Blog Front-end craftsmanship

Front-end craftsmanship

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Front-end Craftsmanship

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog. Three years to be exact, when I wrote my last blog for E-sites Netherlands. This means I have been in Curaçao for a long time now, and leads to the reason why I’ve written this current blog: in a few months I will be moving back to the (much) colder part of the Dutch Kingdom.

Of course, this also means that we are currently actively looking for a suitable replacement for my position. With this blog I want to give a clear idea of what my position at E-sites Caribbean entails.

During each step of the development process you have to think carefully about the choices you are going to make

Boye Oomens / Senior front-end developer

Master your craft

Front-end development is craftsmanship, most front-end devs agree with that. Naturally I am not talking about clicking together a WordPress site with a free template from the web. No, I’m referring to carefully writing semantically sound HTML, robust CSS and modern JavaScript.

You’ll translate a design into an interactive web solution and during each step of this process you have to think carefully about the choices you are going to make. Things such as maintainability, scalability and accessibility are of great importance.

Add to that the rapidly growing landscape of tools and techniques and you’ll understand why I regularly also follow front-end developments in my spare time. This is not only something that is expected of a senior, but it is necessary to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-speed.

Mobile app development

In terms of development, the focus is usually on websites and web applications. But every now and then we get the chance to develop a mobile app for a customer from the region. A good example of this is the InselAir app. This (hybrid) app, which is available for Android and iOS, is built using the Ionic Framework and communicates with a custom-built API for retrieving all necessary data. The realization of these types of solutions provide a welcome change of issues during development. Consider, for example, the use of device APIs (such as push notifications) and how to deal with a slow (or failing) connection of the end user. And once the app is available in the stores after a thorough test phase, that of course gives even more satisfaction.

Standardization

We do not like to reinvent the wheel at E-sites. We prefer to take solutions from the proverbial shelf. Think of robust web components that have been internally developed, tested and already implemented.

Developing and maintaining these solutions is also one of my tasks. For each project we look at which components are generic enough to standardize. This standardization process sometimes requires an advance investment on our part but ultimately gives us the opportunity to significantly shorten the lead time of a project. Especially the basis of a site or application can be set up much faster.

Boye Oomens Front-end Developer

Collaboration BearingPoint Caribbean

E-sites falls under the umbrella of BearingPoint Caribbean and we regularly exchange knowledge and expertise. For example, I work on an online application for the Tax Administration Caribbean Netherlands (Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland (B/CN), which is set up via the Be Informed platform and uses React in combination with Redux at the front. Totally different from the average website that we normally build at E-sites, both front-end and back-end, which provides a nice change from time to time.

Knowledge sharing and guidance

A part of this job that personally gives me a lot of satisfaction is knowledge sharing. In addition to giving knowledge sessions on all kinds of front-end related topics, you also get the opportunity to supervise front-end trainees as a senior.

Over the years I have been able to supervise various interns. Meanwhile, I can also add two blockchain interns to this list. Blockchain (or rather distributed ledger) technology has been on the radar of BearingPoint for some time now and these gentlemen have researched to what extent it is realistic to enrich existing (and/or future new) products with this relatively new technology. Because this topic appeals to me, I have taken these interns under my wing.

 

The perfect mix

Altogether, in my opinion the function offers the perfect mix of tasks, responsibilities and competencies. The diversity of customers and projects at the same time gives you the opportunity to fully express your front-end craftsmanship.