Project Management

How a Construction Project Manager Tackled Citizen Development Part 2

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Citizen development is a disruptive approach to digital transformation and organizational innovation, where teams are empowered to turn ideas into applications using no-code/low-code technology. This blog provides insights, advice and practical knowledge from thought leaders and practitioners in Citizen Development.

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It's been a whole month since my last blog!

A LOT has changed, my eyes have been opened to the sheer power of LCNC platforms and how simple an app can be created compared to conventional coding.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I set out to pick out and learn 1 LCNC platform to the extent where I would be happy to build my very first app, and that is just what I did.

 

Choosing a LCNC platform

Now, choosing the LCNC platform that suits you best sounds pretty easy right?

Well... There may be more available to pick from than you realise, all with their own pros and cons.

You will be hard pushed to find a high end LCNC platform that you can use completely free of charge but many do in fact offer free trials or are free to use forever in a "practice environment", this was one of my main criteria when choosing.

 

The first platforms I came across and considered were Google's App Maker and Microsoft's PowerApps, having such robust frameworks along with great customer support and communities to support them.

Some other great finds were Mendix who offer a vast array of prebuilt templates, great tutorials and live chat support but proved to be VERY expensive, especially for some of their more premium services.

Outsystems is another great option with fantastic training and the ability to publish directly to mobile App stores.

 

Google vs Microsoft

So it really came down to Microsoft vs Google, the appeal to me was, as you might be able to guess, the comfort of knowing who the companies are and the possibility of them having some relatable features along side the ability to integrate with their other widely used services.

 

Google App Maker

  • Google drive tables
  • Friendly layout
  • Google service integration
  • Fairly easy to use

 

PowerApps

  • Pretty intimidating at first glance
  • Huge array of Microsoft-made tutorials and "Learning paths" available on the Microsoft website
  • Powerful integration with other widely used Microsoft services

 

So with two extremely robust and powerful platforms to choose from, who won?

Well, it was Microsoft PowerApps that won the battle for me, I believed that even though it was pretty intimidating at first glance, I would be able to tackle it with the sheer amount of E-learning available on the Microsoft website.

Also, there are already so many companies that use Microsoft and its services day to day that it seemed as though it would have the best integration for companies looking to take on a LCNC project.

You do in fact have to pay for PowerApps and their plans are fairly competitively priced compared to the other options but you can also use the service for free with very few limitations, perfect for someone like myself who is just looking to learn at this point.

 

Learning PowerApps

To get started with PowerApps I went straight to Microsoft's online learning modules, there are 79 modules in total JUST FOR POWERAPPS!

A module looks like this

MODULE   Get started with Power Apps   I hr 3 min (20K)   Power Platform Business user Beginner   COVPLETED v,

It's very easy to navigate about the modules and filter them by difficulty, they vary in length from 20 - 30 mins up to 90 mins each, so there is a lot of content out there.

I simply started at the top, filtered by "Beginner" and got to work.

Each day, logging in and completing a few modules, making notes along the way and seeing my skills grow over time.

The modules are easy to follow, with lots of short videos to watch and hands on material to follow along with and have a go yourself.

I quickly learned to create simple things such as adding a selecting items in a list, simple calculations and how to edit and design apps to look more appealing.

 

Where am I now?

Now I've spent a fair amount of time leaning PowerApps and what it has to offer I do in fact feel confident about creating my very first basic app, the extensive learning resources out there have ensured I know more than enough to get started and even when I don't know something or I get stuck with an error, I can always count on the PowerApps online community to have the answer out there; I may be new to PowerApps and have very little experience but so far I haven't come across something I can't do.

I'm glad I chose PowerApps and I can't wait to get started with building my very first app over the next few weeks.

 

I'll look forward to sharing my progress on my next blog!

 

Over to you, have you started to learn how to build using a LCNC platform? What platform did you choose and why? I'd love to hear how your projects are going.

Posted by Jason Mayall on: April 03, 2021 03:55 AM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Luis Branco CEO| Business Insight, Consultores de Gestão, Ldª Carcavelos, Lisboa, Portugal
Dear Jason
Very interesting the theme that brought to our reflection and debate
Thanks for sharing and your opinion
I'm here to hope that soon you will build your first app
I will be here to hear your tips on the topic and applaud you for your progress

avatar
Mushtaq Abdulrahimzai SWIS| Surrey Schools District 36 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
thanks for sharing, interesting topic.

avatar
Rami Kaibni
Community Champion
Senior Projects Manager | Field & Marten Associates New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Jason

This is excellent feedback and insights. I come from the construction industry as well and recently started diving into the Citizen Development and I find it really interesting.

RK

avatar
Kwiyuh Michael Wepngong Financial Management Specialist | US Peace Corps / Cameroon Yaounde, Centre, Cameroon
Dear Jason Thanks for sharing,

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