Web trends evolution

    I am pretty sure that I will not surprise anybody by saying that web technologies are constantly evolving. So does tools used to develop web sites and web applications. Expectations from web solutions are also evolving, what was considered acceptable few years ago are treated like something outdated today. There is a good example of  how it feels to learn JavaScript in 2017 that perfectly illustrates big changes that we notice in JavaScript world.

    But today you cannot imagine a web page without JavaScript. It does not matter what technology you use for back end, the front end will use JavaScript. If you need interactive form validations,  image sliders, asynchronous talk with the server, JavaScript is the way to go.

Just a few years ago(okay maybe not a few, but let’s say 7-9), to build a relatively nice website all you had to know was a back end language like PHP, HTML with CSS and you were good to go. If you also knew some JavaScript to make some content on the page dynamic you were a real pro!

A good programmer must constantly learn

Things have changed since then. Now we have dozens of programming languages(front end, back end, or both), frameworks, libraries, tools, etc..  This also adds a lot of  inter-dependencies that sometimes can add a lot of headache. As an example you can take a look at how a guy broke thousands of projects in 11 lines of code . It is a real challenge to keep in trend with all changes and new technologies, but it’s a MUST. Usually programmers like to learn new things. They really enjoy playing around with new cool stuff that is on the market. This definitely makes keeping in trend with technologies easier, but, it also requires time and  efforts.

I know by my personal experience, and I can affirm that many companies does not share the same opinion about constant learning. Leave apart promoting it. This might surprise you, but it’s true. It is especially true for companies where top management has nothing to do with IT.

CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave?

CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?

Both CFO and CEO have good points. Sure there is a risk that after some time the employee will leave. But the chances that the employee will leave right after a seminar or a course are extremely low. Eventually, the risk that an employee will leave the company does persist. Correct me if I’m wrong, but business is about taking risks and finding opportunities. Think about this for a minute, how can a company grow if it does not invest in its staff.

What does programmers want

Programmer with headphones

Programmer with headphones

Let me start this section with a statement: programming is a creative work. Even if sometimes looks like a routine work, it’s mostly not true. A programmer should keep in his memory a lot of things like requirements, files, classes, functions, why this particular line of code is written like that and not otherwise, etc.

Quiet place to work

In order to be more productive at writing code, developers need a quiet place to work. This also tends to increase code quality. You have to concentrate, and sometimes it’s not possible to achieve that when your workplace is on the same floor with company’s call center, especially when it’s an open space type of office. The same is when between your cubicle and a car service center is only a wall. You can not expect a programmer to write a good bug free code and be productive in such an environment.

Some of you might disagree with me saying that it’s not true with today’s technologies. We have now awesome noise cancelling headsets, and you can focus on work while listening to some calm music. Yes I really like noise cancelling technology, I saw awesome results. But it’s still not perfect, while it can cancel a lot of noises. It’s still not so effective for human voices. So you maybe won’t hear that service center behind the wall doing a tire rotation. but you’ll definitely hear the next person’s phone call. Also not everybody can keep those headsets for 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes you just need to concentrate at your job, without music, just in silence.

Comfortable workplace

We spend most of the day at the office, away from family, pets, and friends. It is important that we feel comfortable at the place we work 8 hours a day, five days a week. It will be nice to have what giant companies have to offer. Google for example has free food, beer or wine on Fridays. Also people are able to bring their pet to work. Of course not every company can afford to do what, but this does not mean  they can make a developer’s workplace really cozy. Starting with a comfortable chair, adjustable desk, the one I have never had by the way,  two or three monitors.

Those are small things, but usually the small things make the difference. When you have an old mouse that does not every time move the cursor when you move the mouse starts to frustrate you, this can have an impact on your focus. And all that frustration adds up with time. I remember how happy I was few weeks after I got a brand new awesome mouse that replaced the old annoying one. I really enjoyed it, the work became a bit easier after that.

Flexible hours

Managers that have nothing to do with IT do not really understand why  flex time is so important for developers. I want to mention this once again: in order to write good code you should get focused on what you have to do and “find the flow”. It’s not so easy to force yourself to get focused every day, in the morning, exactly at 9 am.

I used to work in both environments, when you come whenever you want and stay how long you want. You just have to meet your deadline, nobody tracks your time. And I also worked in a place where you have to spend 40 minutes writing an explanation and meeting with a manager in his office if you were late by more than 10 minutes. Even if the place where I had to be on time taught me a lot about discipline (it really did), I guarantee you that I was never as productive as I was while working flexible hours.

 

Our story: New web agency in Chicago area

We gained a lot of experience working as freelancers, consultants, developers and team leaders. But we never felt like we have our dream job. We concluded that there will never be a place that will fulfill all our expectations of what a perfect workplace for a developer should be.

Web agency launching

Maxstrim Inc.

So instead of complaining about that we decided to try to create our own place. And make it like we want it to be. Sure thing it will not be so easy to achieve that, but the attitude we have, perseverance and hard work will help us. We were developers, we are developers and we understand developers.  We know what to expect from them, how to listen to them, and most important we know how to make them to enjoy their jobs. Because a happy developer provides better output.

We want our clients to know that our main goals are satisfied customers and satisfied employees. And we think that it’s not possible to achieve only one of those goals, leaving behind the other.

If we could catch your attention and you think that our company can help you with our products and services, you can contact us.

Further reading : Website’s informative power