Entrepreneurs: how to make your own WeChat Mini-Program

China’s top messaging app WeChat rolled out something quite radical: mini-programs; a.k.a embedded APPs which require no download, no install. Open. Use. Share. Done!

At the moment of this article, it is considered mini-programs can do 80% of what native apps are doing, with only 20% of the development efforts!

“It’s far quicker than react native for development”, the CEO of Rikai Labs David ‘DC’ Collier said. “It solves most of the problems of phonegap / browser apps.

Despite the debate — and the many clickbait headlines — on the success or failure of this new channel, many believe in its potential. We at Le Wagon think its adoption depends on the hackers who will be the first to release smartly designed new services. Many are yet to be made. If you have cool ideas of services you would like to deploy in WeChat, you should get started now.

For fellow developers, Tencent rapidly built a dedicated framework, composed of a simple markup language, a set of advanced functionalities with powerful APIs, an integrated development environment, and a platform for management. Of course, all this fantastic toolkit is only in Chinese 😉

How entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into WeChat mini-programs?

We naturally decided to add the MP framework into our full-stack product development courses in China. Le Wagon is a community of tech professionals active in 12 countries. We already welcomed 1500 entrepreneurs and creative people, all beginners, to learn how to code the startup way. They started from scratch, and in only two months of courses, got the fundamentals of web development. They can prototype their startup ideas or change their career path. And that’s why we believe MPs are a fantastic toolkit in order to test and deploy a WeChat business rapidly!

Instead of developing a iOS/Android app for 6 months, the speed and the depth of the MP environment allows to build a solid MVP in a matter of days. Some amazing people in Le Wagon community have started to build mini apps from A to Z thanks to the development skills they acquired.

Guiding your first steps on the framework…

On a mission to guide creative people to build great tech products, our crew in China decided to produce an English Wiki for Wechat mini-programs.

This free guide aims to decrypt the framework and provide illustrated code snippets.

https://github.com/apelegri/wechat-miniprogram-wiki

We’re happy to open-source this paper and distribute it on Github starting today. We welcome contributions and suggestions for improvement. It is obviously not a translation of the documentation as this one evolves very fast — with new apis almost every week…

Some open source code to grab..

This Github repository provides samples of code to use along the way. We invite developers to grab some components and accelerate their own projects. Play with it. Contribute.

https://github.com/tgenaitay/experiments-wechat-miniprogram

But wait a minute. I’m not a programmer!

This is a lot easier than Java of Swift. We do invite all product people, creative and business folks to start learning some JavaScript ASAP. Some core notions of programming together with a few good lessons of JS, plus a bit of practice in front-end design are a pre-requisite. Then you can fully leverage this framework.

Mini programs are starting to deliver on the hype now. No wonder Apple is freaked out, this really can be a game changer”. 
Matthew Brennan, ChinaChannel

🎓 New mini-programs will be released soon by Le Wagon fellow. Follow our WeChat account.