This blog is about the 'Fostering a Scalable and Collaborative Maker Culture with Continental' video, presented by Sven Fleischer from Continental. You can watch the video here.
Changing the way software is developed, how applications are created, and how they’re delivered within a company can be quite a challenge – as you might already know. Choosing the right technology can significantly boost your chances of success. But changing technology will not solve the problem on its own. Describing what the transition will look like to service owners, developers, and end users is crucial in gaining buy-in. In most cases, this is not only important – it’s a critical success factor.
Sven explains in detail how Continental is tackling this challenge, incorporating Mendix as the corporate low-code platform with a totally new way of developing and delivering apps to users. The journey started in 2018 and is still gathering speed. I really encourage you to watch the speech yourself: it gives great insights into the thought process, decision-making and consequences at Continental.
In short, here’s what Continental did and still does to bring the collaborative culture of creation into the company. A special team was founded within Continental – not to create all the apps, but to encourage people within the company to be part of a “makers club” – to contribute to the new working culture.
The clear mandate of this team is to create awareness of Mendix technology, foster transparent decision-making processes, and provide guidance to future makers in terms of best practices, templates, reusable modules, and so on.
The team is made up of project managers, enterprise architects, service owners, agile coaches, and internal developers. With these experts involved in projects, Continental can enforce the principles of agile software development, lead team members through the app lifecycle process from prototype to working application, and make sure that platform tooling is applied during development and implementation.
There are great tools especially designed for the Mendix platform to assist developers and operators in their daily work: ATS (to automate testing), APD (to meet performance challenges faster), in combination with AQM from Software Improvement Group (to deliver highly maintainable applications at speed) and ACR (to simplify the code review process).
With this team in place, Continental managed to raise awareness of the Mendix platform, encourage people to contribute to the application landscape and internal communities, and increase adoption rates within the Continental audience. From my point of view, I really enjoy my day-to-day work with the development teams and the discussions about Continental’s vision for the future.