Qlik Sense Developer Step #2b: My First Extension

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At this point, I have the motivation to become a Qlik Sense developer, a basic understanding of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and rudimentary knowledge on how to create a simple Qlik Sense extension. The only piece I’m missing is an idea about what great purpose my first Qlik Sense extension would serve.

I thought about creating a 4-dimensional bar chart and make my Calculus IV professor proud. Another idea that came to mind was to create an extension that develops itself so I would never have to develop an extension again. Lastly, I got a random message some Saturday afternoon (because we have nothing better to do) from Julian Villafuerte taunting me and begging me to help him develop an idea he had for a sheet in his very cool Qlik Sense app about Mexico City’s bike-sharing program.

Obviously, I went with Julian’s idea, and here’s the story how it came to be.

The Iterative Development Process

Before I explain the lessons I learned and share a few tips, let’s review the iterative development process between Julian and me.  It was a great collaboration between a Qlik Sense Developer and a Qlik Sense Data Architect / Business Analyst that’s worth replicating.

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Qlik Sense Developer Step #2a: Qlik Sense Extension Basics

Learning a new skill while on the job is difficult. For the past 6 months, I’ve been swamped doing what I’ve happily done for the last 12 years: QlikView. Luckily, I’ve involved others like Julian Villafuerte in my decision to become a Qlik Sense developer and that makes it easier. At the time of writing this post in December, I’ve come a long way since my last post about Web Dev Fundamentals, but let’s look back at my experience of applying these fundamentals to Qlik Sense development.

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Qlik Sense Developer Step #1: Web Dev Fundamentals

icons8-new-40 I’m continuously updating the list of learning resources at the end of this post, and tag my latest updates as new.

As a QlikView developer, I relish the freedom that QlikView gives me to customize the look and feel of a single chart or the layout of an entire dashboard. On the surface, Qlik Sense simplifies the creation of visual analytics at the expense of this freedom. However, if you dig deeper and take advantage of its APIs, you will discover that Qlik Sense lets you do more than you could ever do in QlikView.

Qlik Sense Web Developer

The only catch for QlikView developer’s is that they have to add web development to their skillset. In my last post, I created a 10-step plan for QlikView developers to become Qlik Sense developers.  The first step is to gain a general understanding of the essential elements of web development: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In this post, I’ll share with you my experience with this first step and the lessons I’ve learned so far.

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Can a QlikView developer be a Qlik Sense developer?

QlikView developers (as per the book QlikView 11 for Developers) were those of us who wrote load scripts, designed data models, formulated expressions, and manipulated QlikView objects. Qlik Help has now left that group of people nameless and deemed developers to be those who work with either QlikView or Qlik Sense APIs using some third-party code. Even so, I still consider myself a QlikView developer because creating extensions, or any other use of QlikView’s APIs, is not an integral part of the software. However, Qlik Sense APIs are at the forefront of what the software is and the title of Qlik Sense developer implies some ability to work with them.

Can QlikView developers upgrade their skills and become full-fledged Qlik Sense developers? After some reflection on my days as a QlikView developer and some cheerleading to motivate myself to make this transition, I’m going to share with you my plans to learn the answer. I alone am a horribly small sample for this experiment, so I invite anybody who is up to the challenge to perform the same feat or anyone who has already done so to share their experience.

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