Betty Blocks, big hairy, definitely audacious

A few weeks ago I attended the “No Code for IT Leaders” mini-seminar (not sure what to call it) at Betty Blocks in Alkmaar. Quick impressions:

  • Refreshing company
  • Down to earth CEO, Chris Obdam (from Obdam, they told me)
  • Great product
Betty Blocks

While I live in the area I was totally unaware of having such a promising software company in the vicinity. I only learned from the company indirectly through an internship of a friend of my daughter’s. 

For those like me who do not know the company, Betty Blocks is a no-code application development platform. Betty Blocks aims to provide a platform that allows non-technical, business users to build applications without (much) intervention from IT folks (that’s that BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal). 

The platform is not that far yet. And I guess it is not just the platform that can be further simplified, it is also peripheral technology, for example APIs come to mind, that should be simplified. There is still some technicalities to be taken care of when it comes to integration with an existing IT landscape. Simplification of integration should also prevent the creation of more integration legacy (the stuff some predict to be spaghetti 3.0).

The platform Batty Blocks though is very interesting. You can develop applications 8 times (don’t worry, they are not religious about this fact) faster. I has a short conversation with a technical specialist at the “Genius bar” and he a number of strong capabilities of the platform. The platform has a sort of WordPress look and feel, and without having touched it myself it really looks like you can very quickly build applications with it, with very little technical hassle. I am not sure how well it scales, but if you could also import existing (industry) datamodels and message models, the platform could very well be used as a base very rapid backend application development including business process management. Also a file interface would be necessary, as many backend processing is still based on batch oriented file exchange. But of course, I am sure I have seen only a small portion of the platform’s functionality, and these may be in there already. O yes, the license model is not based on end-users but on the basis of user Blocks – so a salesman told me, in the 2nd or 3rd sentence of his sales pitch to me.

Anyway, the experience was very energizing an I sure hope this company can remain growing as an independent Dutch software company and is not eaten by some large tech organisation polluting their freshness. 

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