Fellowship of the frontends

Priscila Negreiros
Jul 2, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Over my career, one of the things I’ve missed the most was working with other frontend developers. I was not the only one at the companies I’ve been through, but they had few developers and everyone was super busy taking care of more than one team or project at the same time. This was hard for me while I was growing professionally because I was not sure if what I was doing or learning was right.

When I got into Viva Real things were a lot different, we had two or three frontend developers per project. This alone was a huge change for me, for the first time I had people reviewing my code, pair programming became a daily thing and then finally I was able to see where I should improve or not. We also had a frontend meeting that used to happen whenever it was necessary, to share what we were doing or whatever happened that was worth sharing.

But then Viva Real and ZAP merged into Grupo ZAP and everything got really messy, since all the things that I was used to, all the processes, daily pairing, and meetings have changed. In one week we were in tune and in the next one we had twice the number of employees and projects. It was hard. This subject by itself could be a trilogy of blog posts, maybe I’ll do it later.

With all those changes, many projects were remade from scratch and we’ve worked for a few months in the same situation I’ve described at the beginning of this post. Everyone was super busy, which was understandable since we needed efficiency and quick deliveries.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

One day we’ve decided to bring that dead frontend meeting back to life. All frontend developers from the company got together to share what they were doing. The main goal was to know which projects existed and what tools everyone was using. It was a surprise to everyone to see that even working separately, we’ve chosen the same framework for new projects: Vue.js.

With this, things started to change.

That discovery was really nice because now we had so much to share about how we were doing things. Using Vue was something new to everyone, we were all learning and each project had some particularity to deal with.

That partnership I used to have with my squad reached all frontend developers. We’ve started to work as a guild, which was awesome and with time new topics were brought to discuss:

  • Sharing our study methods was one of the first things we’ve done. It was nice to see different methods and raised the possibility of studying together.
  • We’ve updated our engineering ladder (written in Portuguese) adding new and better examples for our frontend profile. This improvement was important to us, because now our performance review would be done more fairly and this helped us to make better interviews, knowing what to expect from a candidate.
  • Not everyone knew what paid tools we had, so in one of our meetings we’ve analyzed them to see which was useful and which was not necessary anymore in order to save some money.

And after all these meetings, we realized we could do even more.

Another accomplishment of our guild was taking a whole day to work together with the aim to share components between our applications, we called it “Front day”. This was the beginning of our design system, Lina.

A better description of what is this design system and how we’ve made it is another post. However, just to give an idea of how awesome this project is: while the guild was thinking about how nice it would be to share our components, the design team was thinking about how to make it possible. The project is still going and both teams are working together to make it work. This is one of the things I’m really proud of being part of.

Besides all that, once a month we get together to our “Coffee with frontends” (where "Coffee" actually means “Beer” haha) to chat about life, the universe, and everything.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Guild frontend is how people can find us on Slack or Github and ask for help, share solutions or just chat. It’s not a closed group and anyone can join us, even managers! hahaha

Nothing that I showed here is carved in stone, our processes are in a constant change either for improvements or adaptations. But the main purpose of our guild is to give a place for anyone to share their thoughts.

I hope that everyone in the guild feels safe to share anything as I do. ❤️

Have you ever thought about working in such a nice place? We’re hiring! :)

Tech@Grupo ZAP

Thanks to André Maldonado and Jonatas Gusmao

Priscila Negreiros

Written by

Frontend developer. Mother of cats. Chocolate lover. :)

Tech@Grupo ZAP

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