My Vonk Plug-in learning experience

They say you learn by trial and error. Or as Dutch people like to say: “by falling and rising”. We are famous for biking. We ride our bikes everywhere. Even when it’s windy, rainy or when the roads are covered with ice. It’s crazy. But for us Dutchies it’s second nature. We learned it as a kid. By falling. A lot. And rising. Until it becomes so easy that you don’t longer need to think about it.

In some way, I like to compare this to my learning experiences here at Firely. It is often said that FHIR is easy. And I like to think that it is. Or is FHIR Far Harder In Reality? Of course you need to start somewhere. And allow yourself time to learn. By doing. By failing. And finally succeeding. Practice makes perfect.

I started working for Firely about two years ago. With little experience in FHIR. Before, I worked in hospitals. Starting as a PhD student. Continuing my career as an implementation consultant. And finally, becoming a project manager in e-health. Not being a developer myself and without any .NET or C# experience, I was asked to build a Vonk Facade server*. I learned some basic Java in my Bachelor Medical Informatics. Which is basically the same, right? Right.

Yes, I have to admit that it helps if you understand the logics of programming. And of course, Christiaan had built a fantastic template that helps you out with most of the hard work. So, no, it was not too hard to create a new Patient. And to add mappings from the database source to the FHIR profile. But other than that I did not completely understand what I was doing. I was pretty much lost in a sea of libraries that I didn’t know. So, every piece of code took time. But it worked. With help. Like riding a bike with side wheels.

Soon I had my first real assignment. Time for a new bike without side wheels. Because know I knew how to build a Vonk Facade server. And if you did something once, you are an expert nowadays. Right. But it went well. I pedaled slowly, but I kept pedaling. Because if you stop, you will fall. After a while I dared to go faster. And suddenly, I found myself riding a cross bike. All pieces fell together. I understood exactly what I was doing. I felt the wind in my hair. Wondering how it had suddenly become so easy.

Do you also want to learn how to build a Vonk Facade or Vonk Plug-in?

Visit our Let’s build! A FHIR Facade session on DevDays!

*For those of you who don’t know. The Vonk Facade is the older brother of the Vonk Plug-in. The Plug-in takes over even more of the work. Which allows you to advantage from new developments in Vonk. Without having to configure everything yourself.

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