Frontend FAQ - Interview with Frontend Developer and founder Glivera Team frontend Agency

Frontend FAQ - Interview with Frontend Developer and founder Glivera Team frontend Agency

FAQ – Interview with Frontend Developer and founder Glivera Team frontend Agency

Andrey Boyko, founder at Glivera Team, gave an interview based on the most frequent questions asked by our clients to the team and to Andrey as a front-end developer. 

The main topics will be: why we chose frontend as the main direction; technologies that the agency uses to solve most of the tasks and top 5 frontend services that Glivera Team mostly works with

1. Today web development is a very wide field of activity. Why did you choose frontend as your main focus?

I chose the frontend as the main direction initially, because I liked the layout. Now frontend allows you to solve all kinds of tasks that were previously solved by different programming languages and only frontend can already cover tasks of any complexity and any direction that pop up before the business. At the same time it does not put boundaries, as others, the same PHP or other stacks, which work only with the backend or only with the frontend. It’s important to note another plus you can do beautiful things, particularly animations. From personal experience, we’ve built complex projects that work on load that don’t need to have a database on the server. The client immediately has the information they need, the pages load instantly, update – this is the key.

Interview with Frontend Developer and founder Glivera Team frontend Agency

2. I know that a lot of companies hire front-end or full-stack developers to handle layout tasks. Why do you need such specialized teams like yours? Is there any point in separate agencies if you can hire a person on staff or try freelancer services?

My experience shows that it is quite difficult to find a layouter or frontrunner who is at our level and still worthy of being on the market, because he needs a team. 

You need to have tasks for the team on a regular basis, give it development, and give it the opportunity to work on interesting projects all the time. If there aren’t any, but there are only streaming projects, then people start to leave. And this is where the idea arises that it is better to hire someone else, so as not to burden yourself with tasks such as training, maintenance, management, and more. It’s also worth adding that finding a good frontrunner nowadays is quite difficult, they are constantly moving from one company to another. It is much cheaper to buy us on a part-time or full-time basis, while getting the desired results in half the time. That’s why they hire us, because we take away the client’s pain quickly and efficiently.

3. What do you see as the most promising trends in layout? I mean, for example, virtual reality support, web animation, etc.

The most interesting thing now is virtual reality, which can be added directly to the site for interaction with users. For example, Dyson has made a virtual laboratory where you can try out how their products work: you can take them apart, play with them, change the nozzles, and so on. Businesses have long used virtual reality to train their staff, and now we’re moving smoothly into customer training. This way, customers will have a better understanding of what products or services can make their lives easier. The frontend allows you to embed everything into the site, without additional services or applications.

4. Every developer has their own favorite tools. If there are no direct instructions from the customer to use this and that, what do you use to solve most problems? Technologies, frameworks, etc.
In your blog I’ve seen publications on how to use different tools to solve certain problems. Tell me, do you as developers have your own methodology, which you implement in projects, or does it all depend on the conditions of the customer and the specific project? Are there any templates, rules that you adhere to?

We’ve been doing this for over 10 years, we have our own framework, which we made from a large number of projects and selected exactly the parts that were used the most, but we still prefer to make a project from scratch. We do this so that we can build it safely, with no restrictions. For example, if we use bootstrap or similar, which developers like to use, because they speed up the work, then in the future we may face restrictions and such nuances: pulling a lot of unnecessary code, which slows down the loading, taking up more space and pages are worse loaded. Also, do not forget that it all needs to be maintained. There is a notion of “technical debt” – this is when we made compromise decisions in development long ago, and now we have problems because of it. If we have to add a new design, functionality, or other changes, frameworks that aren’t made for the project add a lot of that technical debt in the future. In the moment we can save time and get the job done faster, but we take our time in the future and make it more difficult. We’ve managed to find a compromise where we can create a framework for the project without slowing down development, and still be able to add design, new elements, functionality, and other parts. Everything comes in a block system, each block is a separate unit that can be used or modified. We use Yandex technology, or rather the methodology of such blockiness, which they created. Therefore, each of our site consists of small blocks.

