Digging Deeper: Front-end Development at Bornfight

In this edition of Digging Deeper, we sat down with Karlo, a Team Lead in our Front-end Development department, and got him to tell us more about what Front-end Development is like at Bornfight.


OK, Karlo. First question – let’s get straight to the point. What do Front-end Developers do at Bornfight, what’s your main focus?

OK, to keep it short and to the point. I always like to say that the work of a Front-end Developer fully revolves around all of the aspects that users can see in the browser. Regardless if we’re talking about a website, a web application or the entire UI – if an element can be seen by a user in a browser, you know a Front-end Developer had to create it based on design.

When you say ‘based on design’, what do you mean?

That means we get a static file from our design team, and our job is to make it alive. Everything from the layout, typography, animations, transitions… Every element that’s visible on that static file we receive from design – we Front-end Developers need to turn them into code. And that act of turning elements into code through HTML, CSS and JavaScript is what ‘makes it alive’ within the browser.

You mentioned HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Are those the only technologies you use?

HTML, CSS and JavaScript are the main client-side technologies. That means they are in most cases our primary focus and our go-to technologies when it comes to choosing the right ones for the project. They are extremely versatile and enable us to create anything within the browser, so I believe that having experience with HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a must.

Yeah, for Front-end projects we mostly work on, like advanced ‘creative’ websites, everything revolves around these three technologies.

Creative websites – what do you mean by that?

OK, we call them creative websites at Bornfight, but a more detailed description for this would be websites whose goal is to provide users with a special kind of experience. Whether it’s through animations, user interactions, 3D presentations or any other type of ‘creative’ approach – the goal is always to create something different, something that will make the users say wow and leave them wondering how that was created.

Could, for example, e-commerce websites that are primarily focused on conversion fall under this ‘creative’ category?

Of course, there is always a way to turn the process of buying a product into a great experience. And users expect it. Receiving a product is just a part of the overall experience – the other part is visiting the website, exploring, reading about products… And that became just as important as getting the product in the mail. That’s something we did for WOLACO some time ago – they are a great sports apparel brand with a great brand story, and we used the entire website to tell it to the world.

So, when we talk about those ‘creative’ project, are we talking exclusively about websites or is there something more?

At the time, yes. You see, our Front-end department is divided into two groups – one part of the team works on digital products and the other part works on those ‘creative’ projects. And a majority of those projects revolve around creating really advanced websites. From time to time, we tackle something more complex like interactive applications, and that is certainly a type of projects we’ll work on more in the future, but websites are our strong point and the type of projects where we have the most experience.

Let’s switch it up a bit. Tell me a bit about your Team Lead position.

Well, as a team lead, I’m mostly focused on the entire creative part of Bornfight’s Front-end Development. That primarily revolves around taking care of projects and making sure they’re up to our standard, as well as mentoring people who work on that type of projects and making sure they can grow both professionally and personally.

Nice. Tell me how do you inspire yourself. What sources do you follow?

Ever since I started with Front-end Development, I’ve been going through all of the new websites that won site of the day on Awwwards, FWA, CSS Design Awards… That’s my main source of inspiration and motivation. I just love seeing what people across the world are doing within this field – I love inspecting all of the single elements, trying to find out how others made them work, what challenges they needed to solve, what new trends or technologies are they implementing… I believe following what’s going on in the industry is really important if a Front-end Developer wants to stay on top of its game.

Great. Let’s go a bit deeper. What are your expectation from other members of the Front-end team?

You know how they say – I’m strict, but fair. Man, that sounds so cheesy. OK, let’s keep it serious – the most important element I expect from other team members is that everyone gives their max. That is my number 1 priority. As a mentor and a team lead, I’ll do my best to help them get enough knowledge and experience needed to work on projects, and I’ll also help them meet the quality standards we are always going for, but that mindset of wanting to push forward and dig deeper when you encounter challenges, that’s what I really appreciate. Yeah, we have deadlines, we have challenging projects… unpredictable problems can occur, but that mindset of always trying to give their best is what turns good Front-end Developers into excellent ones.

Another thing I expect from other team members is to approach every project as if they were doing it for themselves – that’s the thing that leads to people loving their jobs, having fun and ultimately creating something truly amazing. If a person is passionate about their job and enjoys doing it – I find that even more important than knowing hundreds of technologies or libraries. As I said, that willingness to dig deeper and do the best you can… that’s the key!

If you had to describe the ideal Front-end Developer, what would that person be like?

Ideal Front-end Developers are first and foremost great team players – they can share the vision with other members of the team, they are willing to learn and share what they learned with others. They also need to know how to use the right side of the brain and they need to know how to make that creative juices flow. Having an eye for details and a feel for aesthetics is also very important – we can’t just code something out and leave it, Front-end Development revolves around creating solutions that are both functional and eye-pleasing.

And the last thing is a critical mindset – you need to constantly ask questions because that leads to even better solutions!

Let’s switch it up again. What is it that Bornfight can offer new Front-end Developers, why would anyone want to join our Front-end team?

Well, the most important thing we can offer Front-end Developers is the chance to work on extremely interesting projects that will help them grow their development skills. Projects that will challenge them to learn new ways to approach problems, projects that have a bigger cause, projects that help our clients and partners solve their business problems, and projects that will ultimately help Front-end Developers win various industry-related awards. That’s the cherry on top – projects and websites we work on are often named as some of the best worldwide, and getting that recognition from industry-experts is truly an amazing feeling.

These are all the things that drive me personally. When you have a chance to do something great, when that solution you created can help others, and when someone else recognizes just how much you put into that solution. That combination is the ultimate driver, the ultimate push that incites you to do your best on every new project.

OK, last question. What’s the vision of the Front-end team, what are some of aspects you’ll focus on in the next period?

Well, the vision is to work more on projects that enable us to showcase the full potential of new technologies like 3D and WebGL. Also, we’ll focus on establishing and optimizing our internal processes – that will be very important because our team is constantly growing and we need to make sure our processes are as streamlined as possible.

In general, I think that all of us in the team are aligned with the main vision of creating projects that help people and provide them with great experiences. That’s the main thing that drives our team, and that’s why we’re always looking for new people who want to do the same!