Digging deep into the core of VSN (II): Our Frontend team

Behind the scenes: A look into the roles of our Backend, Frontend and Apps and Tools development teams.

Last week we started a tour around what we decided to call the core of VSN: the work of our Backend, Frontend and Apps&Tools development teams, who are responsible for the innovation and constant improvement of VSN’s range of solutions.

In this first edition, we discovered that our developers are not isolated in a dark cave with neon lights and thousands of code lines. Instead of that, they are a group of dedicated professionals with a base of work team and constant exchange of ideas on their daily work. In their meetings they share tasks and problems in order to propose solutions and organize their work, which they then carry out individually.

This is only a piece of what we were able to learn in the article dedicated to the day-by-day activity of our Backend team. For this second article, we focused on our Frontend department, which, once more, gave us a surprise: productive meetings, collaborative work and an absolute dedication for our clients. If you want to meet them… Just keep reading!

Our Frontend Team

Like the Backend team, the Frontend team described a day-to-day setup that was focused around collaboration and teamwork, and then involved breaking to perform the individual tasks that would contribute to a wider, team-defined vision. 

In particular though, the Frontend team stressed the way that personal and team-based professional development time was key to their ability to innovate: not everything they performed was driven by a customer need (though by virtue of being responsible for the part of the product that clients actively look at, they are arguably subject to the ‘whim’ of customers more than anybody else!). Instead, devoting time to becoming better versed in programming languages, design concepts and new technologies was core to the Frontend’s ability to drive innovation across the board: a process of ‘continuous research and learning’. 

What was interesting about the responses from the Frontend team – but indeed, from the full range of teams as a whole – was the approach to meetings. We’ve all seen the endless internet memes about the futility of longwinded, unnecessary meetings and the various strategies we might use to make them more bearable; whether that’s pajama bottoms, gin in your teacup, or the magic of the mute button so that you can have an episode of ‘Masked Singer’ running in the background. But the reality was, our teams loved their meetings! They found them productive, well-balanced, focused and key to their own individual work processes. Collaborating with others energized everybody, and the sessions allowed for real and meaningful feedback to be generated, both in terms of ‘big picture’ thinking, but also the little intricate details of code-review. 

Key priorities for the Frontend team were always valuing innovation and feature-richness, whilst being mindful of the actual need of our clients: ‘We shouldn’t create a Ferrari the craves the open road for someone who needs a small car to drive around the city center’. Cohesiveness, coherency and consistency were also the main watchwords of the process; customers should always feel comfortable and confident in their user experience, and frontend design is core to that. 

Indeed, when we asked them what the main purpose of their role is, they gave us this, straight from the horse’s mouth: ‘Well, without us, VSN’s products would look pretty bad and would be very difficult to manage, wouldn’t they?’. Cocky or what!?

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