What my first year as a Frontend Developer at GoodRequest was like ?
It's been a little over a year since I joined GoodRequest, so in this article I'd like to share with you all the important things I've experienced and worked on.
Projects I've worked on
Feedback tool for Kia Slovakia
Right after intensive onboarding, I started my first project. It was an internal information system for KIA Slovakia. In it, it is possible to create anonymous questionnaires for obtaining feedback from employees and subsequently evaluate them. I tried generating and styling PDF reports on the project, but it wasn't that different from normal website coding.
Digital Onboarding Toolkit
The second project was for the Innovatrics, on which I worked for almost a year as an externalist. I worked on the Digital Onboarding Toolkit project together with people from Innovatrics. The goal of this project is to verify identity in the online world using facial biometrics or document data extraction. You scan your ID card (or other document) and your face via the webcam. The DOT will then verify the authenticity of the document and whether your face matches the person on the document. Thanks to this, you no longer have to go to the bank in person when you want to open an account.
I liked that I also gained experience from people from another company. I also enjoyed constantly trying different FE technologies. In addition to React, e.g. TensorFlow, WebAssembly, Preact, Media API, Vite... We have integrated several models for face and document detection from webcam. We also created a demo where you can see the result of our work.
In addition to working on a project, I sometimes need a change. That's why I regularly write articles on our blog or deal with tasks on the innovation platform. For me, it is a kind of prevention against burnout. At the same time, I enjoy teaching and sharing information not only among colleagues, but also with the community. Every month we review the news in the world of frontend and we are currently working on a series of articles on accessibility.
Technologies are constantly moving forward, and in order to keep up and at the same time improve our processes, we have created an innovation platform. Everyone can contribute their ideas to it and, if it makes sense, work on them. Thanks to this project, several interesting innovations have already been created. I personally contributed to the creation of a unified eslint/prettier config for all our web projects.
Education here at GoodRequest takes several forms, and at the same time we are constantly trying to improve it. It starts with onboarding, where we have 16 hours of lectures from experienced colleagues ready. Thanks to this, the transition to a real project is easier.
Goals & Review
Next, you regularly set two or three goals on which you will work for the next six months. At the end, you will review them with your team leader. For example, my goal was to write a professional article, create a unified eslint/prettier config for all our projects, or handle the topic of web application accessibility for our colleagues.
I will come back to the review. This happens once a year and you get feedback from your colleagues. You will find out what you are good at, but also where you can improve. It's a great opportunity to constantly improve and move on.
Conferences & Meetups
We also regularly hold Frontend Meetups, where at the meeting (either in person or online) we go over interesting things that we have been working on for the past two weeks. There is room for sharing knowledge within the team. Everyone can prepare a presentation and show something interesting that they worked on or learned.
The last pillar of education are conferences. Over the past year, we personally attended two conferences in Prague, WebExpo 2021 and CodeCon 2022 in Bratislava. We also have access to various online conferences, e.g. React Global Summit.
However, we were still not satisfied, so we decided to make our own conference - Frontend Days. We've all met in the Žilina office for two days. On the first day, we prepared our own lectures on topics that really interest us. On the second day, we had a workshop on the topic of optimizing web applications. Well, the evening could not be without good beer, food and team building in go-karts.
Many colleagues work only at home office or in one of our 4 offices. Therefore, teambuildings are an ideal opportunity to meet in person. Describing the atmosphere at these events is difficult, you just have to experience it 😄.
GR8 Days 2021
The biggest event was in September, where the whole company met. We started the first day a little more officially. This day belonged to discussions, they looked at the history, but also on the future direction of the company. And, of course, good food could not be missing.
The second day we moved to Terchová, where we enjoyed various sports activities and wellness. And in the evening party until the morning 🎉.
Webchat 2022 (Web Team Teambuilding 2022)
In the spring, we organized Web Team Teambuilding 2022, where we met together with backend. We had our own sauna, hot tub, beer on tap, grill, kebab machine. Unfortunately, I can't reveal more, but it was legendary (probably too much 😄).
Raft 2022 🚣
In the summer we sailed down the Little Danube. About 50 of us met and really enjoyed it.
Many colleagues here are bikers, tourists, climbers. I regularly go with my colleagues outside of work to bike, climb, watch the sunrise in the mountains or just for a beer 🍻. So we are not just colleagues here, but mainly friends. That's why I like to go to the office in person because there is always a great atmosphere.
This is my first year at GoodRequest. I learned a lot and made many great friends. If I can give you one last piece of advice, when looking for a job, be sure to look in advance at the projects and technologies you will be working on, so that you enjoy working on them.
And definitely don't forget that it is very important to find colleagues with whom you can get along well away from work. It's not just about the work you do - it's also about the fun you have together and the time you find for yourself outside of work.