You have already decided that you want to be a programmer - you’re either fed up with your current profession or you’re studying computer science. In this article, we will tell you what a career as a programmer in Outsystems consists of through the experience of our KWANer and Outsystems programmer, Jhonatan Melo.
But before we dive into the specifics of the profession, it is important to understand what this platform is all about.
Outsystems, what is it?
Outsystems is a low-code development platform. As such, it enables developers to use their reasoning without the need to memorize the code commands that belong to a programming language that is generated each time a piece of software is created or edited. This generated abstraction related to the coding is due to the representation of the commands by means of a visual presentation in flows, instead of pure code, making it easier to understand what is being implemented.
It is therefore recommended for those who want to start working in programming but do not want to invest the time and money on a computer science degree. 👌
What does an Outsystems developer do?
An Outsystems developer is able to implement software solutions in a web environment for mobile devices through the existing resources in the platform. They are also able to provide web services, as well as enable integrations with external codes and databases; create and customize software components to meet a very specific business need of the project they are working on, or even provide to the general component repository of the platform's developer community, The OutSystems Forge.
The various possibilities that the platform offers allow different developer profiles to work on it, from the Front-End, which will be focused on presenting the interface modules of the software, to the Back-End, which will be implementing the business rules that will bring the processing of the data that the user provided and/or waits for as a response.
What is the day-to-day life of an Outsystems developer?
The workday of a software programmer of almost any development technology varies according to the type of project developed and work methodology applied, and an Outsystems programmer would be no different.
Considering a team that adopts Scrum as its project management framework, since this agile methodology is widely used in the development of complex and adaptive products, the daily routine of a programmer includes, at least, one meeting to align the activities developed the previous day with the rest of the team and their possible difficulties, so that the rest of the team can help them move forward with their tasks, as well as to understand together what the programmer should continue to do or start doing.
Among other issues that may arise, this notion of what makes sense or not for the programmer to continue to do is given by a planning meeting, which usually takes place on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, depending on the team’s decision. The main purpose of the meeting is to establish the main tasks that must be performed to deliver value to the client.
How can I become an Outsystems developer?
To start a career as an Outsystems programmer one must first keep in mind that, although the platform facilitates software development by abstracting the coding, the programming logic is still very present. Therefore, knowing basic concepts of programming logic and data structure can make a lot of difference. For those who do not have a degree in computer science, this information can be easily obtained in courses on the Internet or even in YouTube videos.
Having this knowledge foundation and a minimal familiarity with the English language, since the basis of the didactic material is written in this language, it is possible to absorb knowledge more easily in the training courses that the platform offers on its official site without any charge simply by registering for free as a user. After registering on the site, all you need to do is download the platform for free (but limited to a free account), install it, and start practicing what you learn in the classes.
The interest in obtaining the certifications offered by the platform opens the doors to the job market, since even without professional experience in the field, the certification proves the practical knowledge in the technology. The preparation for such certifications can be done in a completely self-taught and free way through the already-mentioned courses, or in training centers that train, qualify, and direct Outsystems programmers to the job market.
What are the most important characteristics of an Outsystems developer?
Having a good logical thinking and understanding the business rules of the project you’re working on, in order to keep a consistent development and being able to avoid uncertainty due to lack of knowledge. Such as logical thinking, that can be stimulated through practice, a greater understanding of business rules also stems from the programmer’s curiosity to dig deeper and understand what the product or service being created is really important.
The ongoing interest in seeking to improve knowledge about the updates that the platform provides with new features is also valuable, because it makes you evolve and adopt the best that the Outsystems technology has to offer in your development. However, in parallel, another important characteristic is not being limited only to the platform’s standard components, since it allows their custom implementation, ensuring a wider range of possibilities.
How can I become a super Outsystems developer?
Since this platform allows a greater code abstraction, people who don’t have a technical background in computer science can also be developers - but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek education!
Take advantage of what the platform has to offer
Free courses and support documentation are available on the Outsystems website, as well as the official forum where several Outsystems developers share questions and answers of interest to the entire community.
Learn more about the business, the product, and the customers
As a Back-End Outsystems developer, I find it important to acquire knowledge at the business level of the software I am developing, and what it offers or can offer to the end users. Besides obtaining a greater understanding of what I should implement, programming with more ownership and confidence, I have a greater satisfaction because I understand the value of the product to those who will actually use it.
Don't limit yourself to your area of expertise
The convenience of the platform due to its focus on low-code development means that you don’t have to focus on one single area, and easily gain knowledge in other areas of expertise.
Despite being a Back-End developer professionally, I also invest my time to learn more about Front-End development, an area that I consider to be very valuable, as one works with the entire visual identity of the software together with the UX Designers, and the work of the Front-End developer has a great impact among the users.
Why choose this tech?
The fact that it's possible to learn how to program in Outsystems in just a few months, makes it easy for a professional in any area is to start their career in computer science with relative ease.
On the other hand, I see the Outsystems platform as a strong ally along with the agile methodologies and DevOps culture, because all of them value practicality in software development without quality loss, which is important. I see this combination in my daily work, which makes me very satisfied and motivated to continue learning and training.