Interview with Frontend Developer and founder Glivera Team frontend Agency. Photo 2

5. I know that you have a lot of people working for you. How is the interaction organized? Can you tell me about an example of a project?

The customer’s first interaction is with me for approval, especially if the project is complex. We decide how it will be implemented and what technology to use. If the project is more standard, for example, a simple wrap-around, then it is evaluated block by block and a person receives a complete list of works, up to an hour. If desired, we give the client access to the Worksection system, where he can monitor the stage of the project and write questions to developers, respectively, the efficiency of interaction increases several times. Experience has shown that the more links between the developer and customer, precisely in the process, the more likely it is that there will be a “spoiled phone”. We work with any system that suits the customer: Trello, Basecamp and others.

6. What selection criteria do you have when ordering? Do you take on absolutely all projects or are there some things you don’t want to work with? Are there any priorities?

 There is only one selection criterion. Perhaps the main rule from the time when I was still a freelancer is: “Only take on projects that you can do really well.” Now there are new areas in which we do not yet have expertise: more complex graphics or really “explosive” mathematics. We will not take on these projects. We only work with what we can implement at the highest level. Priority is given to regular customers and new animation projects, especially the complex ones. I prefer to take projects on which my people grow.

7. Name some of the most interesting projects you’ve worked with and why. Maybe some examples, impressions, etc.

There is no better way to get an idea of a company’s experience than to look at its portfolio of work. We have quite a few projects, but we’ll take Spot and Profilm as examples. They were done with complex animations for media companies that are done in React. The design for these two projects was done by Vadim Scherbakov. Spot produces commercials, documentaries and music videos, and their experience allows them to find solutions to the most complex problems using a non-standard approach. Profilm was founded in 2000, and since then has realized more than 900 video and photo projects in various directions. I can add from myself that it’s all about the first impression. If you look at these projects, the web pages capture the attention and imagination of visitors, and new technologies make the components more dynamic.

8. There is an opinion that the IT market is slowly degenerating due to a very large competition and the number of people who want to enter this business. Is it difficult for firms like yours to survive in this environment? Do you look for customers, do they find you, etc. Describe your view of this problem.

There has never been a time in our history when the workload has dropped by more than 5%. There are enough clients, because the number of companies at our level that can meet the same deadlines, do quality work and give a guarantee is quite small. That is why customers who come to us prefer to continue working with us. Of course, we are looking for new clients with interesting projects to grow further, but beyond this, we have our own customer base already. Because we have different level of developers, we can give a good value for the hour to the customer and we can also combine. For example, each project has three gradations of project complexity: easy, medium, difficult. We are constantly training our developers, giving them tasks of varying degrees of complexity, so we get a mix of jobs: from the cheapest to the most expensive, so the customer ends up with an average cost per hour.

9. Highlight the top 5 frontend services that you mostly work with. I mean, for example, layout for some CMS, web animation, optimization of the finished layout, etc.

We work mainly with layout, WordPress, animation, Shopify integration, React development (without complex databases). We do not take on someone else’s layout, we can only analyze.

10. You probably monitor some layout hubs and blogs of top developers to keep track of what’s new and trending in the frontend world. Share who you’re targeting, what you’re trying to implement in the first place

There is not one or two people who can somehow gather all the information that is needed. There are blogs that describe novelties, how to write styles, new properties, one person does not have the ability to cover all the technology, to describe all the processes. There is no specific guide or checklist of what to do, if there was, then anyone from scratch could become a cool specialist in 3 months. You have to learn from the simple to the complex. You can monitor useful blogs like Speckyboy, CSS-Tricks, Codrops, Todd Motto’s blog, CSS {IRL}, Web Platform News to keep track of news and trends in the frontend world. Also interesting Russian-language blogs: Web Standards, For Web, Yoxel, css-live.ru, devSchacht.