Can a complete beginner really use Outsystems?

I have never done any app creation or coding before, but I a well-educated, intelligent person! I have gone through the initial setup an app video and looked at some training videos on youtube but I still understand absolutely nothing. Is it really possible for a complete beginner to start using outsystems without assistance?

I would tentatively say no, but I'm also sure people disagree with me. Software development is a skill, or a job if you like, and you need to understand the basics of programming, like variables, conditions, iterations, actions, functions, etc., and in case of OutSystems data modeling and querying, before you can be succesful in software development. But if you are indeed an intelligent, well-educated person, with some affinity to the technical side of things, I'm sure you could master the basics without difficulty.

What I would advise you, is to either take a course or class from an instructor, or find someone who's already proficient in software development, to go through the basics, so you have enough background to understand the training videos.


Although, my opinion doesn't differ from Kilian, but in a nutshell and relative comparison it is much much easier to onboard and develop an application using OutSystems. In my experience, I've seen few of consultants without any technical knowledge, (but well-educated, and sharp mind) caught OutSystems as their very first programming tool and they are doing really great.

As advised above, take an instructor-led course and follow the rich documentation of OutSystems. You may also follow a learning path on the Learning portal.

Found one jump start training being organized by OutSystems in various part of the world. Thought to share, maybe you would like to join.

Solution

Hi Katie,

Low code platform like Outsystems are easy to adapt and understand however a technical background is something must to have prerequisite to start with it.
Junior and seasoned developers are typically going to be the ones who learn OutSystems the fastest and will be the ones to use it first. They are familiar with software development principles and the technology involved. They typically know how to best structure and architect solutions, how to identify reusable components, how to manipulate data and more.

Also based on my experience of building Outsystems practice it is very important to select right people to use the platform , at lest the one having some technical background in any of the technology and have understanding of basics of the technology and software development.

Regards,

-PJ-


Solution

Thanks everybody!

Katie,

I came across OutSystems about 6 months back, after I had built my first website using Wordpress. It was a breeze, though it was only a simple website that I built for fun. However, it got me thinking whether there was a similar tool to build more complicated webapps. A quick search found the whole world of low code app development platforms. I looked into several and found OutSystems to be most user friendly. I have been able to build a simple mobile app using OutSystems that I plan to distribute in App Store and Google Play Store soon. I am launching a Kickstarter campaign next week to complete the development.

Now, I am not a programmer. I am a trained physician, a PhD cancer biologist, former CEO of a cancer diagnostics company I started, and for the last 5 years, working in a healthcare data analytics company. So, a well educated, curious individual can learn OutSystems, BUT WITH ASSISTANCE. I would recommend the following:

1. Spend time on one of the guided paths under the Learn tab. I completed the mobile path and built a To Do app

2. Do not hesitate to ask, even if you think it is an obvious question

3. Build, build, build: there is no better method to learn than to try it out based on your best understanding, struggle a bit by trying out various ideas, and if still stuck, ask (an expert at your company or these forums)

4. OutSystems is a vast platform. It is very important for you to know what you are building, and focus on using the relevant parts of the platform. If you first try to understand the whole platform, you will be lost.

Regarding whether OutSystems is the future, I have encountered two very strong opinions: developers and programmers are adamant that it will never replace coding; on the other hand, business folks and line managers are very excited to see a platform where they have visibility into the development process, and there is no going back for them. In my opinion, if OutSystems makes money for the business, it will win the future.

I hope it helps.

Rajan

Hi Katie,

I more or less agree with most answers here. But let me give my opinion based on having trained, in OutSystems, directly or indirectly a lot of people (some with programming skills, others without) in these last four years.

If it's possible for a well educated and intelligent person that has never done any coding before to start using OutSystems without assistance just by watching the videos and doing the online exercises? Yes, it's possible but quite uncommon, and you will struggle a lot and will take a lot of time to learn just the basics.

The videos and exercises online work well/very well for people that already have a background in web development. For the rest of the people, not that much. And the reason is that the online materials are not a "Learn how to program using OutSystems." They are more like "How to use OutSystems to program."

Thus, if you do not have any coding experience, to learn how to program using OutSystems, you most likely need classroom training. A classroom training that starts by teaching you some programming fundamentals, alongside with some data modeling and querying fundamentals before the actual OutSystems training. If you are not able to attend classroom training, there are also online courses that teach these kind of subjects.

OutSystems is a very easy to use tool, but in the end, what you are doing with it is in fact programming.

Cheers,

José