In this #LifeOfDevs we talked to our colleague Stefan. Our Full-Stack Developer Stefan passed the whole process at Competa, started as an intern, moved on to being a trainee and eventually worked his way up to being a colleague. Developing at Flavour was his first project and below you can read his experience.
Can you tell me how you got into coding?
When I was 12 years old I really wanted to make my own game, somehow I found GameMaker which was exactly what I was looking for. I have made horrible ‘games’ for four years until I went to the University of Applied Sciences NHTV, this is where I studied International Game Architecture and Design for a few months. I decided to quit the study because I had troubles keeping up with the pace of the education. Then I went to the MBO to study Application Development. That is where I started working with Web Development.
Can you tell me more about the company and what you will be working on at the project?
I worked at Flavour, which is a game development company that builds teaching games. For example, they have made a game which trains 112-Service employees. When I worked there, I was building a few games about math and literacy. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to tell you any specifics about the project.
What is the biggest difference from working at the project with working at Competa HQ?
The biggest difference for me is the time to travel, Competa HQ is just a small half hour away on my bike. Flavour is located in Amsterdam and this is a 2-hour trip if everything goes according to plan.
I’m assuming you are coding right now, can you tell me a bit more about what you’re working on?
I’m acting as a Front-end Developer, but sometimes it goes deeper than that. Our applications are actually web applications that are wrapped into iOS projects via the Ionic framework, but there is just an Angular 2 core inside. So, usually that looks like web development, but I also have to deal with native iOS code, since our apps should implement some really native features. This is not mandatory, but since I have experience with building hybrid mobile applications, I show my skills here as well.
In the beginning, I just covered codebases with unit tests, but the team recently moved to the new version of Angular and Ionic and lost all of their previously written tests. Now it’s more complex for us, so every developer delivers new features and covers it with unit tests immediately.
Which techniques are you using?
We are using Unity3D with C#.
What is one thing you have learned at your project so far?
Because a lot of my colleagues at Flavour were from Arabic countries I have learned a lot about the Arabic language and their culture. On the tech side, I have noticeably improved my C# and Unity3D skills. Before I didn’t enjoy working with Unity, but I started to like it. Now I’m even using it in my free time to create a VR game.
What does your average week look like?
All my days were basically the same, the only difference was the size of the team. On regular days I went to work and open GitLab to see if the issues I picked up the day before came back. If they did, I would pick up the same issue again and see if I can fix it. Otherwise, I would pick up an issue from the release milestone and make a merge request. When the person responsible for checking the merge requests wasn’t in, it became my task to check the requests.
A lot of my colleagues worked for themselves and because of that worked parttime on the project. On days without any issues left, a lot of developers didn’t have anything to work on and took a day off. Since I work for Competa and not for myself I still went to the office. So those moments I used to work with two other developers on the wiki and code documentation.
What skills do you need to have, in order to work for a client like Flavour?
You need communication skills, being able to adapt and able to make quick changes is really handy to work for a company like Flavour. The projects we worked on weren’t the same every week, it could have been put on hold for a week and would come back after two weeks again. You need to be able to handle the changes and adapt to it.
How do you keep in touch with your Competa colleagues?
I saw a few colleagues regularly on the train since they also work around Amsterdam, we often picked the same train. Because traveling together makes the time go faster we decided to sit in the last cart of the train, so the chance of walking into each other increased. I am also good friends with some colleagues whom I regularly speak with online.