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Mendix low-code development: meet the Ordina-expert

Is it possible to become a software developer and IT consultant without any prior background in IT? Of course it is, by working with low-code software! “Having an analytic mind and interest in company processes and software goes a long way,” says Dominique Munten, an experienced development consultant at our growing Mendix team.

“Low-code platforms want to bring software development closer to the business. So you don’t need solid developer skills as a Mendix-consultant. And that was a good thing because I didn’t have any of those when I built my first Mendix application”, Dominique begins. Her master's degree in ‘Econometry and Operational Research’ opened the door to her job at an Amsterdam-based Mendix associate. 

Optimizing processes 

For those unfamiliar with econometry: it’s about applying mathematical and statistical techniques to practical problems. “For example, we can develop mathematical models to improve the production processes of planning in an organization,” Dominique explains.”This is exactly what my first employer did: helping organizations optimize their work processes. Often this calls for tailor-based software. To smoothly develop these solutions, we use Mendix software. That’s how I rolled into this world.”  

No more traffic jams 

For a year and a half now, Dominique has been working side by side with experienced developers. She has also trained at the Mendix Academy, swiftly learning to work with the low-code platform. When Wouter Danes of Ordina invited her for ‘a talk with no strings attached about a job at Ordina’ she was very curious and took the offer. 

“We had an informal, fun chat over coffee, and it clicked immediately. Working in a bigger organization appealed to me; there is a nice customer portfolio and experts in many IT disciplines. The flexible work time was also a big plus. Wouter promised me there would be no more traffic jams for me. I liked that prospect.” 

Working in large organizations like Ordina appealed to me, with a nice customer portfolio and experts in a wide range of disciplines.  

A successful app for health insurer VGZ 

Dominique got the opportunity to get acquainted with the Mendix team in her first two months. She took training and got updated about all the running projects. Dutch Health Insurer VGZ became her first Ordina customer. Dominique landed in a team that optimized the popular VGZ Care App, ensuring its performance. 

“Some colleagues were already working for a couple of years on the app VGZ offers her clients to arrange their healthcare insurance,” says Dominique. “Through the years, the scope of the app got extended. Initially, users could only upload invoices from their healthcare professionals. Today, they can also pay bills, look up compensations or check their health insurance coverage. And it’s not just the functionalities, but also the number of users growing. Today we have one million users, with an app with a 4.6 score. Really nice work.” 

A knowledge database for Ordina 

VGZ is still a good customer of the Mendix unit. Three teams are incessantly working to develop new functionalities for the VGZ Care App and to ensure it stays up-to-date. Dominique is working on an internal project in the meantime: Eddie. 

“Eddie is a platform for matching Ordina experts to client requests,” she explains. “It’s a database of all our employees, with a summary of their training, certificates, and experience. When our business units get a question for a team with specific expertise, the system automatically looks for a match. All the info is neatly collected in a template we can bring to our customer.”   

Developer, business analyst, and coach 

Like the VGZ Care App, Eddie is under continuous development, with increasing amounts of data and more functionalities. Recently the data of all Belgian employees have also been added to the platform. 

Dominique is closely involved in developing the app’s new features, but she also translates her colleagues’ questions into the app. “Very often, I sit with product owners from the business to talk about their new requests: what is it exactly you want, what should it look like, et cetera. I also coach our junior developers. My tasks have become very diverse, which I like.” 

The fast development of applications 

Does Dominique notice any rise in the demand for low-code applications since helping to develop her first Mendix app in 2017?  

“Absolutely, and it makes total sense. Mendix is a fantastic platform, and it is just getting bigger and more user-friendly”, says Dominique. “The low threshold is, of course, a big advantage. Even without any background in software development, you can quickly develop an app in Mendix. In a couple of weeks, you can have a live result. A bit of logical thinking and some interest in business processes and software are sufficient to build a Mendix app. My studies gave me good analytical skills. I developed all other skills on the job.”   

An analytic mind and some interest in business processes and software are enough to build your first Mendix application. 

Why Ordina for low-code? 

Why would a client choose Ordina when they want to start a low-code project? “We have so much Mendix expertise in-house and work closely with colleagues of other business units. If a client needs extra know-how about security, cloud or data migration, or anything, we can quickly involve our experts. Our Colleague Aswin van Braam was recently voted Most Valuable Professional by Mendix” Dominique concludes, “there can’t be a better way of showing why clients are smart in choosing us.” 

We have a lot of Mendix expertise in-house, but we also work closely with colleagues of other business units.