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Introducing myself, my journey as an engineer (from integration to frontend )

frontendexp
Mobile and Web development
Originally published at frontendexp.Medium on ・5 min read

Photo by Julian Dik on Unsplash

Background

Hi there! First of all, thank you for taking the time to visit my little project here. My name is Ana, and I am from Portugal. I lived in the Lisbon area. You may have visited if not I do recommend you do some time. Growing up I always had an interest in science, but, I don’t have the typical story that many developers will tell you. No, I did not start coding at 12years old. I didn’t even have access to a computer at that age I believe. Many developers will tell you something like that and hey it’s great they both found their passion and could start honing their skills from such a young age but the message I want to get across is, it’s never too late to do anything! I did not write code until university. I knew I wanted to work in something related to science and technology and enrolled in computer science engineering. During my studies, I started thinking that creating applications to solve problems would be something I wanted to do but interestingly enough, my first job was in integration. Well, you still create middleware and that does solve problems but is not exactly what I had imagined, as middleware sadly was not something that I even touched at university (which is one of the reasons I didn’t turn it down, I knew nothing about it and wanted to learn this thing I didn’t get a chance to learn during my studies). I graduated and started my professional career in 2016.

First Experience — Integration

But saying I only did integration is sort of selling the story short, I was working with a company that represented software AG here in Portugal, and software AG is a software house type of company, they sell corporate software andwebMethods is their integration solution and the product that was sold the most here, particularly to telcos.

webMethods Integration Solution

I worked with webMethods but also withARIS (Business Process Mining & Analysis Tool),PPM (Process Performance Manager),Mashzone (visual analytics software ), with several different clients, some from Portugal (EDP, ANACOM, VODAFONE, NOS) locally but also worked remotely to clients in Turkey (Şişecam) and in the UAE.

I do think my work in integration gave me a lot of insight (worked with all kinds of OS, Red Hat, Ubuntu, CentOs, MacOS, Windows and Windows Server), Java and Javascript to make custom functions and scripts on top of these SoftwareAG products and several types of Enterprise Flowcharts, likeEPC and BPMN.

Event-driven process chain (EPC)

UMG Strategy Scorecard Mashup (using Mashzone)

During my integration journey, I did several types of work, from the developer (script producing machine 😉)to consultant (directly address clients needs and install and configure the software accordingly) to the administrator of an integration platform (always looking out for the logs, new implementations installation and overseeing, troubleshooting, ticket-solving, on-site phone support).

Now maybe because integration is a very specific area and there seems to not really open much space for creativity and personified creations since the work is very functional and not much visual, I felt like it was not really for me long term. On the other hand, web and mobile development are 100% visual and it also has a functional component, which seemed to be a more optimal combination, so this area really picked my interest, I started looking into it my free time. I started bringing the topic at work and I managed to contribute to an Apache Cordova mobile project and it was a great opportunity for my first hands-on on web/mobile hybrid development. It was at this moment I landed a position as a frontend engineer, and so far I am still at it 🥰. Since 2018.

Migration to Frontend Development

I worked on a mobile wallet app, available both on the apple store and google store, which was my first serious project in this new position, my stack was angularjs (v1), Ionic, Apache Cordova, this was hybrid mobile development, plus a website. It was no short of challenges considering hybrid development regardless of being promoted with a slogan such as “write once, run everywhere” it’s not quite 100% true because at the end of the day, the look and feel in the Apple OS and the Android OS is not the same. Many visual adjustments end up being needed. It was very fun to work day to day with both OS and Android and to test these apps, physically (there is always the virtual tests) as well on the several different phones we had available.

Cordova, Angular and Ionic

The MEAN Stack

Eventually, I moved for a modern stack while working at Siemens, in Lisbon. I was now using the famous MEANstack, using now Angular 2+ (a whole new version of angular in comparison to angular v1 or also called angular js). My projects were all internal, related to events, manufacturing, and fault detection during production on the factories. These projects were sometimes PWAs to run on tablets, sometimes only mobile apps for the google store, but always for the siemens employees to use.

MongoDB, Express, Nodejs, Angular

At siemens, I also worked with Mendix (as they were bought by the company), a low code platform that makes some heavy use of JQuery for customization of their pages (basically for anything that was not out of the box), but can also be used with a lot of other technologies, for example, it was possible to design widgets in react, there was still some backend and database configurations for the applications built on Mendix to work, satisfying, authentication, integration, and communication needs, for example, to databases and servers. And of course, Mendix also allows you to build mobile applications. It was a very interesting and enriching experience to work with Mendix. The Mendix Comunity reminds me a bit of the ARIS community since they have a very good forum with a very active community.

The MERN Stack

Recently, my MEAN stack turned into a MERN stack, I am now developing apps using Reactjs for my current projects. ReactJs with JavaScript and with TypeScript.

MERN Stack (MongoDB, Express, React and Nodejs)

My current goal is to bring more DevOps concepts to my experience. I have been now playing around with AWS and some other tooling, that concerns CI/CD. This being the case, I hosted my new website, frontendexp.com in AWS.

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