#frontendatbytex Episode 1. Developing a Web Application for a Startup (Video)

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Livia
January 19 6 min read
Frontend colleague

We’re back with a brand-new video content series. After our #uxatbytex series, this time we’re tackling the world of frontend development with five of our most trusted – Mihail Iftodi, Robert Maftei, Andreea Cozonac, Alexandru Răescu and Codrin Iftimie. Today, in the first episode, we’re all about developing a web app for startups.

Our #frontendatbytex video series is a non-technical, friendly approach to development. We aim to introduce the new generation of developers to the world of coding for startups and enterprises, with snippets of our developers’ day to day activities. Have fun!

The first star of our #frontendatbytex series is Mihail, who has extensive experience in working with startup clients and is nice enough to share the knowledge.

If you want to watch our whole series, tune in on our YouTube channel. Below is the video transcript.

Mihail: ‘Hello and welcome back to our Youtube channel. After our colleagues from the UX team kickstarted the #uxatbytex video series, we, the frontend developers, decided that we too can become Youtube celebrities.

Jokes aside, we’d love to share the knowledge we gathered over the years, as we’ve worked on many interesting projects. From small and resourceful startups to large and impressive enterprises, we’ve helped our customers grow and reach new development heights.

In the next videos we’ll show you just how we did that.

My name is Mihai and today I’ll walk you through the process of developing a web application for a startup.

I’ll draw from my own experience and share with you some tips and tricks about how a developer can have a good relationship with the customer, use a suitable and properly adjusted project management process and adjust the working style and expectations to the startup work environment.

Now, first thing’s first. Communicating with the client is a key component of a thriving development process. You need to understand their needs and work together in finding the most suitable solutions. It’s good to bear in mind that priorities can evolve, and that while new ideas will come up, the old ones might change or even disappear from the landscape. Don’t take these things to heart and always keep your eyes on the bigger picture.

A good way to ensure communication and transparency is through availability. Be open, conversational and address any concerns that the customer might have. Quick replies can work wonders.

Then there’s cross-team communication. Being on the same page with your teammates, regardless of the time zone differences, is crucial, because you are all working towards reaching the same goal.

One relationship that stands out is the one between the UX and frontend teams. Combining your technical knowledge with the designer’s user behavior expertise will come up with the best practical solutions. When working together, make sure that you show empathy, question your own assumptions, and last but not least, double down on your opinions with lots of positive reinforcement.

Now, let’s move to the project management.

A start-up knows its final destination and has a detailed idea about how the project needs to be built. However, how you get there is a totally different story.

Choosing the right project management methodology is essential. A start-up moves fast, its priorities change in a blink of an eye and this, in turn, reflects in what is expected of the development team. That’s why we recommend an agile approach to the project development.

Agile basically slices your workload into one – two week long iterations called sprints. At the beginning of a sprint, you prioritize tasks and allocate hours on your project. At the end of it, you present your work to your customer. Each sprint comes with a new set of tasks and feedback from the stakeholders, safeguarding your project’s progress. When it comes to agile frameworks to use, you can either choose from scrum, Kanban or even scrumban.

We recommend you set up short term goals in order to measure the progress of your project. This keeps track of the development, so you know what stage it is on, what tasks need to be picked up next, or even what need to be left out in order to make room for more urgent ones. This will keep team members motivated and boost their confidence seeing their functional software leading to the final masterpiece.

When it comes to coding, working for a start-up has its own distinct set of challenges and opportunities. Kicking off the project is especially demanding, as you need to prepare the essential features. The difficulty of getting this done will come up to the circumstances of your project, particularly its deadlines and the responsibilities of your role.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to strive not to deliver features at the cost of badly written code, as you will pay for it later, but instead keep things flexible and clean, so that the base you build on will stay solid in the future.

Speaking of the code base, I recommend writing your code in a way that can easily incorporate modifications. In my experience with React, I found out rather quickly that it is better for my components to be abstract and pliable for various scenarios, than have them be rigid and work in just one use case. This will remove frustration from the equation, as you will no longer spend hours refactoring your code.

Lastly, a review process for your code is a must-have while you work on a start-up. This will keep track of changes, improve quality and make room for your team members to learn and grow as developers.

For example, in my team, we review every pull request. This gives both the reviewer and the reviewed the opportunity to learn and improve their code quality.

So, there you have it. I hope this material helps you embark on your next start-up coding journey. Join us next time when we’ll discuss the particularities of working with an enterprise. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more useful videos.’

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Now that you’ve learned all about our process of frontend development for startups, if you’re interested in working with our developers, just drop us a line at hello@bytex.net and we’ll get back to you with all the information you need.