How do you describe your job at Swaarm?
I am a lead frontend developer at Swaarm, responsible for everything our customers interact directly with on our tracking platform and appending web applications. As a lead developer, my work does not only consist of pure development-related tasks but also a considerable amount of time is spent on planning new features together with our product management team, helping on analyzing and acting upon user feedback and bug reports, discussing architectural ideas and API design questions with our backend team and last but not least researching and prototyping upon new technologies that could potentially find its way into our platform.
What does a typical workday at Swaarm look like for you?
I usually start my day by catching up with notifications and emails I might have missed from the previous day right before the team meets for a daily standup. After that, we split up into smaller groups to discuss relevant topics for the day and figure out dependencies on coworkers’ tasks to be able to assign priorities accordingly.
There are days when I exclusively focus on development-related tasks, such as implementing new features or fixing that one bug a user reported the day before. Other days, however, can be more diverse and involve researching user interface ideas for upcoming features, maintenance tasks such as checking on the recent development of third-party dependencies and integrations, or last but not least, just clicking through the platform as if I were a client.
That might sound silly at first, but it’s important for me not to lose base with our users and maintain a feeling for potential pain points to be able to be proactive and learn from mistakes made in the past – optimally before someone complains.
What’s your favorite part of your job? What keeps you motivated?
My favorite part is definitely the creative freedom and variety of tasks I get as a front-end developer. Doing the first brainstorming with coworkers until finally shipping a feature while at the same time having high influence for its success is just so rewarding. That feeling just never gets old and is highly motivating.
How would you describe Swaarm’s company culture?
Swaarm provides an outstanding work-life balance. Flat hierarchies and an open communication philosophy, where every idea and opinion is valued at all times, creates a very friendly and supportive work environment.
Working in a young and emerging company also provides a lot of room to grow with my role and truly make a difference in the company’s success.
What would you recommend to someone who wants to start his career as a software engineer?
Don’t try to learn everything at once. There are various areas of software engineering, try to find out what you are most interested in first. I started my career as a frontend developer with mostly theoretical knowledge from university and it was essential for me to find a company giving me the chance to gather experience on smaller projects first and grow with the help of a mentor over the years. It provides so much value when an experienced developer reviews your work and points out mistakes that you would not have realized so easily otherwise. You can also get that by participating in or starting your own open-source projects.
What is your favorite tech tool?
I actually don’t have that one favorite tech tool – I hate-love them all equally :). Instead, I will share a super useful resource for all fellow web workers to keep up with the latest news and resources from the web design & web development community: https://tympanus.net/codrops/collective. I check that website on a regular basis, and it’s easily one of my greatest sources of inspiration.
Do you want to read more from the Swaarm team? Then check out the employee story from our Product Manager, Sanyogita here.