What it’s like to work as a web developer at Appchance – an interview

Appchance on 7 September 2018

Hi Marcin, you work as a Web Developer. Please, tell us how your adventure with Appchance started.

Marcin: I studied at the Gliwice University of Technology, but I didn’t quite enjoy it. As it often happens, at the beginning there were more theoretical matters than practice. During the course of learning, programming labs started and then I decided that it was time to try doing commercial projects. That’s why I sent out a few resumes (among other places, Poznań) and waited for response. After a short while, Przemek (one of Appchance’s owners) called me and invited me to an interview.

I remember that I came to the office at 12:00. I was relaxed, we chatted for a while, I answered a few questions and we said goodbye. I got the impression that I convinced them – Przemek and Damian (our current Team Leader). With a positive attitude and wanting to go home soon, I returned to the station (I’d already bought the ticket home). I was walking on the platform and just then Przemek called me that the company wants to hire me and .. that I should return. I then went back to the office, signed the papers and went home on a next train. I made a rather quick decision and within two weeks: I found an apartment, moved my stuff and here I am.

Tell us shortly what you do.

I initially thought that the developer’s work consists only of writing code. But in reality, it is about a whole range of other activities, such as e.g. teaching new employees – junior developers, or taking part in various types of events that help us develop professionally. Sometimes we have situations in which the client comes and says what app they want and we advise them on finding the best solutions to fix given problems, what technology stack we can use and so on.

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What’s your area of expertise?

I am a full-stack developer, so I can independently create a web application from scratch to finish. On my position, I work in front-end, so I deal with the part of the application which the user can see and interact with, and back-end, so the part of the application which is responsible for the logic and server part, and is not visible to the user. After hours, I make mobile hybrid apps (for my own use) and processing many geolocation data, and aggregating them.

What does work in a Web Developer team look like?

The roles are divided. At the moment, we have three projects, and each project has its own developers, testers and Project Owner. In some projects, I do development alone, in others there are 5 developers. They are given an adequate role – everyone is responsible for implementing some functionality.

Why web development?

Honestly? I’ve never thought about it. I started my adventure with web apps and just stayed with it. I like it that in web apps a lot is happening and the technologies change greatly over time. I like learning new things. Apart from that, I wouldn’t want to do the same thing over and over. When I joined the company, we used Ruby on Rails, now I’m writing my first project in Elixir, which I enjoy a lot.

If you were to choose your favorite projects from them all, which ones would they be?

For sure, it would be Archiplan, the first project that I was assigned to do by myself. It was a small project, but worked fine. The main module of the app was based on a map and location, and I really enjoy apps based on geolocation and those which reflect the real world.

Other app that I am happy about (also done by myself) is an app from the area of Smart Home Solutions, working stably even though the time for implementation was very short (which I am very proud of). During creating the software, I learned how the Docker Swarm mechanism works, which helped me with configuration of later apps (by the way, we don’t use Docker Swarm anymore).

What challenges have you faced at work?

You can say that every project is a challenge of some sort, because in each project, there are moments where you think about what to do next and asks people from their team: look, I see it this way, but it doesn’t feel right, how would you do it? This is the way in which we jointly work out the best solution and just help each other.

What have you learned working at Appchance?

I learned how to work in a team. At the beginning, I wasn’t very good at it, but I’ve worked on this and I think it’s much better now – my communication skills have gotten better. Apart from that, in the past it sometimes happened that I said something in the Silesian can’t and then I had to straighten things out…

What makes Appchance different from other employers?

I think that the people in my team are cool, we have a laid back atmosphere and that’s why you enjoy working. I like the traditions at Appchance (e.g. when a new employee joins, they buy donuts) and integration trips. Recently, we’ve been out on a trip with a paintball match, barbecue and at night, we watched a fireshow presented by one of our employees.

I also like the project structure of the company, the division into Developers and Project Managers, which takes a lot of weight off Developers.

Summing up, after almost two years of working as a Web Developer, would you like to say something to future Web Developers?

I would certainly want to tell them not to be afraid when they come to work: don’t get stressed, because you really need to have a distance to what you do. A person who is relaxed thinks much better than the one who is stressed out and thinks about what is about to happen. The other thing is to always ask if you don’t know something: don’t be ashamed, we’re here to help. And most importantly – respect the tradition and bring the donuts 😉

 

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