A day in the life of a front-end developer

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A day in the life of a front-end developer

Name Qumber Hussain

Job title Front-end developer

Time at Digital Detox 9 and a half years

In the latest edition of our ‘day in the life of’ series, we meet Qumber; a front-end developer at Digital Detox. Here, Qumber tells us a bit about what his role entails and what he’s most excited about for 2021.

Hi Qumber, thanks for sitting down with us today. First things first; What is a front-end developer?

A front-end developer transforms the data that powers a website into the ‘front-end’ interface that users can see. They usually apply coding languages like HTML, CSS and Javascript and work very closely with digital designers to create a seamless user journey on a digital platform such as a website or application.

One of the key aspects of front-end development is responsiveness. In other words, when a front-end developer creates a digital experience, the end user should be able to interact with it interchangeably on any device or screen size.

Describe a day in the life of a front-end developer

It sounds clichéd, but no two front-end projects at Digital Detox are the same. I’ve worked here for 9 and a half years and am still learning, evolving and improving my development skills all the time.

Typically, I’ll be involved in a client project from inception through to delivery, but the actual development part of it is only one aspect of the project.

For example, I’m currently working on a project for a large US-based workplace insurance company who are expanding to the UK. The project started just under a month ago and until now, we’ve focused on working out the strategy, content modelling and understanding user needs.

The client approached us to help them work out the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their project and we’ve enjoyed collaborating with them to agree what they need and how to deliver it.

I enjoy working with clients, understanding their industry and identifying opportunities to help them get the best result at the end of the project. We’re like an extension of the client’s team and that’s very rewarding. It’s also critical for building trust.

So, when do you do the development bit?

Once we’ve defined the scope of the project and we understand what we want to achieve, we then design the user journey. We might build a prototype or interactive wireframes to test hypotheses and map out the user journey. From there, we’re ready for development to start.

On this project, I’ve worked really closely with our in-house digital designer to make sure we’ve mapped the content into a logical structure. Insurance is often thought of as a traditional industry, so we’re keen to modernise the digital experience for users and show that the insurance process can be interesting and engaging.

For this project, we’ve agreed that a headless CMS is the best approach to get the results the client wants. This is a very exciting opportunity to harness new technology as the idea of a headless CMS is still quite unfamiliar to many people. A headless CMS is just a way of decoupling the front-end from content, so it can be retrieved and displayed on any platform, device or user interface.

Essentially, it allows us to provide a single source of content and make sophisticated content updates, without the burden of a tied in content interface.

It’s my job to integrate the headless CMS platform with the company’s existing infrastructure. We’re using React, which is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

What do you like most about being a front-end developer?

I love being creative in developing solutions for clients. At Digital Detox, our entire ethos is focused on doing what’s best for the client. This means we treat each project individually and focus on the particular client’s needs, pain points, audience, industry and goals. That diversity is what makes the job so interesting.

It’s also fun implementing new technologies and using ground-breaking software to deliver solutions to clients. For example, I’m enjoying working on the headless CMS platform because it’s a pretty revolutionary approach and I believe in the value it will deliver to our client and their users.

What are you most excited about for 2021?

With Covid forcing everyone to work from home in 2020, I’ve actually found the move to remote working a really positive change. We’ve now become a ‘remote-first’ company, which means we’re encouraged and supported to work from home if we’d prefer to, but the office is still open and Covid-safe for those who want to use it.

I’ve found that my productivity has sky-rocketed since moving to remote working and I’m looking forward to knuckling down and getting some really good work done next year.

I think the headless CMS solution is going to be even bigger next year as it’s already proving valuable for those clients who use it. We’re also exploring some cool new technology like the JAMstack frameworks that provide unrivalled flexibility and performance (not to mention thousands of plugins) that allow us to overcome complex challenges in reasonably simple ways.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to tackling new projects, learning new skills and enjoying another great year at Digital Detox!

About front-end development at Digital Detox

At Digital Detox, our development team are Javascript experts at heart, so they’re able to support any framework or development language you prefer to use as a client. Though, they’ll always suggest the best framework for your needs to guarantee your interface is the best it can be and works seamlessly.

Whether you’re looking for full stack application development, or you simply need some expertise to guide your existing team, we can help. Get in touch to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve them!