Embracing Continuous Learning 

In today’s ever-evolving world, standing still is the equivalent of moving backward. This is especially true for those of us immersed in the dynamic and fast-paced IT sector. Continuous learning isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. From the latest advancements in Generative AI (GenAI) to the continuous stream of new features in the Mendix platform, staying updated is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned Mendix developer, a tech-savvy IT manager, or a dedicated learning specialist, the importance of continuous learning can’t be overstated. 

The Rapid Pace of Change in IT 

The IT sector is notorious for its rapid pace of change. Just when you think you’ve mastered the latest programming language or development framework, a new technology emerges that shifts the landscape. Consider how quickly cloud computing, big data, and AI have integrated into the IT mainstream. Each of these advancements has required professionals to learn new skills and adapt to new paradigms. 

For Mendix developers, this means staying updated with the latest features and best practices of the platform. Mendix continuously evolves to include new functionalities, integrations, connectors, and improvements. Missing out on these updates can mean falling behind in delivering optimal solutions. 

One of the most exciting advancements in recent years is GenAI. Tools like OpenAI’s GPT-4 have revolutionized how we think about AI’s role in software development. GenAI can assist in coding, generating test cases, creating documentation, and even providing user support. For Mendix developers, integrating GenAI into your way of working can enhance productivity, improve code quality, and accelerate development cycles. Integrating it into your applications can, in turn, enhance your customer’s productivity, work quality, ROI, et cetera. However, leveraging GenAI effectively requires understanding its capabilities and limitations.

With all the rapid developments in IT, there are plenty of new tools to use to improve your development speed and quality, build better applications for your customers, et cetera. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, or even don’t want to fall behind, there is a single thing you always need to keep thinking about. You will need to know how to use them, and how to apply them. How do they work? What are their use cases? Or in one word: learn. You will need to continuously keep learning about all these new developments that are or might be relevant to you. 

(Read more on GenAI and training in my blog Generative AI & Learning Mendix: a blessing or a curse?

“Continuous Learning” 

But before moving on; this “continuous learning” … what does it mean? And how does it work? Continuous Learning is the ongoing expansion of your knowledge and skills. Continuously adding new skills and new knowledge, while simultaneously reinforcing the knowledge and skills you’ve gained previously. This all may sound like an awful lot of work. Why would you do this? 

1. Keeping Skills Relevant 

In the IT world, skills can become obsolete quickly. With the advent of Machine Learning, GenAI, and other new technologies the way of working has changed. Not keeping up to date may result in a growing gap with the new reality of development. And this is not only the case when it comes to the rise of new technologies. Also, the release of new features or widgets can lead to this growing gap. 

2. Enhancing Problem-Solving Abilities 

Continuous learning isn’t just about acquiring new technical skills. It’s also about enhancing your problem-solving abilities. By staying curious and seeking out new knowledge, developers can approach problems from different angles and find innovative solutions.  

3. Career Advancement 

In the competitive IT job market, continuous learning can set you apart from your peers. Employers value professionals who show a commitment to growth and self-improvement. For (IT) managers and learning specialists, fostering a culture of continuous learning within your team can lead to higher employee satisfaction and retention, as well as better overall performance. 

Why would you invest in Continuous Learning?

Specific Strategies for Continuous Learning 

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say you agree that continuous learning is indeed important. How could you go about it? No one has the time to endlessly follow (online) classes or spend their evenings attending lectures. Luckily, there are many ways you can gain new knowledge and skills or reinforce your current knowledge and skills.  

1. Leverage Online Learning Platforms

The internet is a treasure trove of learning resources. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Pluralsight offer courses on a wide range of IT topics. These platforms often provide hands-on exercises and real-world projects that can help reinforce learning. And of course, don’t forget about the Mendix. New free learning paths are being uploaded regularly and designed to help you learn about all kinds of new features.   

2. Participate in Webinars and Conferences 

Webinars and conferences are excellent opportunities to learn from industry experts and stay updated on the latest trends. Mendix World (hopefully organized again soon), for instance, is a premier event for Mendix developers, offering insights into the platform’s future direction and showcasing innovative use cases. Attending such events can provide valuable networking opportunities and inspire new ideas. 

3. Join Professional Communities 

Being part of professional communities can greatly enhance your learning journey. Online forums, LinkedIn groups, and local meetups can connect you with like-minded professionals. For Mendix developers, the Mendix Community on Slack and within the platform is a great place to share knowledge, ask questions, and collaborate on projects. 

