QlikView developers come from different backgrounds & skills. Generally speaking, we can divide QlikView developers into two categories: Organic & Tailor-made.
Organic QlikView developers come from one of the streams – Traditional BI/ETL Developer, Database Developer, Data Analyst, Excel Developer, Web Developer, Test Analyst, Business Analyst and a DBA. Coming from one of these streams have both advantages and dis-advantages in Qlik world. Personally, I have done almost all of the above jobs before making my debut into Qlik world. Experience of data handling and analytical thinking is a big plus if you come from one of the above streams. And the dis-advantage is unlearning what you already know; because you need to approach in different way whilst developing in QlikView.
Tailor-made QlikView developers are budding new developers who start with QlikView or developers who move to QlikView from non-IT background. Generally, these developers are fresh graduates or first timers who approach QlikView with great enthusiasm & passion. It’s easy to get started with QlikView and most of the time you will start feeling comfortable within weeks instead of months or years. However, very soon you will realise that – the more you know, the more you need to know!
After thinking hard, I thought the following are the essential skills to be a successful QlikView developer on the long term basis.
- Understanding Data/Business: No matter how good you are with the code, but you still need to know the data you are going to deal with. It’s very easy to start development just thinking about the tables, columns & rows but you will soon hit the brick wall, just after finishing the scripting. Understanding business data rules is a critical aspect to calculate KPI(s) and measures. Last thing you wanted is good looking application with jaw-dropping functionality and not answering any business questions. As a developer, we all get excited solving problems and designing functionality but it’s very important to understand the business data for successful QlikView application.
- SQL/Data Modelling: Having good understanding of traditional data modelling techniques is a big plus. Simple analogy – I can compare traditional data modelling skills with Badminton and QlikView data modelling with Squash. Although these two games are different but there are some common skills. So, having traditional data modelling skills definitely have good value within Qlik realm.
- Microsoft Expression Language: Those who have advanced Microsoft Excel and/or Visual Basic skills will always find QlikView expression language easy to understand. Because, some of the functions available in QlikView are also available in Excel/Visual Basic. There are many powerful new functions in QlikView Expression language. On average, every QlikView developer will spend at least 25% of their development time in writing QlikView expressions. So, having good understanding of QlikView Expression language is a must have skill.
- UI/UX Design: QlikTech separated QlikView Developers from Designers. But in reality, almost all the companies just have one person with two hats and sometimes even the third hat as QlikView admin. Every QlikView developer should have good understanding of data visualization techniques. There are plenty of options in QlikView to represent your data but it takes special skills to present them in the simplest yet effective way. I have seen many developers who are really good with the script & data modelling but they struggle designing a good UI (User Interface). With good eye for UI design & detail you can create the instant “wow” effect within <=5 seconds of launching the QlikView application.
Elsewhere: Steve Dark made a great post on similar topic - What makes a QlikView Developer?
Cheers - DV