What makes a great web developer?

[and] What does a great web developer do?

An SHD full-stack developer spotlight story and Q&A.

viktor and zidaneOver the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to bear witness to the culmination of the Smack Happy Design (SHD) dream team that I am always honored to play my teensy role in. With our “unique team-first attitude” we often feel geeked when we get to boast a bit about a fellow team member.

Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to dig deeper with one of our very own full-stack web developers, Viktor Angelopoulos.

What is a full-stack web developer?

Generally, a full-stack web developer is someone who can operate as both a front end web developer as well as backend. They are comfortable working at all levels of development from programming languages (such as HTML, CSS, and javascript) to project management activities. Not to be confused with a software engineer or software developer, who develops software applications that run on a computer.

While working remotely from Athens, Greece (I know, I’m jealous, too…)effective communication is key. Alongside our other talented team members, he brings a unique approach to transforming ideas into reality—supporting many of our creative ideas as well as those of our clients, no matter the location.

When you have a team of organized people that simply “get it” it truly doesn’t matter where in the world our offices are, everything tends to fit really well.

BUT To fully understand how a developer works, we’ll explore three truths about web development.

“The whole process of creating a website that provides a proper experience for its audience is what motivates me to adhere to high-quality standards while being creative.”

web developer comic3 Truths About Web Development

Depending on what type of coding or programming (and where) goes into a website design or a custom web application—a developer could be faced with a myriad of tasks to complete. Some more straightforward than others, and others…not.

Website Design and Web Development Isn’t Easy

Anyone can build a basic site, especially with DIY website builders like Wix or Squarespace—but not everyone can do it well.

Have you come across a website that is easy to use, looks attractive and effortless, and gives you exactly what you want to find when you want it? What about one that uses a custom calculator to figure out your mortgage payment? Binge-watch Hulu on a desktop? They didn’t get that way without the hard work of at least one, if not more, developer and designer.

Hours of “blood, sweat, and tears,(or otherwise known as) research, discovery, testing, design, coding and more go into a custom website or web application. Oh, and don’t get me started on version control. Luckily, we use GIT. Lifesaver!

Web Developers Should Respond Immediately to Every Request

web developer surprise

A huge misunderstanding about this role is that they only work on one project at a time and are dedicated 24/7 to that project. OF COURSE, a client should expect a response in a reasonable amount of time. A part of our support policy, for example, is to respond within at least 48-hours. This doesn’t mean they don’t value the client or that they intend to make anyone feel ignored. It’s just the opposite actually. They’re hard workers, dedicated to quality.

Developers like Viktor understand that communication with a client can be tough sometimes, whether there’s a lack of consistency or collaboration in responses, the expectations are unique, or they simply aren’t familiar with the process of working on a website project.

Fortunately, with our unique team-first attitude, we’re really good at bridging that gap through transparency, patience, care, and hard-working team members. One (of many) reasons he fits so well with our little team family.

They Do Not Do Whatever You Want

We operate by heavily relying on tried and true processes that align with our core values. From our commitment to quality to the personalized touch we provide at every step—our hearts go into everything that we do. This is what we love to do, and we want our clients to love it too. This means that sometimes we say no.


PeterD Testimonial


Developers have already spent a large chunk of their lives learning every aspect of web design. Their job is to effectively translate your vision into a user experience on your website. Just like everyone else has extensive knowledge and experience in their field of work, so do web developers. At the end of the day, you have a professional who knows what they’re doing and are 110% in your corner.

Additionally, there are business owners around the world who have different rules and regulations to meet, as well as differing cultural expectations. Viktor acknowledges and meets these expectations using one great tool, astute observation.

“As a web professional, when you work closely with people from all over the world, you have to first adjust by simply observing the person you’re working with. An American business owner versus a Swiss business owner will have certain distinct differences, though they’re minor. I think most people can [adjust] if they’re flexible.”

Developing with *Meraki

With a love for computers and computer science passed down from his father, Viktor has continued to build upon his experiences for over a decade and is grateful to his mentors for the opportunity to learn new skill sets and abilities to become the seasoned developer he is today.

His goal?

web developer built Solxsys website
 

“…create beautiful, functional websites that do justice to the ideas behind them. My life philosophy (of course, I’m Greek!) is to continuously evolve as a professional and as a person by welcoming challenges and devising innovative solutions. {…}

I was so passionate about web development, in a way that I hadn’t been with anything before. I just knew that I had to do something revolving around this. It [web development] was a natural incline for me.

Advice for Budding Web Developers

If you’re looking for web development jobs or want to join a web development course, be passionate and keep yourself interested by asking questions and reaching out to all of your best resources in order to be constantly learning more.

“You have to be passionate and you have to be determined to learn because in web development its a constant battle to learn more. Even in the last five months, I have learned things that I didn’t know before.

Web development is something that can be a lot of individual things for each web development professional, and there are a lot of paths and subpaths that anyone can take. So, you have to be flexible.

It’s not worth it for someone to go in with a very narrow mind, because they’ll run the risk of becoming obsolete since it’s a speedy pace of changes, all the time.”

Q&A

When you take a break from your work, what’s the view outside your office window?

Let’s pretend that’s my backyard and that it’s actually morning and not 6 PM. The street outside Viktor's officetraffic and parked cars is constant regardless of the time of the day.

What does a web developer like you do for fun?

[I like] cooking, playing games (digital or otherwise), learning new things, watching TV shows, and surely some things I can’t think of right now.

If you walked out of the house right now and could do anything you wanted, what would you be doing?

Right now I’d go for the beach. I’ve only had 7 consecutive days of holidays this past summer (unacceptable for a Greek) and that wasn’t enough. Nothing beats a sandy beach, the water, and the chill vibe that goes with it. My favorite organic anti-anxiety treatment.

What’s your favorite browser extension?

[Here’s] my favorite Chrome extension: The Great Suspender  [It’s] ideal if you use e.g.

Puppy Boy Zidanetwo windows with dozens of tabs on each, like a normal person?

What are some web development updates you are looking forward to?

This is going to be interesting when it gets fully supported: Lazy Loading

Besides websites, what’s something that you adore?

Viktor adores his dog Zidane, who is named after Zinedine Zidane, current manager of Real Madrid CF and former professional soccer player.

 

 

 

For more info on our team, web services, and zany news visit the SHD archive.

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