Front-End Developers at BearingPoint Caribbean design and build sleek and intuitive systems to help create powerful experiences for our government clients. They are part of our Development Unit and form an important link between the UX Designers and Business Engineers. To learn more about their work, we had a talk with Boye Oomens, our Software Architect who works from our office in the Netherlands. Boye has been with us since 2016 and is responsible for coordinating every operational aspect within the Front-End Department.
What do you do as a Front-End Developer?
We as Front-End Developers determine the feasibility of a design. That’s why we work closely with the UX Designers and our Business Engineers. The UX Designers determine how the interaction should take place on the application screens. Consequently, these have to be modeled and build by our Business Engineers. Afterwards, the Front-End Developer makes sure that the application is aesthetically pleasing and that the user interaction is working properly. You always have that interaction between the different disciplines.
What excites you about your role?
Traditionally the job of a Front-End Developer would be translating the UX screens into an interactive website or application. At BearingPoint Caribbean we work with a business process platform called Be Informed, so there is this little tweak to the process. We work within the framework of the studio and the corresponding layout framework, which is called the General Layout. This is a framework based on React and where the data (knowledge models) is made accessible via REST services. It is our job to come up with new layout patterns and making these as generic as possible so that they can be easily used for other applications. This can be very challenging, but always interesting.
When I am writing code, I always try to keep things like maintainability, scalability, and performance into account. Questions that I ask myself are for instance: how do I test this properly, preferably all automated so that you do not have to go through the entire application in the browser itself? Or, how can I make this piece of code as clean and generic as possible, so that it is easy to maintain and can easily be used anywhere? Also, how do I ensure that this adjustment does not have a negative influence on the rest of the application? Thinking about the architecture in advance is an important given: the foundation must be solid to build on and should make it easy to reuse the building blocks.
Next to that, I also train the Junior Developers. I coach and guide them with regards to the quality of delivered front-end work and ensure an efficient front-end development process. This to me is one of the most exciting aspects of my job.
What type of skills do you need for this role?
I think that a successful Front-End Developer should possess a pragmatic way of thinking: he or she should be able to think solution-oriented and be capable of translating this into code. Knowledge of browser fundamentals (besides being familiar with the programming languages) is also recommended.
Another key factor in this role is that you must have a keen eye for details and a creative mindset. As a front-ender, you should be able to tell from a design whether something is user-friendly or not and whether users will understand it. You should not only be good at the technology and the code, but you should also have a good understanding of what works and what does not with the browser and the interface.
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We’re looking for React Engineers. As a React Engineer, you are responsible for developing the front-end of our solutions which are being used in countries all around the world. You will join our Solutions Development department and work on large and complex IT projects.
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on so far and why?
Most definitely, the solution we are currently building for the government of Anguilla. It is made up of two applications: one is a tax administration system, the other a social insurance administration system. Both have a lot of functionalities. This is our biggest front-end project at the moment. Anguilla is the launching client for this solution, which makes it of course extra exciting. We are going to roll it out in so many countries hereafter; so it has to work flawlessly!