the best way to learn Mendix is to get started. As part of the Mendix Community, do us a favor and comment below any additional tips you have for new users!