Hi! My name is Ania, but my friends call me Asz. Today I would like to tell you my story, thanks to it you will learn how to become a regular from a trainee front-end developer in the eEngine Software House. I hope I will inspire you to do the same.
One evening my boyfriend called me to tell me about the first days of his practice in eEngine.
They have a front-end developers department in there. You would enjoy what they do.
He said in the end of his tale and I began to reflect on it.
Front-end developer? What is that?
Uncle Google came with aid. Over the course of the night, I finished the entire HTML course, absorbing as much information as my brain was able to assimilate. And here it started ...
My beginnings with front-end
Although I graduated from mathematics and statistics studies just two weeks ago, I decided to not go further in this direction and try with front. After two months of learning, I decided it was the time to see how the work in this field looks in the reality. I got my first internship, but it did not meet my expectations.
Half a year after I started learning the web technologies I was able to navigate only around two - HTML and CSS. I was not satisfied with my skills. I did not feel that I was developing, despite working half-time as a front-end developer and studying computer science the same time. One day, sitting in my room, I looked at a laptop which, half a year earlier, my boyfriend, in a sudden burst of joy, taped with eEngine stickers …
I looked at them ... I looked …
"All in all ... why the heck not?"
Fortune favors the brave
Googling the phrase "eEngine Recruitment" led me to Maciek's article about the recruitment process. I took it to my heart and wrote a spontaneous, honest email with a light dose of humor. It was warmly welcomed and soon afterwards I was invited for an interview to the company headquarters.
The meeting itself was very nice. I remember the first thing I noticed was the immediate getting onto first-name terms. In my application mail I mentioned that although my name is Ania, my friends always did refer to me as ASZ. And that’s how the interviewers called me from the beginning, what - I can’t hide that - tuned me very positive about possible cooperation with them. The atmosphere during the interview was really relaxed and friendly. I left the meeting in very good humor hoping I could become part of what I saw.
Next stage of the recruitment was the analysis of my code repository. I received feedback from Szymon who appreciated the strengths of my programming skills and also told me about mistakes I made and what I could improve. For me, as a self-taught, these were very valuable insights. You may think I’m sweetening, but that’s true. :). I myself was not able to catch what I was doing wrong or what was bad practice at that stage. Code review is really important part of my daily work. I'll tell you about it later.
I got hired!
I did it! I got hired for a monthly internship with the possibility of further cooperation!
The first day was an introductory day - the company was shown to me and I was presented to all my new colleagues. I've never encountered an onboarding program before - a set of tasks that were supposed to familiarise me with the tools and principles of eEngine. I would also like to mention the Dev Knight's Handbook - reading the document was one of the ways of introducing the company to me. I knew the handbook beforehand because it was the basis for preparing for a recruitment interview, but I was happy to refresh it and verify with what I knew on the first day.
Just after the introduction, I received the first task - to introduce quite simple corrections in one of the projects that would soon hit the production. I remember that although my contribution was small, when the site was implemented my colleagues thanked me for the help. It might seem little, but it’s one of the special eEngine things that I remembered.
I was also positively suprised that from the very beginning I had great support and help from my colleagues. I admired their patience in explaining all the obviousness :) Such atmosphere motivates further development. It is reassuring that when something would not go as expected, there is always someone who will sit with you and patiently explain everything from scratch. These words are directed to everyone, but especially I want to thank - Adam, Szymon and Bartek - you are living saints for being so patient as I haunt you with my questions ... :). It may seem to you that such an approach might be a bit lazy, but paradoxically, in my case, it only accelerated my learning.
In eEngine I also had the time to learn and improve my skills. When I finished all the tasks that were assigned to me, I had the opportunity to gain further competencies. Each of us has access to Codeschool and Udemy courses. However, if you require additional materials, all you have to do is asking your Tech Lead. I also appreciate that if I need more time to read the documentation of a project or a new tool I will be using, I get the time for it.
First serious projects!
The first month passed, and I was offered an opportunity for a longer cooperation and promotion from a trainee to a junior. Shortly after, I was invited to the first standup, a project meeting. I was assigned to to a new project that we just started implementing. My first job was to make an estimation on how time consuming would be preparing the front page of the project and selecting the technology I could use while doing it. It was an important moment for me in the company, because the first time since I started working (in any company and I was in a few already), I felt I was not only a small cog of a machine who comes to the office, does what he has to and leaves. I felt I was part of the Team.
Despite my little experience and knowledge, I was given the opportunity to influence the way the project was implemented. This valuable experience has affected how I looked at my job. It also surprised me that after a month of work, and just after the internship, I got to do the whole front in an important project for the eEngine. I was so thrilled I wished to hide under my desk and not show up until the project was on the production. But I managed to :)
Conclusions I took from this project:
- How to not complicate your life writing over-complicated CSS;
- Tidiness in a big project is really important;
- GIT and Trello are tools to help, not to make your life harder;
- Haml only looks scary, but in fact it makes your work easier.
It was only better after that. The next projects I was approaching with more sensible, thoughtful work, step by step. It is useful to look at the projects in a way represented by the BEM and Atomic Design methodologies. Thanks to them, I see it as a collection of reusable components. I always wonder how can I write a code snippet so I can use it again in the future.
Code review is a foundation of my personal growth.
For me, an important accelerator for my development is ... code review. Yes, it might seem awful when another developer takes my code and starts tormenting it. I mean looking through it. And show me with his finger what can be done better. Balance and constructive criticism are basics of our cooperation. And after the code review I have a feeling that someone is dropping me a cheat sheet on how to program better. Or to argue creatively that something is fine the way I did it. Although the latter is less frequent.
And at the very end I will add one thing that a more insightful observer will notice. Since I came to the company with the beginning of March 2017, I am the only female developer here. I wonder why there is such a large disproportion. After all, programming does not bite :). This way or another, it would be much easier if I had a female programming friend in here, so - you know - the button for the application is here on the right.
And if you want to get to know us better you can always go to the recruitment section of our website.