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From Frontend to React Native Team Leader in 7 Months. Here’s My Story at Netguru

After two years of working as a frontend developer, I felt I needed to change my perspective on development. Not that I did not like the job, but I've always had a soft spot for mobile technologies. Moreover, I wanted to evolve my skills in a quite different direction.

The trigger came shortly after - my friend posted about the Netguru Code College on Facebook. This fantastic workshop about React Native made me realize that this was the change I was looking for. To pursue my goal, I applied for a Junior React Native developer position, and - long story short - got hired.

First steps with React Native

My first task was to complete an internal application that sums up and visualises your relationship with the people you talk to on Slack, based on data from the last 30 days. Not only did I have a lot of fun but working on the project, but it also provided me with an opportunity to learn how to combine my existing knowledge of programming in JavaScript with mobile technologies.

My junior "years" at Netguru did not last long - the work in the mobile field and my progress were appreciated: in less than a month I was promoted to a regular React Native developer. Shortly after that I started working on my first commercial project. We created a base of reusable components - a Design System for one of our corporate clients.

If I were to name my favourite aspect of this project, it would be the diversity of the tasks - each component required an individual implementation. Obviously, there were standard components like a text element or a placeholder, but there were also more complex challenges like navigation, pagination, calendar, and a search engine.


We also worked - on the development side - on neat designs crafted by the client's inhouse team. We were refining them a bit - there was no way that something would not be compatible with the project even by 1px!

The final result: the Design System is now a downloadable package and our components can be used for many other applications used by the entire enterprise. No doubt this is my favorite project at Netguru so far!

I have learned a lot during my first six months at Netguru. Working simultaneously with iOS and Android is not only challenging, but it also requires familiarity with each of these platforms. I am still expanding my knowledge in this area, but this is not the only field in which I had a chance to develop. For instance, I’ve strengthened my communication skills tremendously and I’ve developed an ability to work in a dispersed team that meets only on a Slack channel or a Hangout call.


I have also learned that there are many more hat-changing developers working for Netguru, for example Krzysztof, who after 9 years of a non-IT career became a Node.js developer. You can find his story here.

 

The role of React Native Team Leader

But the big challenge was yet to come. Seven months after joining, I was entrusted the role of React Native Team Leader. Since January this year, I’m managing a small team of 4 great React Native developers, responsible for creating performant, beautiful, and functional mobile applications.

One of our top quarterly goals (we use the V2MOM framework) is to build awareness as a top expert in the mobile field.

On the commercial side, my major project as a leading developer concerns building an app for the real estate enterprise based in United States. My role is focused on technical implementation, development and managing the work of three React Native and two Node.js developers. Our biggest challenges relate to implementation of the connection between outer servers and data management.

The most demanding thing for me personally is to take care of all supported devices.


If I had to choose what I like the most about my work I’d say: many opportunities to develop both my professional and interpersonal skills. And people who not only bring value to our customers, but also build a mature, friendly, and transparent culture within our team. Even though we don’t see each other every day, we meet during calls and integration trips that happen on a regular basis.

I hope you liked my story. It is only the beginning, but if you feel the same way as I did 2 years ago, you should know that we’re hiring. Who knows, maybe after a few months you will share your own story too!

 

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