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Meet Robby: our new front-end developer

by Maaike Geys , Aug 19

It’s no secret that we are growing, and fast. To strengthen our team, we hired Robby: our new front-end developer. Robby links together the world of design and tech by writing HTML, JavaScript and CSS code. 

Hi Robby, thank you for taking the time to have a sit-down chat today. Let’s start with the basics: how long have you been working at Blastic? 

I started working at Blastic on April 1st, no joke (laughs). Unfortunately, I was onboarded during Covid-19, which means that I haven’t met many colleagues in real life. Luckily everyone was super nice and available via video and chat. I do hope to get back to the office soon, so I can bond with my colleagues in real life. 

What has been your favorite project so far?  

That’s hard to say. Even though I haven’t been working with Blastic for that long, I did have a taste of different projects already. If I had to choose one, I’d pick AXA bank. I was able to build my very first component for them while being at Blastic, which makes it special. I also love working on internal projects (like our own website), because I can try and test the latest technologies, without too big of a risk involved. 

Let’s pretend that I’m a tech novice. Can you explain to me what a front-end developer does in plain English? 

As front-end developer, I mostly translate designs and/or written analyses into static working code. Simply put: what you can visually see on a website or app is the work of the front-end developer(s). We make sure that the website is working optimally, on different browsers and devices.  

That sounds challenging. How do you stay organized?  

I try to write my code as clean as possible. It’s always possible that another developer has to work on the same project – in that situation, it’s nice to start off with readable code. I usually add comments to my code, to explain what each piece of code is supposed to do. Of course, everyone has their own style and habits. Sometimes there are different ways of coding to get to the same result.

We can also count on our amazing project managers: they plan really well, so we can focus on our work. Open communication is key, and the best way to keep a project on the right track.  

What’s your most-used productivity hack?

Trying new things. Our sector is ever evolving, which makes it important to stay up to date. New ideas and technologies keep you motivated and productive. Every new project or component is different, which keeps things interesting. 

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

It’s my job (and challenge!) to translate a great design into working code. To actively think and brainstorm about how to write the code and make it work on desktop and mobile is what drives me. 

As front-end developer, you get the freedom to create something amazing. You can add animations or fun effects to make the customer experience extra special. At the end of the day you are creating what the end user will experience; so, it has to look nice. 

Name a website or app that annoys you. How would you make it better?

I can’t think of a specific website or app, but I do think that usability is the most important. If you land on a website where you can’t find what you are looking for, it’s not a nice experience. The look and feel of a website are a bit more personal: everyone has different preferences. My tip is to keep things simple and adapted to the target audience. Even when your website or app is live, it’s important to constantly evaluate and optimize. 

What do you think will be the biggest trends in future web development? 

The usage of headless CMS. When you apply this technique, you detach the front-end from the back-end, which doesn’t impact the user. It’s easier for front-enders, because you’re no longer dependent on the structure that was determined by the back-ender. The second big advantage is that you can use the same content over several platforms, so you can deliver a true omnichannel experience.

Did Robby’s interview get you really excited about front-end development? Have a look at our vacancies here. 

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