My Journey on Revival TV as a Frontend Engineer

My Journey on Revival TV as a Frontend Engineer

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Hello folks, how is it going? I'm gonna be a bit casual in this post 'cause being so formal sometimes is tiring and weird haha.

Unlike my other posts, this time I'm gonna talk about what I have done and gained during my first year as a front-end developer at Revival TV.

Last august marks my 1st anniversary, so I was thinking maybe I should write a post about it. The purpose is to tell share some information and to reflect myself for this past year. Sounds like bull**** but I'm gonna do it anyways.

I joined Revival TV as a front-end developer back on august 2020. It was some sort of miracle for me because I wasn't confident at all. It's not that I'm not confident with my skills, it's just looking to my background, I don't have any skills or experience in IT stuff. Well, I was a Mechanical Engineering student which is not related to programming or IT related stuff to begin with. But, my deep love and passion with technology and programming, and the dream job that allows me to work from home all the time had pushed me to pursue this career.

At the beginning, the IT team only consists of 2 people, me and my co-worker who is now a product owner. My first task was to build company profile website. Though I'm not really satisfied with the result, I'm still glad that I managed to finish it. The things I regretted with this project is, I didn't rely on many libraries that would have helped to achieve better result. I was really selfish enough to write everything (almost) from scratch (mostly for styling). It was really time consuming and given that I had a very limited time, the end result was not what I had planned. At this point I learned something, third party library really will help you to achieve better result especially when you have limited time.

Then comes the next challenge, develop a platform where user can submit e-sports related information such as pro players, teams, news, tournaments, and match schedule. Think of it as wikipedia and livescore combined altogether. This product we call it RevivalPedia. Remember I said I'm a front-end developer? That role was no longer fit at this moment, I was in charge of both back-end and front-end at the beginning of this project. While my single co-worker developing other product (RevivalTV), my responsibility was to handle RevivalPedia from back to front. We both were solo developer for our products. It was a really tough time. Since we didn't have product owner / manager at that time, the product requirement related stuff was handled by one of our content writer who later on became the true product owner of RevivalPedia.

During the first phase of the development, I encountered some troublesome bugs. This happened because I was not good enough with our tech stack (in back-end side). Before we develop this product even further, I decided to switch tech stack to something I'm more familiar with. At least that was the plan but I ended up with stack that was fairly new and still in beta version. The good thing is, it's better than the old one and I'm more comfortable with the new stack. As the result, most issues I had with previous stack were solved, everyone was happy. Lesson learned from this was, never use library or frameworks that was still in beta, unless you're ready to deal with everything that could hinder your development.

I was a solo developer handling complicated product for more or less 6 months. It was on February 2021, everything start changing and bringing a new hope for me to back to what I'm meant to be (sounds exaggerated right? lol). Our company start gathering more people to our team. As more people joining our team, we changed our workflow as well. Our team currently consist of 2 front-end developers, 3 back-end developers, 1 dev ops, 1 QA engineer, 1 UI/UX designer, 2 product owners, and 1 VP of engineering. It looks like a proper team now, right? I was really grateful with this.

Now that our team is bigger and more complete than before, it's time to continue our product development. I can already feel the difference between working as a solo developer and working with a proper team. The main difference that affects me the most is communication. Before, I didn't have to consult or discuss anything related to my development, as long as I deliver the product, it's good. But now, I have to discuss everything, discuss with product owner if it's related to feature, discuss with back-end team if it's related to API and data structure, and so on. It is much more organize, every task is transparent, every issue can be discussed and we can find the solution together.

Now that I'm not coding alone, there's some things I need to take care for better code organization. My team needs to establish some sort of coding guidelines for our team members. The purpose is to make our code base consistent and readable. So, even though multiple people are putting their contribution, the code remain clean and can be understood across team members. This is will be advantageous for both current and future members. So in our new product, I have created some rules and guidelines for testing and see whether it's effective. The result is, it is worth it to set all the rules! Not only it makes it easier for me to understand my co-workers code, it also helps me to write better code as well. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I can safely say it's better than what I've been doing before.

A couple of months had passed since the team has been established. A lot of things have been changing and we keep adjusting our workflow to make it better. We're constantly learning from our mistakes and think how we can improve. Not gonna lie, I've been enjoying this journey! I've learnt a lot of things for this past year and I believe I will gain more knowledge and experience.

Speaking of experience, I'm about to gain more. Just recently, I've been appointed as Team Lead Front-end developer. So I have 1 more responsibility that is to manage my team. I'm not actually sure how it should be done. But, while we're still recruiting more people to join front-end team, I'm going to utilize this moment to plan everything out. I still have a lot to learn for this one, but I'm really excited!

So that's it, my first year as a front-end developer in RevivalTV. Surely, a lot of things happened and I've learnt so many things as well in exchange. Glad to be part of this team and I'm expecting more exciting things in the future!