The demand for mobile apps is growing 5x faster than IT departments can deliver. The average cost to develop an app is 70% less with Power Platform than with traditional coding methods, however, 85% of organizations struggle to find technical talent to build applications.
Two Business Applications MVPs from Skillar, Nadeeja Bomiriya and Sahan Wijayasekera, partnered with the largest IT community in Australia, the Australian Computer Society (ACS). They hosted the ACS Power Apps App in a Day Workshop and reached a new professional audience to educate and influence the future technologists. “Right now, there is a massive opportunity for digital transformation engagements in the market and the Microsoft Power Platform is leading the way with groundbreaking features added to the platform pretty much on a monthly basis.” said Nadeeja Bomiriya. “The low code aspect of Power Platform has opened the doors to a vast array of individuals to ideate, design and build business solutions.”
There are so many digital transformation projects out in the market that there is resource scarcity. So, as MVPs, we both take a great passion for teaching and educating the community. We wanted to build a platform to educate new starters on the art of the possible using the Power Platform.”
This MVP-led program successfully upskilled professionals to be confident in building applications using Power Apps. Hosting 20 students, they trained professionals on Power Apps, Microsoft’s low-code development platform, to enhance the skills of these professionals and showcase opportunities to accelerate business process transformation. It was a beginner level lab for students to get hands on experience with the Microsoft Power Apps.
Sahan and Nadeeja explain how they scaled this initiative. “Our first step in building our target audience was via LinkedIn, Facebook, and our network. When we shared our idea with our Community Program Manager Elizabeth Pappalardo, she introduced us to ACS, and we were very lucky to expand our footprint to the ACS community. We have further growth aspirations not only by engaging with universities and high schools, but also extending the training sessions to be conducted around the world in participants native languages.”
According to Skillar, 1,000+ transformation scenarios are identified within organizations, but these opportunities to enhance results remain fixed. This could be due to the perception of high development costs, lack of professional skills or a low awareness of possible solutions. However, this course empowers business professionals to deliver their own use case scenarios regardless of their professional area. “We get students who come from multiple disciplines from marketing to accounting to IT. All students embrace the Power Platform due to its low-code capability as well as its ability to expand to pro-code.”
To spark students’ creativity and engagement, the workshop began with an ice breaker and ideation session before starting to build the Power Apps. Through learnings from previous pilot courses, Sahan and Nadeeja realized that going straight to technical learning of the technology leads to low engagement and understanding of the power of the platform. In addition, each student has different experiences, skill levels and methods of leaning. It was important to provide everyone with a sense of belonging to empower their learning opportunity. “As trainers, we need to accommodate students at all levels during the session to keep them engaged throughout the 4 hours-long sessions. Microsoft Teams breakout room feature is a great way to assist students who need more support. We also found that providing instructions for setup before the session helped with the momentum of the session,” they said.
If you are looking to enhance your IT skills or get into the tech industry, our MVPs leading this initiative, Nadeeja and Sahan, recommend that, "You are at the beginning of the next technology revolution. There are so many opportunities in the IT market. Technology is moving faster than ever before. Keep learning, be curious and creative and stay ahead.”