Blog item

Meet our developers: Gerton Leijdekker
Uniface software architect and product owner

May 31, 2021
Gerton Leijdekker Uniface

Meet the talents behind Uniface. Our game-changers are constantly improving the Uniface solutions while making sure our customers have access to the latest technology. In this blog, you will meet Gerton.

Hi Gerton, can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Gerton Leijdekker, I am married and have one daughter, a dog, two cats, 4 chickens, and a bunch of fish. Music is my hobby: I play the guitar, drums, keyboards, and vocals in my band Songs Of The Exile (www.sote.nl), a prog-rock band. I also write all the music for the band and do sessions as a freelance guitar player.

And business-wise?

I am working with Uniface as of 1996 in various roles. Started as a tester, later as an application developer for internal applications, like our main test tool (the RT), time registration, project management, and bug registration applications. Then moved on as a usability consultant where I had to deal with performance support of users, like documentation, samples, training, but also, really important, usability feedback on the product itself. From that role, I moved on to lead software engineer and product planner, and eventually Software Architect and Product Owner.

What is your background (previous experience)?

At the beginning of my career, I started as a Printed Circuit Board designer, later evolved into scripting and writing software for computerized machines. Then joined Uniface. My background, just like my music, is the artistic part: creating something out of nothing, make it pretty and user-friendly so that people want to use it (or listen to it).

So why Uniface?

Uniface just got on my way; I was looking for a job, but Uniface then grew on me very fast. I liked working on a development tool, which brings all sorts of interesting challenges.

How would you describe the value of Uniface?

The productivity of Uniface is that it is model-driven. This means you declare a lot of functionality, data structures, behaviour, object relations, without the need to code. These definitions (the model) are then reused almost everywhere. For the web, Uniface provides both the backend and the JavaScript frontend and can therefore benefit/reuse those definitions even on the browser. But all of this without dictating; there is always an opportunity to specialize specifics in code.

What is your current role in Uniface?

I am the product Owner of the IDE and Web teams (DSP features, etc). As architect involved in the design of new product features varying from DSP, programming language, IDE, Installer, Licensing, Web Harness.

Any special projects you are working on?

I am currently working on 'building blocks' (working title): a set of assets to be delivered with the product to even faster build web applications with Uniface. Think of a library with all sorts of assets that deliver your typical functionality to quickly assemble a typical data-driven web application, including navigation, authentication, data I/O, a privileges system, etc.

What are your thoughts about Uniface 10?

Uniface 10 is mainly the new development environment. It is more productive than its predecessor(s), although still in needs of enhancements to make it even better. It is designed to the current (and future) needs of developers for usability, look & feel and functionality. We hope this will increase the pool of Uniface developers, which is important for Uniface as for our customers.

What do you think of Low-code?

Low-code is a buzzword and will at some point be replaced with some other buzz words in an attempt for products to stand out. It is really about productivity, both initial development productivity as well as maintenance productivity, a bit later in the life cycle of an application. If you have a low-code environment that cannot deal with those low-level details the moment you run into them, you still have a problem. Over the years, the cap between low-level and high-level programming languages has become smaller dramatically; low-level products are enriched with productivity libraries whereas high-level products are enriched with specific (low-level) functionality. Uniface started as a high-level programming environment, but over the years evolved with many low-level capabilities but still maintaining high productivity. Especially, the maintenance productivity is excellent: Uniface takes care of platform support, database support and security aspects. All without any effort for our customers.

Any advice for fellow developers who want to start with Low-code?

Check ‘low-code' products thoroughly, truly knowing the product is where the real productivity can be found. The better you know it, the more productive you will be. Uniface comes with easy to use eLearning environment so new developers can learn Uniface in one to two months.

Can you share some best practices?

A ‘low-code' application starts with knowing your requirements and have a good understanding of the architecture and underlying technology. Skipping a proper design step will eventually bite you in the ‘you-know-where'. Obviously, you will be using an agile approach.

THANK YOU, Gerton!

You can see Gerton live in action on June 10th at the Uniface Universe webinar on Microservices & Docker.

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