Betty Blocks Academy: Meet Adil el Bouazzati

If you know us, you’ve probably heard our big, hairy, audacious goal: “By 2023 any human will be able to build an application.” Bryan Oemar, head of the Betty Blocks Academy, is helping turn that vision into a reality. The Academy teaches developers all the skills they need to become no-code ninjas. Bryan’s curriculum caters to totally fresh Citizen Developers all the way to IT professionals.

Since the Academy started in 2018, some seriously talented and interesting people have already become certified no-code developers. When it comes to new no-code developers Adil el Bouazzati is a shining example. He started his journey into no-code development 3 months ago and is making serious progress already.

So, I met up with Adil to find out what inspired him to join the Academy. To my surprise, Adil arrived for the interview with a saddle in hand… Like, an actual saddle for a horse!?


From custom leather to tailored code

This new no-code developer was actually a saddle maker for nearly 19 years (without a doubt, that is one of the coolest backstories in all of Betty Blocks history). He started out helping his father (also a saddle maker) during school holidays, and almost 2 decades later he had gone from student to master leatherworker in the family business.

So why did he hang up the leatherworking gear and start a whole new journey? Like many of us, Adil’s passion for technology is rooted in video games – a hobby to some, but an inspiration to others. That passion for technology grew into experimenting on a Raspberry Pi using scripts and code segments he found online. “Doing my own thing with other developers’ code enabled my own joy and hobbies,” says Adil.

When he was 16, Adil attended an IT course at InHolland university. While he was still passionate about the subject, he opted to leave after his first year to travel the world and pursue development at his own pace. After a slight (20 year...) detour, Adil found the Betty Blocks Academy online and decided to give IT another shot. Meet-Adil-blog-2

Learning from scratch

Adil joined the Academy in one of Bryan’s beginner courses. “Bryan Oemar was the first to introduce me to no-code. He asked the other students and me if we thought an application could be built without code. Of course we were skeptical but it's a positive prospect and I was curious how it would develop.”

Well, Adil has already made some serious progression. Not only is he building his own application, but he’s learning how to innovate effectively. “The Academy taught me how to focus on who I'm developing for. When I first started, I was focused on results, but that’s not really important to development. It’s a process and I had to learn that.”

Bigger, better, and beyond

When asked to describe his own challenges and growth in his journey to becoming a no-code developer, Adil had this to say: “It's like a rollercoaster, because sometimes when you make something and it works straight away, you feel like you just climbed Everest. Some days are tougher and that’s just part of the learning process”

Adil’s confidence has grown immensely since he first began. Now, he’s starting to work on ever-growing projects. In fact, he’s got his very own big hairy audacious goal: to work on an absolutely massive application like Reddit used by millions of people. “I would be proud of myself for being part of something like that!”

Keep an eye on the blogs in the coming weeks to meet Claudia, our company mother hen, legendary among her colleagues and the first friendly face you'll see when coming to the Betty Blocks HQ.

Betty Blocks - Rise of the Citizen Developer