My Road to SmashFly
Before my time at SmashFly, I started doing front-end web application development as a hobby. Because most of my professional work up until joining SmashFly was proprietary, I really didn’t have anything to show for myself. To fix that, in my spare time during the evenings I built several open source web apps, which are still alive and kicking today, serving hundreds of users.
I’m originally from Arkansas. There aren’t exactly a lot of front-end dev gigs in that part of the country, so I decided to try finding new opportunities through a service called Hired.com. I interviewed and received offers from several companies. My interview process with SmashFly was done entirely through Skype. After meeting the engineering team and the VP of Engineering, Tim Hennessy, I knew this would be a great fit for me. I received an offer, accepted the next day, and SmashFly was more than willing to help with my move.
What I Do (in One Sentence):
Software Engineer, with a specialization in the front-end. I build what people see and interact with when they run our software, connecting the dots between our APIs and service layers to what the user interacts with on the screen using their mouse and keyboard.
What I Did Yesterday:
Cross-team code reviews:
- All front-end development done on other teams eventually comes to me for review. All front-end development I do eventually goes to other teams for review. This is one of many ways we have cross-team collaboration. It’s important that we aren’t building knowledge silos in our engineering department, so we use code reviews not only for quality assurance, but also for knowledge transfer.
- It’s important that our team is fitting in enough work into our sprints, as well as pulling in the correct work from a pre-prioritized backlog. Sprint planning is where this happens, and being the major front-end voice on my team, I have an important say on the estimation of UI work in the team’s backlog.
What I Owned This Month:
Built reusable and testable components for our main application’s UI:
- There are many development teams in the company, and my team’s focus right now is on new feature development. We’re trying to move our UI to bite-sized and testable components, and some of the new features we’re working on have had me building several new ones. Smaller components tend to be more testable, which will improve the overall stability of the application as a whole.
Coordination with back-end on data contract and mock service development:
- Often I’m required to build a user interface before the service layer for it has even been developed. To facilitate this, I collaborate heavily with the back-end developers on building mocks that are almost as good as the real thing. These mocks serve as a contract for what I can expect when the service layer is ready, and typically when it does ship things just work out of the box.
What I Love:
We work hard, but we have a lot of fun doing it. Everyone in engineering is sharp and good at what they do. During crunch times, there is no one here I’d be uncomfortable fighting through the trenches with. I’m able to be high output and simultaneously enjoy a great work-life balance that many other places don’t afford their engineering employees. We’re innovative, and we’re fast-paced.
This is really the kind of environment I was craving the entire time before I got to SmashFly. Find out where you could be an asset to SmashFly here.