This week we had a very insightful interview with Alessandro Muraro, Frontend Developer at navabi.de in Aachen (Germany): he told us how his passion for Lego led him to become a fronted developer and he shared many useful tips and resources for those who wish to follow his career path.
What led you to become a Frontend Developer?
I think the passion started when I was a little kid and I spent days playing with Lego.
The fact that you could take these basic plastic blocks and shape them into whatever you wanted (mainly spacecrafts, in my case) was really appealing to me.
Growing up, I think I maintained the same passion for building stuff out of basic pieces, which is what frontend development is all about.When the internet came about, I was quickly building websites for myself and friends alike, it was 1997 or something like that, and we were all on slow modem connections.
What recommendations would you give to any colleague who would like to thrive in your job?
Write clean, responsive CSS, make it work well on all devices, explore the possibilities, take it as far as possible, use the most recent features.
Keep improving on these fundamentals everyday.
These are all things I wish people told me years ago, before I started being a frontend developer full time.
- Put love into the code you write. You need to love your work and have attention for detail, both for the end result, and for the code that produces it. this will make your work way more enjoyable. Fight for clean code, and be always ready improve on the bad code you will inevitably write.
- Be curious. Going back to the fundamentals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what is going on. Every now and then go on a learning adventure, check out things you don’t know much about, even outside of the frontend field.
- Keep a blog where you write technical articles to share your knowledge with others.
- Join a local frontend or development Meetup if possible; nothing beats meeting people in person, you will make friends, and job opportunities will come out of it.
- Beware of the impostor syndrome, and rest assured nobody knows everything.
What do you like the most of your job? What do you like the least? What are the main challenges?
The thing I like the most is building stuff, plain and simple. It’s really like a game to me, something between lego and puzzles.
The main challenge is probably having to constantly study and learn, daily.
What are the tools you find indispensable in your job?
As far as development tools go, I am very very minimalistic. Just a code editor (I recommend Visual Studio Code), a Chrome browser and Git, a collaboration tool that is not strictly made for frontend, or even for coding, but it is really fundamental to know how to use it to work with other people.
- Jen Simmons at jensimmons.com for CSS
- Rachel Andrew at rachelandrew.co.uk for CSS
- Read books from A Book Apart