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Earlier this year, HCL Volt MX hosted our very first Hackathon! Eight-weeks, 4300 registrants, and countless great submissions later, we finally announced our winner: Vishal Vats.

After the hackathon, we got a chance to catch up with Vishal and ask him about his app Wishy and his experience learning Volt MX. Last week, we shared part one of our two-part interview. Let’s get into part two!

How did you approach the development process during the hackathon? Can you walk us through the key steps you took to bring your project to life?

Vishal: This was a completely new domain for me, so first I went to the HCL software academy courses and completed 5 courses revolving around Volt MX. Then I actually started using the Volt MX & Iris platform. The first phase in the development phase was getting the UI done, because there are 6 pages in my application and I wanted to showcase the application in the best manner possible.

After that, I spent a couple of days controlling the form and page flow between each of the pages, and started setting up the Foundry services to connect my front end to the backend database services. By the initial deadline, I had completed my project but I was not happy with the landing page of the application. As soon as I heard about the extension, I revamped the UI and tweaked the programming logic a bit. And I can proudly say that the landing page of the application was looking great.

What were the key factors that you believe contributed to your project’s success in the hackathon?

Vishal: I think that the constant support from the forum and the hikes were the most useful in helping me complete the project. Apart from this, the easily laid out sections in Volt MX ensured that I could access almost everything with ease. That accessibility helped me a lot to quickly create the UI elements and manage their properties. Having the option to manage and save the same physical appearances of each element in the form of skins was also crucial in the development.

“The constant support from the forum and the hikes were the most useful in helping me complete the project.”

What were your favorite elements of Volt MX?

Vishal: While making a full-stack application, I (as a developer) have to do everything from scratch, i.e. making each UI element and even managing the backend functionalities. That might sound very easy or short, but believe me, it requires a lot of coding, and even little things like HTML/CSS and even JS functionalities have to be paid the greatest of attention to make something to start with. Being a low-code platform is the greatest feature of Volt MX (maybe second-best to the fact that it is a single platform to build any sort of application for any type of end device).

On top of that, I loved the fact that it uses JS as a coding language if someone needs to customize some things or processes. Volt MX provides everything out-of-the-box, starting with the simplest of drag & drop features for adding any UI element and presenting repetitive information in the form of segments to control the data flow from one form to another. At every instance of development, the developer has control of what is being shown to the user and how data will be shared from one page to the other, filtering the backend response at the Foundry end also ensuring that the frontend is always receiving the minimal required things for processing. So, every unnecessary thing is rightly being shredded off and thus providing the developer a way to develop the applications in the quickest time and most efficient manner possible.

“Volt MX provides everything out-of-the-box… At every instance of development, the developer has control of what is being shown to the user and how data will be shared from one page to the other.”

What advice would you give to aspiring participants in future hackathons, especially those working with HCL Volt MX?

Vishal: I would like to advise the future participants that if you are just starting off with Volt MX, try to first complete at least a single HIKE because that actually makes you familiar with the platform. Then you can directly start making a demo page and add as many containers and UI elements possible. Play with each element’s various properties and try to use SKINS to not repeat the same process for the UI elements that need the same sort of UI appearance. Most importantly, do structure your project and rename each thing that you add to the workspace as it is very helpful when your applications expand.

Personally, I love to have a basic idea of how the platform works, and that’s why I first completed all of the 5 Volt MX introductory courses offered by the HCLSoftware Academy. Adding and managing the action section for an element must be learned afterward and then at last switch to Foundry and integrate an integration service into the backend. The path might seem difficult, but don’t lose hope because Volt MX really simplifies things a lot and it’s a matter of time to be accustomed to this unique ecosystem.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations regarding your proficiency with HCL Volt MX? Are there any specific projects or areas of development you are eager to explore further?

Vishal: For Wishy, I used a lot of utilities and assets offered by Volt MX but not all of them. So, I am looking to first explore every aspect of Volt. Then I might start working on a watchOS project that helps the user take personal productivity to the next level by using AI recommendations and analyzing the user behavior through pattern-recognition machine learning algorithms, using separate TensorFlow containers for the processing and then sending the same to the frontend via Foundry.

“Personally, I love to have a basic idea of how the platform works, and that’s why I first completed all of the 5 Volt MX introductory courses offered by the HCL Software Academy.”

We’d like to thank Vishal for chatting with us and giving us a deep dive into his experience learning Volt MX and participating in the Hackathon. And congratulations on your big win!

Want to see Vishal’s app for yourself? Check it out in the Volt MX Marketplace.

If you’re interested in learning Volt MX and starting to build some incredible apps on your own, check out the Volt MX Bootcamp and get your Volt MX Certification.

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