Growth, Challenges, and Achievements – Unlocking the Role of Senior Full-Stack Developer

In a world of web development, senior developers play a crucial role not just in writing code but in shaping project direction and leading team members. We delve into the experience and insight of a Senior Full-Stack Developer from our team – Radoš Nikolić.

As a senior in your field, how would you describe the specifics of your current role and the industry you’re in?

As a senior developer, my level of responsibility has significantly increased compared to my previous positions. When you’re a senior developer working on a project, you can’t just concentrate on completing your tasks; you have to take a broader view of the project. This involves testing features, offering advice on what should and shouldn’t be done, and engaging in discussions about these decisions.
Most importantly, you’re expected to support other team members, who rely on your expertise. That’s at least how I perceive my role and how I fulfill it. The IT industry itself is very interesting to me. It is an industry for creative people and every project is different, something new. That’s probably something I like the most. It is a fast-growing industry and as a developer, you need to learn new things all the time, otherwise, you cannot be good at it. 

What programming languages and technologies are part of your daily workflow?

I am a web developer, at this point full stack. This means that I can work on the frontend and backend parts of the project, or both at the same time. Technologies are a matter of choice I would say and selection of technologies depends on a project type. For most web applications, I would use PHP as a backend language and ReactJS or VueJS as a frontend (JavaScript). Other programming languages are also growing very fast and becoming popular. However, the stack I use is still one of the most popular, fast, and reliable for most types of projects.

What are your day-to-day activities in this position?

In many IT companies, developers follow a routine that includes daily meetings to ensure everyone stays aligned and projects run smoothly. These meetings, sometimes weekly or more frequent, are followed by group calls, as well as 1:1 calls for focused discussions on specific project aspects. In BlueGrid we use project tracking software to plan tasks, prioritizing those with high urgency. I like to say that clear communication is crucial, so if any aspect is unclear, I reach out to the appropriate individuals in the team for clarification. For some complex tasks, I estimate completion times to keep the team informed. Daily and weekly organization revolves around project and task priorities. Additionally, I often lead feature demonstrations, showcasing what has been accomplished.

In your opinion, what makes your team appealing to new colleagues?

I believe that a strong team isn’t just a collection of individuals working independently, it’s all about team effort. While individual responsibility is crucial, fostering a culture of assistance and knowledge sharing is equally important. What sets working at BlueGrid apart is the continuous opportunity for learning.
Having someone readily available to offer guidance is invaluable. Sometimes, all you need is a suggestion from a colleague to discover more efficient ways to tackle challenges. That’s also why working in a team is much better than working independently. I am pretty sure that as a developer, I thrive and grow faster in a team than as a solo rider. Even as a senior, I learned a bunch of new insights and techniques from other team members in BlueGrid.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your position? How is BlueGrid helping in your professional development?

BlueGrid helps me in many different ways in my professional development, primarily by recognizing my passion for development and dedication to projects, which led to my promotion to a team lead position.
Even during times when the team faced challenges, the team showed patience, understanding that every success requires time and that mistakes are inevitable on the success journey.
So patience is also the largest lesson I have learned so far. It’s also the key to running the team and the leader is here to make a balance and help the team succeed.  

What has been the biggest challenge in your position as Senior Full-Stack Developer?

The team lead position on several projects in BlueGrid was my biggest challenge. I worked with individuals who have different levels of knowledge and diverse mindsets. That required finding a balance between responsibilities and team requests, which could be challenging at times.
However, it’s always crucial to strive towards the same goal. So, leading a team is a greater challenge than working on a project with features you never worked on (haha). Striving for improvement each day and having the opportunity to work on new projects inspire me to move forward.

How was your experience leading our React.js course for beginners, and how has it impacted your professional or personal development?

Running a React class was something new to me. While I had previous teaching experience, teaching 20+ people at the same time was very inspiring to me. During this class, I was also learning and improving my React knowledge. My goal was to ensure the class ran smoothly and to make it interesting so people could learn and also enjoy the class. Preparations were crucial. I wrote a 100-page e-book and also worked on presentations for each class. I also prepared a few projects that people would like to work on. This course was a significant milestone for my React knowledge as well as my teacher experience. Regarding it, I had to practice the latest approaches to present the latest information. This is something I was planning to do, but class pushed me to do it earlier. In the end, this was a great experience for me. I am thrilled that people from the class are satisfied with the lessons.

How did you structure the training? Why it can be useful for beginners in this field?

The training sessions were designed for beginners looking to enter the IT industry as front-end developers. My goal was to provide a comprehensive overview of IT, not just focusing on React. During our classes, I used interesting research, presentations, and facts. After introducing React, we delved into practical projects, which were a highlight for participants. Feedback was positive, and many of them started to improve their experience in this field.

What leadership skills have you developed at BlueGrid so far?

Patience, patience, patience. 🙂 Additionally, understanding for both team members and authorities. It’s crucial to empathize with one another, offer support, and strive to uplift each other. That’s certainly one of the key lessons I learned from my time at BlueGrid.

Do you have any educational resources to recommend regarding your position?

Yes, I have. If you are a total beginner, is probably the best place where you can select the programming language you are interested in. It is very good for beginners. The second resource I would always suggest is Wait for a discount and buy a course you need followed by reviews. They are making great video lessons and I learned a lot from Udemy courses. 🙂 

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