4. Read Industry Publications

Keeping up with industry news and publications is another effective way to stay informed. Websites like TechCrunch, Wired, and InfoQ regularly publish articles on the latest IT developments. For Mendix-specific updates, Mendix Blogs and Jan de Vries’ release videos are an invaluable resource, offering insights into new features, customer stories, and best practices. 

5. Hands-On Practice 

There’s no substitute for hands-on practice. Working on real-world projects helps solidify your knowledge and gives you practical experience. It can happen that you don’t have a project to work on. In this case, the Mendix Academy offers practice cases to get some hands-on practice. Alternatively, you can join a hackathon, give pair-programming with a colleague a go, or join a training session at one of Mendix’s training partners. 

The Future of IT and Continuous Learning 

As IT keeps developing, so does your need to keep up with all these changes. But what sort of developments should you keep up with? Remember this is not an exhaustive list. There may be developments that are more important to your specialization. This list does give a good overall overview of things you might, or dare I say, should keep up with. 

1. Embracing GenAI  

GenAI is transforming the IT landscape. For developers, this means learning how to use and how to integrate this technology into their applications. It offers exciting possibilities for speeding up and even automating tedious tasks. But it can also help with learning new things, as it is extremely fast in combining all kinds of information from all over the internet and presenting it in an easy-to-digest way. Continuous learning ensures that developers can leverage these technologies effectively. 

2. Adapting to New Development Paradigms 

With each new release of Mendix Studio Pro, most of the time jam-packed with new features or updated widgets, it is important to stay up to date with all the latest developments. Even if your projects are in a lower version of Studio Pro and you cannot yet use these new features, it is important to stay up to date. The next iteration of Studio Pro could contain just that feature that will make your development work all that much easier. 

3. Cybersecurity Awareness 

With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, cybersecurity has become a critical concern for IT professionals all over the world. Continuous learning in cybersecurity best practices is essential for protecting applications and data. Even though the Mendix platform takes care of a lot of security issues, it remains very important that Mendix developers are aware of the latest threats, issues, and approaches to security so they can take precautions when necessary.  

4. Cross-Disciplinary Knowledge 

The premise of Mendix is to bring business and IT together. A vision that is endorsed by Gartner in what they call ‘Fusion Teams’ (see this article from Mendix’ Chief Product Officer, Hans de Visser). The future of IT will likely involve greater cross-disciplinary knowledge. Understanding business processes, data analytics, and user experience design can enhance a developer’s ability to create impactful applications.

Call To Action 

Now, what about the next steps? If you are a manager or learning specialist within a company, be sure to take the actions below. Or if you are for example a developer, have a chat with your manager or company’s learning specialist about the actions below. 

Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning 

For IT managers and learning specialists, fostering a culture of continuous learning within your team is crucial. Here are some strategies to consider: 

  • Encourage Lifelong Learning 
    Promote the idea that learning is a lifelong journey. Encourage your team to take advantage of available learning resources and set aside time for professional development. 
  • Provide Learning Opportunities 
    Offer regular training sessions, workshops, and for example lunch-and-learn events. Providing opportunities for learning within the workplace can make it easier for employees to stay updated. 
  • Recognize and Reward Learning 
    Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning. This could be through formal recognition programs, promotions, or other incentives. 
  • Create a Collaborative Environment 
    Foster a collaborative environment where knowledge sharing is encouraged. This can be through regular team meetings, collaborative projects, pair-programming, or online platforms where employees can share insights and resources. 


In the fast-paced world of IT, continuous learning is not just important—it’s essential. For Mendix developers and other IT professionals, staying updated with the latest advancements, such as GenAI, is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. By leveraging online learning platforms, participating in professional communities, and engaging with resources like Mendix Academy, and training from training partners and certified trainers, developers can ensure their skills remain relevant and cutting-edge. 

Creating a culture of continuous learning within your organization can lead to greater innovation, improved problem-solving, and enhanced job satisfaction. So, embrace the journey of continuous learning and stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of IT. The future belongs to those who are always learning and ready to adapt to new challenges and opportunities. 

Are you curious to learn more about how GenAI can help your business? Or do you want to know more about the Learning & Development opportunities we provide? Reach out to us at labs@theorangeforce.com.

About the Author

Yves Rocourt is the Learning & Development Manager and a Senior Consultant at The Orange Force. Previously he led the Mendix Academy and the TimeSeries University. Mendix certifications? He’s got them all: he is an Expert-level Mendix developer and an Advanced-level Mendix trainer. He is sort of a history buff, having worked as a museum curator before starting with Mendix. Questions about history or Mendix? Join one of his trainings, you can ask him about both!

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