Nice to meet you all, big round of applause for FINE for hosting this.
I thought the weather was going to hold out, maybe? I’m still getting use to the west coast.
I’m Drew, I’m new here. This is my first time talking in Portland.
Quick poll, who likes hockey? who's a sharks fan?
I’m from Pittsburgh, PA. Hope of the Stanley cup champions
I have a wife and two great danes with a child on the way! this is the same amount of construction you would see going into pittsburgh
My wife and I packed all our shit, along with two great danes and drove across the country to come to this wonderful city.
my goal here today is to pass on my experiences to hopefully help you or at least give you the satisfaction that you did something way better than i did.
Back in october, i took a position at Liquid Agency
at the time, my title may have well of been “The web team”
Client facing, UX, Design consult, full-stack dev, dev ops, etc.
Coming in, we were planning on building out a grand team. This is how we started though.
My boss and I, the oldest love story in the books.
Not to dis him, but he was involved in a lot of high level stuff, and we didn’t have a lot of time to talk about what i was doing.
Winging it so hard.
NOT TO BE TRUSTED
This may not even be a good way of doing things, i have no frame of reference.
All images are from unsplash.com a free stock photo site, with awesome things.
“I want to build cool stuff!” Prove you know what you’re doing to get rewarded for it.
Don’t be like a millennial be frustrated when you’re not doing your dream job on day 1. when we did start building from the ground up, we needed a plan.
BACK TO BASICS:
At the start, we had all the contractors
maybe i’m showing my age by not wanting to implement the latest jeckyl, yeomen, framework heavy workflow I can think of.
Current KICKSTART - SASS/JS/Grunt framework
Discuss landing on a backend and attempt to stick to it, more CMS options, mean more spin up time and we don’t have that.
working on a catch-all wordpress install that can be deployed with our kickstarter as a base theme.
The Sad State of Web Development — Medium
Pushing code you don’t understand has consequences.
Tell story about breaking ernest prod server, multiple times.
Note lack of clear pipeline lead to mistakes overzealousness of wanting to do good work ahead of QA was the problem, what if I don’t understand it?
next: ask for help
Tell story about fighting with PHP, give intro then show example.
Who knows what this does?
Super easy right?
checks for cookie, if not redirects you.
So that + 2 other sites with no process leads to Drew being a sad overworked developer.
i was pushing 60 hours a week, with no process for communication from the client team to me and for how I was suppose to push code out.
set a schedule for code pushes, defend it to the death
set boundaries, check email twice a day, don’t make yourself available after 8
Don’t forget that our jobs are fucking cool.
We were hired cause we know what we’re doing
Next: don’t lose your passion
Take time for yourself.
Most weekends i’m on a mountain with my wife and dogs. I don’t answer email.
I’ve talked a lot about personal growth, cause we didn’t actually start getting our team together till very recently. But in a short time, I’ve had a lot of growing to do. how about what it means to be in a position where other people depend on you?
PICK THE RIGHT PEOPLE
There wasn’t much guidance on my role in this adventure. Here are a few lessons I learned, some the hard way.
A disclaimer before we begin though.
PICK THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Everyone wants to look at places like happy cog and say “we need to be like them to make this work” truth is, you’re nowhere near that level of complexity or staffing.
Only take what you need. It took us many months and many candidates to fill the two open roles we had at the time.
While I wanted to throw bodies at the problem, I’m glad we waited until the right candidates came along.
that being said, my first question when I started was when does the cool work start?
We have a great team now, the transition from a lone wolf to an actual process can be rough
let it go.
PM filters all requests, sends me an email at the end of the day
I use to get an average of 20 emails a day (3000), its down to 3
Its hard to give up the life you’re accustomed to, no matter how bad it was, you soon realize you need to focus on what matters
WORK WITH OTHERS
I’ve never had developers under me. I still don’t, but I do manage a lot of contractors, and value their feedback.
Be honest. I’m not the best, That window has closed. There are better dev out there. respect peoples time, and education. - talk about blather bruner and them burning out kids.
So your junior developer broke everything, huh?
Don’t throw them under the bus, you’re here to mentor.
Also teach responsibility (make them a sign)
We’re not out of the woods yet, there are miles to go before we sleep.
My wife would be thrilled if I was happy working at a giant company with thousands of developers, they don’t have to work on weekends usually.
Each and every one of us believes in what we’re doing.
I appreciate this group therapy session, I hope you learned something.
I don’t know anyone out here. Lets drink beer and talk about code, or anything really.
So you want to build a web team?
So you want to build
a web team?
I’m Drew Parroccini
I’m from Pittsburgh, PA
Disclaimer: This talk represents my personal views and in no way represents Liquid Agency’s views, ideals, or anything at all.
“Please guys/girls, just take a step back every
now and then. How does rewriting your interface
in the latest framework get you to the next
customer? Or the next 50 customers. Does it
actually make your customers happier?”
- Drew Hamlett