Bus Interview - Ivan Stoilov, a front-end developer

HEAVY WORDS
HEAVY WORDS

Here, we have created an interview method called Bus Interviewing. A bus interview is a short, 5-10 minute verbal conversation between two people with the objective of collecting as much information behind a participant's experiences. The interview should be as short a bus ride would be. Hence, the name: bus interview.

How did you end up being a front-end developer and not a back-end one?

Actually, I am both. My previous job was a Full-stack PHP developer. However, I wanted to update my coding skills, so I started learning JavaScript and AngularJS. After about a year of learning, I decided to switch from PHP to JavaScript which was mostly used in the front-end at that time. Therefore, I accidentally became a Front-end dev :)

What can you tell us about UX on apps in general? Something important you’ve learned with experience?

I have learned that UX and design are two separate things. They must work together instead of sacrificing one for the other. In addition, if you want to deliver a great UX to your customers then you have to know if they are using the app currently. I suggest you observe them - watch how they interact, where they click, and how they navigate. Only then would you be able to create very useful apps.

What tools are essential for your work?

I use Chrome Dev Tools to debug my apps all the time. I believe this is the best. I also use WebStorm IDE because, at the moment, it's the best JavaScript IDE. I also fell in love with the combination of Webpack and Typescript to build modern apps. We also use Slack for internal communication within my company and it works great.

When you are project planning, how much detail enough? How do you manage changes to the process?

Usually, in our team, the designers and the product owner have several meetings in order to develop and polish specifications and a mock-up for each project. Next, they introduce us (the developers) to their work and we start with coding. It is impossible to think of every small detail in the beginning (especially for large projects), therefore, we are constantly adapting the specifications on the run. That's why the communication between developers, designers, and product owners is so crucial among our team.

Growing up, when was your first interaction with technology (computers)?

I remember when I was nine my father bought our first computer. It ran Windows 3.11. It used to boot up straight into DOS and then I had to type "win" to enter Windows. I felt like a hacker every time I did that. I remember playing the built-in games (Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc.) all the time. I also often remember using Paint to draw.

Are there any tips you recommend for young, front-end programmers?

Learn things the hard way. Don't rush into the newest and coolest frameworks simply because they look cool. If you are learning a new technology/framework, always ask why they are doing it in that particular way. The "how" changes every day but the "why" repeats itself again and again. Knowing how to implement certain features is important, but knowing why the authors of the specific framework want you to do it in that way will make you a better developer.

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