Get to know the team: Front-end software developer Alberto Méndez Hernández

Front-end software developer

1. Alberto, did you always know that you wanted to be a software developer? 

No, I didn’t. I wanted to do something with robotics, and that’s why I started studying Automatic Industrial Electronics at university. However, after three years I realised these studies weren’t thoroughly preparing me for what I wanted to do, so I left university. I then worked in my father’s shop, whilst I took some basic courses on front-end development. That’s when I realised I really liked software development. So I then enrolled for a professional bachelor’s degree, and this brought me where I am today, as a front-end developer at Valudio

2. What does your day-to-day look like? 

After a quick shower and my mandatory coffee, I check my Slack messages with the team. We have the luxury of being able to work from home with flexible working hours. Consequently, Slack is our main communication channel. If there are no urgent matters that need attending, I resume and finish my tasks from the day before. To do so, I’ll go to our online board, where we keep track of the stories we need to work on, and I select my next task. Eventually, I open Webstorm (IDE) to start coding, and this is the biggest chunk of my workday. From time to time, I have a break from coding and meet with the team to discuss our ongoing work, new projects or plan the next sprint.  

3. What’s the best thing about your job? 

The personal development opportunities I get to work on. At Valudio we have very diverse projects, where we develop more complex, customised apps. I regularly work on challenging projects that require some investigation in advance to find the best solution for the customer’s needs. This allows me to work with cutting-edge technologies, continuously learn and expand my skill set. I’ve recently got the opportunity to do some back-end development, using JavaScript which isn’t common for front-end developers, so I’m truly grateful to have got this chance. 

4. What is the most challenging thing about your job? 

Definitely the different types of projects we have for different industries. It stimulates me to get out of my comfort zone, which is not always evident, but it’s very rewarding in the end. I remember that at one point I became the only front-end developer at Valudio. Suddenly, I didn’t have the comfort any more to just ask my colleagues how to do something, or to share my thoughts with. This caused me a lot of stress in the beginning, but thanks to my team and some technical coaching, I became more independent and proactive. 

5. What drives you in your job?  

The fact that we can try new things. At many tech companies, developers work on very similar or repetitive projects. This leads to developers regularly changing jobs, as they need a new challenge and want to learn new tools. Here at Valudio the projects are diverse, so we regularly have the opportunity to investigate and learn new things. 

6. Why do you like working at Valudio? 

As already mentioned, I have the possibility to work on a diverse repertoire of projects, which is something I really like.

On top of that, I hold a good working environment in high esteem and that is precisely what we have at Valudio. We have a great team that works well together, but we can also be independent, explore and develop ourselves. 

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7. What is the most important added value that Valudio brings to their customers? 

Definitely the quality of the work we deliver. By closely listening to the needs of the customers, we provide tailor-made solutions with the highest quality in the shortest possible time frame.  

You could compare it with buying furniture at Ikea or buying it in the artisanal shop of a woodworker. The one from the woodworker will fit perfectly in your house and will be made with the highest quality wood. 

8. How would you describe your role as front-end developer to an IT noob? 

A front-end developer is the person who builds the look, feel and user interactions of an application or website. Since this is the visible part, it’s often the front-end developer who will get the most compliments from the user.

9. What software development language do you prefer, and why? 

That’s a difficult one. I would say TypeScript (JavaScript) because it’s the one I know the best and use the most. It offers a lot of flexibility to use in different types of projects, and it’s easy to learn and understand. It’s also the most used by front-end developers, so it has a lot of support. 

10. What is the latest trend in front-end development? 

About two years ago, Deno gained popularity as a runtime for JavaScript. It uses Rust as a language. Thanks to Deno and Rust, there are emerging new front-end frameworks and technologies that are more powerful and faster. One example of such a framework is Fresh. It’s gaining popularity and is a viable alternative to ReactJS, which is the most commonly used framework for JavaScript.  

11. How many coding languages have you learned over the years? And how long does it take to learn a new coding language? 

I’ve learned about 8 coding languages, but I haven't mastered them all. If you focus on learning just one language, and you’re motivated, you can do a lot in one year. The most important thing is to just do it, get experience and try out new things.

12. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do? 

First, master the basics before going into the framework. By mastering the basics, you will be able to use any framework that you want. 

Second, sometimes the experience is more important than the salary. You must keep learning, and not be anxious to progress quickly in this sector.  

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