Next on our #AskMeAnything series, we talked to our web developers to learn more about their craft and from their experience so far, what they think being a good developer means in today’s age. Here are their thoughts:
1. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CODING?
When it comes to web development, there are basically two types, front-end and back-end. Basically for most of the software being used daily, there’s always a frontend – which users interact with – and a backend – where processes run, but are not seen by the user.
For example, the layout of the page, the animation, the transition, the interactions with the users, the flow, these all belong to the front-end. Back-end refers to things the user will not see, for example, algorithms, server development, database, network traffic optimisation etc.
2. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE SPECIFICALLY AT HOL?
We do front end web development, with the focus on developing something that is consistent with the experience that was envisioned for the users.
We work in a very tight knitted structure together with other teams in the company, including the content, the UIUX, the 3D teams.
We will give suggestions on what technologies we can use to provide the best experience for the users. Sometimes, if a tech solution is not suitable, we will suggest possible ideas and changes.
What we enjoyed is also being involved in the brainstorming sessions, where we can share our ideas on how best to deliver an experience to the users.
Most clients also require the firm to collect and analyse their user data. Hence, based on these requirements, we also work on backend development to make sure the information required is collected and stored correctly in our database.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECT SO FAR?
Fengyun: The CKTL project is the most interesting project so far. I learnt both ideas and skills from developing all the interactives for it. The client has mandated us to push the envelope and the team and I had the opportunity to experiment and try different approaches.
Jasper: My favourite project was one of the prototypes we developed for a client which mainly focused on a mobile application for online learning. The prototype was fun to develop. We had to start with a blank canvas and think of engaging and exciting features such that a user could have a conducive learning environment no matter where they were. It was a great learning experience being able to develop such a prototype and doing research on online learning.
4. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE TOP QUALITIES FOR A DEVELOPER INTERN?
- Self-directed learning skills. I believe this is the most important skill for a programmer.
- Passion. Without passion one would not be motivated to constantly learn new things.
- Self-knowledge. Overestimating your own skills or knowledge can really lead to disasters.
- Patience. Sometimes a single error could make a programmer stuck for hours or even days, blocking any progress. Hence, patience is very important.
- Being creative in your solutions. There’s no one way to implement functions in a software. Implementation of software could be done in multiple ways, but it has to also be efficient and not cause a lot of lag due to that part of the code that takes up too much resources.
- Being able to work with different people. As a developer, there are times where certain projects need multiple hands working on them. Being open to working with others allows the exchange of ideas and solutions which makes the development process smoother and faster.
- Time and project management. Planning your tasks is important. Rushing head first into a project without a timeline might end disastrously because you might have spent too much time focusing on one area. This could lead to delay in the project’s completion. It is especially important if you are working in a team as then, tasks could be outlined. This means that everyone must know what they are supposed to be doing within the project’s development process and when everything is due.