Growing New Developers

In another thread a member stated, “The fact that FileMaker is primarily marketed as a do-it-yourself tool doesn't talk to future developers who would need to make their living from customers who do not develop their own stuff. This dichotomy is hard to overcome.”

I’ve been listening to @jeremyb ‘s interviews with FM developers; all of them “stumbled” into FM or were recruited.

Is having a successor important to you and if so, are you doing any succession planning?


On Sept 2, 2021 Brad Freitag addressed the developer community during the Engage Executive Q&A event to say; "...the audience that we talked about that is most important to us, the most important customers, are people who earn their living on our platform and people who identify as Claris developers."

I trust Claris when they say; "FileMaker is not going away any time soon."

In the meantime, considering the current state of the industry is "no / low code," every seasoned FileMaker dev is already in a very good position to pick up that ball and run with it. Consult and guide any office new to Airtable, Monday, etc., with good workflow and data structure because, since they're entirely new in the field, they could certainly use the instruction.

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Yes, we all stumbled into FM while in a job and had to do it ourselves because IT could not deliver, or there was no IT.
We all started as in-house developers. The in-house developers will always grow because companies need solutions. What will not grow is FM trained people coming from universities, because it is not part of the curriculum and there are nearly no FM dev jobs (in Europe) advertised.


Well said Torsten.

Now this has been said, Claris should work to show that's the case.


"Growing new developers" might be an outdated concept. FileMaker is just a toolset. Tools are meant for users. Although FM is considered a platform, it's no longer the only platform at the job site.

FM is just a toolset and is not necessarily unlike other available sets. What universities teach is the basics.

Hilti, as a platform will lease its entire tool fleet to a developer. However, all the carpenters know, and own, another brand of drill or saw that is just as capable of the work. Did they learn the trade using Hilti at university? I know Claris is working with Apple School Manager K-12 and they hope that spurs awareness. I've always believed FM should be in middle schools as a fundamental tool.

At this point in time, Claris has its marketing work to do. Quickly.

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At this point in time, Claris has its marketing work to do. Quickly.

I may add that approaches vary vastly between countries, who all have their own educational systems and assorted bureaucracy.

The second line of action is acceptance by IT in companies.

I tried to get FMP installed on a workstation at one major organization. The IT department disapproved the install due to potential security concerns. I don’t know the specifics, but I believe the issue was FMP’s ability to connect to third-party services.

On the Q&A a few days ago, one of the Claris people mentioned they would be in favor of a free FMP.
So anything that helps getting people to use FileMaker without much cost would help.

So in my opinion it's on to Claris to make entry easier and provide more learning materials.

But for your company, it may be you to train a young developer as your successor.



IMHO -- Not just "a free FMP", but "free FMP". :slight_smile:

(And bring FMS prices way down from the stratosphere...)

4 years ago I asked about free licenses for students:

5 years ago someone asked for FMP on App Store:

Even if the free student version is limited in a way, that makes it not working for companies, it would be great to have FileMaker into more hands.


Again, IMHO, it seems to me that the focus at FMI is just profit.
The cost of FMP and FMS in particular seems way out of whack with the reality of these products. Sure, they're good, but the pricing and licensing (deal killer for me with FMS) are just not realistic.
I use FDS now only for minor client testing. I'd love to have a full FMS, but the exorbitant cost for just a few users and the associated beyond-restrictive licensing terms made me forget about it years ago now. Sad.

Getting FileMaker into more hands is a good idea, already Claris proposes an FDS version free for one year to students. But what is the benefit for them to learn FileMaker if there are no jobs calling for FileMaker ?

One of the culprit, and a big one, is IT departments do not know/trust/ the product and some have wrong information about FileMaker. Internet will not educate IT departments about FileMaker, it's a Job for Claris to meet them and explain what is the product, how secure it is, etc.

But since Claris is an Apple Company and Apple is not after businesses, if am afraid that will not happen.


That's too bad since FMP's connectivity is one of its greatest strengths.

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Yes, but you can limit it in various ways.

Like a student licenses could be limited to only connect to student servers, which are limited to 3 connections.

Any company, which uses FileMaker seriously may not be allowed to use it.

We could think about other limitations like only default SSL certificate, no backup or maximum 1 GB per database file.

Why… Yes… The focus of a for-profit corporation is profit. Claris has consistently been making profits for a long time now, even in economic hard times. I find no fault in FileMaker's approach to business for that very reason.

In my opinion… I find it difficult to grow new and young developers when there is almost no awareness of FileMaker amongst youngsters. Awareness is not giving stuff away. Awareness, to me, is informing people how FileMaker can solve a breadth of problems and why it is cost-effective to do so.

Should Claris's target audience in schools be would-be programmers? Perhaps not! Most FileMaker developers of today were business people trying to solve problems in their businesses who then became developers. It makes more sense to me that the target student audience are those studying business. FileMaker would therefore be marketed to students not as a software development tool but as a business solving tool. It just so happens that's how Claris positions FileMaker in the business world.


Whoa, I never considered that business students might be the more fruitful target audience. Excellent point.

As far as the markets of Claris is concerned, this is a slam-dunk for Claris.

If IT is only just now learning what no / low code is, they need to be told and learn FileMaker has had that space for years. To school any sceptic, just sit them in front of an Airtable or Monday "app" in order to point out the shortcomings of the user's business routine and the potential of any data mismanagement while they sample those apps. The lesson to prospects and IT are actually a chargeable fee in my book.

(Emphasis is mine)

Informing people, +1000.

Interesting. These people will be decisions makers later and some will be the ones approving expenses. But the IT managers should also be targeted as people who need to be informed, right at the beginning. And if on top of that they are exposed to the product, that would be even better.

Claris made clear during Engage...

Priority 1 is the platform. Improving the on-boarding experience and modernizing the technology.

Priority 2 is "community." (That's developers) Claris and developers are interdependent.

Priority 3 is awareness. Awareness aimed at prospective developers and awareness aimed at organizations who want to make digital transformation happen.

The devil is in the details and, again, there is no time to waste. IMHO.

Good points!

All the students I know use Python. In fact, many universities' CS departments (including my own) have switched to Python now, too. You can do so much database stuff easily in Python and databases are only a small part of what these students program. Machine Learning is often taught in high school now. Free and extensive python libraries like scikit-learn are popular.

My comments about FMP/S' cost and the uber-restrictive license terms go toward the economic principle "barriers to entry", but FMI can read their balance sheet better than I. :slight_smile:

I like FileMaker a lot and will keep using my single user copy.

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