A day in the life of a Front End Engineer at Code

By James Bateson,
Front End Engineer

In the first of a series of blogs about what life as a Computerlover is like, we caught up with our Front End Engineer James to find out what he gets up to in his day-to-day. 

Hi James! Can you start by telling us about yourself and your role within the agency?

I’m James, a Front End Engineer with a passion for HTML, CSS, UX, accessibility, and performance.

I have a background in design but moved to the front-end discipline around 7 years ago. As well as working as a front-end expert in my product team I also work alongside the other talented front enders at Code and as part of the wider platform development team.

Can you tell us a bit about your background, and what attracted you to Code?

Having worked at a digital agency for several years (in a design/dev role), I’d been aware of and admired Code’s work.

Their focus on being a digital partner and putting emphasis on product over project and the way the product teams are structured made a lot of sense to me. The multidisciplinary nature of them means you have the chance to work and learn outside of your main role if needs be.

The values and cultural manifesto Code have setup were also a draw. I’m always looking to improve myself and the Make Change Friday initiative is a brilliant way to do this. The fact that Code is willing to invest time into your personal development and allow you to grow is so good.

Now we’re all working flexibly, could you describe a typical day either in the office or from home?

Even with the majority of the team still working remotely, there’s still a real sense of collaboration.

The day always starts with a team standup, these are a quick 10-15 minute catchup with the rest of the team to go through your kanban board and a good chance to talk about how things are going and anything people may need to be aware of.

A great aspect of the way Code works is collaboration. Whether that be discussing a ticket with a designer to get a better understanding of why decisions have been made or the practice of pair programming, which is a big part of my working day.

I work closely with other developers on my team to ensure we’re working efficiently and consistently building the best products we can.

Along with pairing and working on tickets, we’re also building a great front-end community at Code. We have weekly catchups and the Slack channel is active with sharing articles and offering help when needed.

A day in the office is a welcome change at the moment, it’s really nice to have that face-to-face collaboration, and maybe actually move a physical ticket as well. The focus remains on communication through the day with an office space ideal for working together efficiently.

What have you recently been working on?

I’m currently working on an exciting site build for an ultra-fast broadband company.

We’re building with React and Next.js, both new to me, so I’m learning a lot every day – something I’ve done each day since joining Code.

As part of my Make Change Friday time and one of the design communities at Code, I’ve also been looking at how we can make the Code website more engaging through interactive animations.

Is there any work you are particularly proud of?

I’d have to say that I’m so proud of the product we’re building so far on my current broadband product. We’re giving lots of focus to accessibility and performance right from the start, which results in a lovely product.

Being able to advocate for accessibility and get buy-in from the rest of the team and the client is very rewarding.

Do you have a favourite part of your job?

Building products that make users happy. There’s no better feeling of releasing an accessible, performant, and useable solution. We put a lot of love into the things we build, so to see people using the product is just the best!

Another thing has to be always learning and improving. The front-end landscape change so quickly it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest tech and trends. However, learning and developing the core skills and the right bits is just so rewarding.

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Looking for a new opportunity with a company that values personal development and growth?

We’ve got open roles across engineering, research and UX design – take a look here.