Websy – Qlik Sense Web Development Course [Review]

You need to upgrade your Qlik skillset. The folks at Websy will help get you there.

For a while now, the winds of change have been blowing on the Qlik consulting front. As Qlik Sense, the product, grows from toddler to teenager its true potential is becoming apparent. The data-side massaging is becoming easier and less intensive as the opportunities to extend Qlik outside the hub gain importance.

Although I have not seen any waning in traditional Qlik developments yet, I thought it was time for me to invest in some continuing education. If this is where the opportunities will be in the coming years, I want to be involved, right?

Enter Websy!

The team at Websy are thankfully here to lead us traditional Qlik developers to the promised land of Qlik Web Development.

I just finished the level one and level two “Web Development for Qlik Developers”. The courses focus on developing mashups using Qlik visualizations and/or the QIX engine only. The team offer both virtual and in-person classes. I opted for the remote class so I could relax in my cushy office.

The typical Qlik developer, me included, has maybe passing experience with web technologies. The Websy approach assumes that you are not an expert in html, css or javascript. This was great for me since my background is more on the data side of the equation.

With that focus in mind, the level one course starts by introducing some basic techniques in html css and javascript. Then we quickly get into leveraging Qlik visualizations in web pages using the capabilities API.

The second level course deep dives into utilizing the engine API like we would in a QAP situation where the Qlik suite of visualizations is not available. Websy shows you some of the more complex loops and nested structures that will help you efficiently query and transform data from the QIX engine and combine it with third party visualization libraries.

How Did it Go?

How much you get out of these courses will depend a lot on your existing skill set. With my limited exposure to javascript, specifically, I was “running hard” the whole time.

So if you haven’t played with these technologies before, it would be good to go through the W3 schools free material for html, css and javascript. That will put you in a place where you can absorb the material.

The pace was quick and I definitely felt saturated by the end of the four days.

With that said, Peter and Nick are great trainers. They take care to make sure everybody is understanding the material and completing the exercises. Peter even spent breaks and lunch hours catching people up.

The materials and exercises are top-notch, thorough, accurate and appropriate.

Final Thoughts

The best thing about the Websy courses is that they are catered towards you and I, traditional Qlik developers. This focus was obvious and helped me ease into the deep-end pretty quickly.

So much of the emphasis from Qlik has been “Let’s get web developers interested in the Qlik platform”. What about me?

I am not a one-trick pony. All of us are capable of picking up these skills.

I was reading Rob Wunderlich’s review of the Websy courses which was part of the impetus for me to sign up. Another inspiration to start on this path was Karl Pover over at Harvesting Wisdom. He is documenting his progress as he also proceeds down this new path.

Are you honing your skillset? Are there any resources that have helped you in this endeavor? Please share them in the comments below. I am still a “work-in-progress” on this front and appreciate your input.

Happy Qliking.

5 comments… add one
  • Reply David Aubke August 10, 2017, 2:47 pm

    How do you typically learn new technologies? I’m very interested in learning new ways to interact with Qlik outside of its web user interface. Up to now, I’ve learned by reading books but your review did pique my interest in trying out something like Websys. Then I saw the cost and… maybe I’ll try some reading first.
    Do you feel you get more value from training like this or do you just prefer it over other paths?

  • Reply Aaron Couron August 10, 2017, 4:29 pm

    Everybody learns differently. But when it comes to me, nothing beats a live classroom especially when it is a new, highly-technical topic. This is because it helps to lay a framework. After that I rely on lots of resources like youtube, blogs, and books (in that order).
    As far as cost goes, Websy definitely is providing value, so its not like they are overcharging.
    As far as “should I or shouldn’t”, it is a personal thing based on your circumstances (and who is paying for it). For me it is a no-brainer because I am serious about being an “expert” in my field and because I work with a Qlik partner that helps subsidize the cost (Shout-Out to Visual Data Group!)
    Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply Barry August 10, 2017, 9:26 pm

    Nick delivered a 5 day course covering Web Development 1 and 2, as well as Extensions and Widgets at our (also cushy) office last March. I found the course very interesting and well-structured. Nick is an excellent trainer and he certainly delivered more than we expected. I still frequently find myself revisiting the course guides and my notes.

    With regards to pacing, I thought the pace was just right. There was enough time for additional experimentation (in a ‘the exercise teaches us this, but can I also do that?’ or ‘can I extend this example with something goofy?’ way).

    While HTML/CSS/JavaScript experience isn’t required, I do think you’ll get more from the course if you know at least the basics. If you’ve got that out of the way, you can fully focus on the JavaScript/API part, which IMHO is were the real value of the course lies (rather than struggling with syntax). As Aaron mentioned, W3Schools is an excellent resource to prepare and learn, as are courses on Codecademy. I also like the app Enki, which offers short daily ‘workouts’ with interesting tidbits.

    *** Shameless plug, Nick’s teaching another course at our office in October, if you’re based in the Netherlands, or willing to travel there, check out our website: http://www.bitmetric.nl/web-development-extensions-en-widgets-training/ (the course is in English) ***

    I agree with Aaron that everyone’s approach to learning is different. Based on my own experiences I typically encounter two different categories; people who want to be taught, and people who want to figure it out for themselves. Thinking about it now, this may be a top-down vs bottom-up approach thing.

    I’m a ‘tinkerer’ myself. When I’m learning a new technology, I set myself a relatively large, but concrete goal of what I want to achieve with it. This doesn’t need to be anything practical, as long as it amuses me and keeps me engaged it’s good enough (currently reverse-engineering 80’s video games to see if I can port them to JavaScript, before that built a data-logger for my car). Then I just start chipping away at it, dividing up the functionality, building little isolated modules and experimenting. Along the way I research things as I need them (usually blogs, articles, forums, talking with people and by looking at other people’s projects and code). Once I’ve made some early progress I also start to read more about frameworks/coding & development approaches/architecture etc., to get the bigger picture. I’ve found that this approach works very well for me, not only for IT stuff, but also for learning about electronics, car maintenance and repairs, DIY, etc.

    Besides that, at any time I’ll have around a dozen small projects and ‘experiments’ in technologies that I’m already (relatively) proficient in just to keep practicing my skills and pick up new tricks, solutions and approaches (or to just automate some of the more tedious bits of my work). While Qlik Consultants certainly aren’t on the level of rock stars and athletes, they are similar in that clients are only paying for the ‘performance’, and not to see you practice 😉

    TL;DR, excellent course, even more if you do some preparation/practice up-front / different people learn in different ways

  • Reply Barry August 10, 2017, 9:26 pm

    (wow, a wall of text, and I had used such nice paragraphs 😉

  • Reply Aaron Couron August 11, 2017, 1:37 pm

    Thanks for the ‘brief’ comment Barry. I agree with all you said.
    I am not necessarily happy with the comments feature of the blog. It lacks many things like formatting of your paragraphs and more.
    But I am terrified of changing it as the wp theme I am using ‘Thesis’ would likely have trouble if I replace the comments feature with a plugin like Disqus or similar.
    TL;DR I always appreciate your thoughts, Barry!

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