Today we’d like to introduce you to the geeky Front-end developer: Samuel. We hope you’ll enjoy reading his interview!
1. What are your role and your responsibilities @EVO? What do you do on a daily basis?
I’m the manager of the front-end division. Our team’s task is to put to music the partitions imagined by the creative team. We are the link between the creative team and the backend. As the team leader, my job is to make sure we are up-to-date regarding our sector’s new findings technology-wise, as it is a sector in constant evolution.
On a daily basis, our team is in charge of translating visuals into code and making sure all the data is rightly given from the user to our data-centralization program. We create emails, web interfaces; we integrate content and create forms.
Mainly, I try my best to use all the tools we have at our disposal to automatize the tasks from the most basics to the most complicated so we can spend more time on innovation and creation.
I’m also in charge of identifying my teammates faculties and distributing the work regarding that fact. But what I try to do is to push them to evolve, go further in their job and always be more creative. I try to push them to suggest ideas.
2. Was development something you always dreamt to do? What did you study and what are your passions?
It is definitely not something I always thought I would do. During my high school years, I studied to become a technician in the graphic industry at I.A.T.A in Namur. After that, I did a bachelor’s degree in design at the Institut Saint-Luc in Liège. It was mainly print-oriented.
I discovered the web at the end of my bachelor’s degree and I found some kind of comfort zone in that because, unlike in artistic studies where nothing is already established, it is very volatile, code has solid bases and some concrete knowledge even though everything can be rethought. Code is actually very artistic, and can be very beautiful.
The studies I did in Web development are actually not very relevant in my job now because it is a sector in constant evolution. I study on a daily basis. What I learned while I was in design school has helped me develop a sensitivity that is useful for the job and that someone with a master’s degree in pure programming won’t necessarily have. It also helps me be open-minded to all the changes that occur in our area.
I’m passionate about code and development as well as arts in general. I also really love comics. I was a big fan of the Batman series when I was young and I started reading the comics. It is very diverting and light. It is a good way to sometimes escape all the code I have in my head all the time. It allows me to jump in another world even though I am very passionate about code.
3. What are, in your opinion, the qualities of a good/successful front-end developer? Do you passess all those qualities? Is it something you’re working on with your team? How?
Active interaction, I’d say. You need to be able to listen to others and exchange ideas with them. Then, you have to be very curious, read a lot about what’s new, find good sources, be interested about the changes in your sector even though you’re probably not going to use them tomorrow. It takes a lot of work; the job doesn’t end after working hours. You need to want more, and make it a passion.
I think I possess those qualities and it is something we’re working on with our team by not being afraid of opting for new technologies or solutions. Even if sometimes your choice doesn’t pay off, you gain something from it. Of course, it is something we do while taking account the daily production.
4. Speaking of your team: how close are you with the guys and girl that work with you? Isn’t it difficult to manage people you’re close to? How are the relationships between your team and the others? Is there a good team spirit within the company?
I’m rather close to my team, indeed. Sometimes it is easier that way because it allows us to speak more honestly without creating frustration from one part or the other. It is also easier for them to speak up without being afraid of hierarchy. They know me and know how to talk to me to make things go easier.
On a company level, we try to work as a team from beginning to end on every project. We try to evaluate every aspect of every team’s work, and adapt the creations to everyone’s agenda and put creativity first.
5. Why did you join EVO? What makes it a nice place to work at? What are the company’s strongest points?
First of all, I joined the company because they have audacious and interesting projects. Also, because they give us a lot of freedom to make technical choices without having to deal with a strong inheritance of past technologies. It allows us to evolve competency-wise, which is very important. Finally, it is a company that hires young talents and lets them give their opinions, and takes their word into account.
Those are the company’s biggest assets: youth, creative freedom and audacity!
6. Web development is a sector in constant evolution, how do you manage to stay up-to-date? Are you following courses? If not, where do you find info and guides concerning the new technologies?
It’s a little complicated and one can easily lose his mind trying to follow everything that happens all the time! What is true today can totally be proven wrong tomorrow. You need to take a step back: give yourself midterm objectives and evolve slowly in all of this, step by step, without trying to change the world in one day.
I don’t follow any courses at the moment but there are so many resources on the Internet that you can learn a lot by yourself. You just need to find the right sources, and take time to test the solutions, put them aside and come back to them later. You need to take the time to digest it all.
Smashing Magazine is a good source of information, as is CSS Tricks or Codepen to discover things.
7. How would you like your job to evolve in the future? Where do you see yourself personally in the future? Do you have any projects?
I couldn’t tell you how my job is going to evolve in the future because it all depends on the sector. We can not predict how the web industry is going to grow, maybe mobile apps will dethrone websites… Nothing is certain.