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Life at Luxus - Jaan, Junior Web Developer

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by Luxus Worldwide
on

Jaan is a Junior Web Developer working at our Helsinki office and a self-proclaimed “die hard tech guy”. When he’s not living up to this nickname studying computer science or using his electric longboard, you can find him serving up his very own self-brewed beer! We recently got to talk to Jaan about his work at Luxus.  

life-at-luxus-jaan-taponen

Describe a typical work morning at the office but give it a try in the form of a Haiku. 

Repetitive task 

Still thinking about this task, 

Now automate it. 

Encapsulate your role at Luxus in just 3 words 

Automating QA dude. 

Picture this: You’re on your longboard, whizzing through a local park. You admire the sun shining and the beautiful trees along your path. But in the midst of your journey, you hear your phone ringing and stop to answer the call. The CEO of a popular craft brewery is on the end of the line. He informs you that your self-brewed beer has been tried and tested by his company. They want to sell your product to the nation as an exclusive brew! You agree to have a meeting with him to discuss this exciting news further.  

You arrive at your meeting, where the CEO speaks highly of your brew and says: “Tell me Jaan, what name do you think would suit your brew best? “ 

"The winds of change." 

Nice choice! Before your beer is released to the brewing fanatics of the world, the CEO wishes to make Luxus an offer. “Our company website needs a revamp. With your web development expertise, you might just be the perfect candidate for the job. Now I may be a CEO, but I'm new to all this digital stuff. Could you explain the fundamentals of good web development for a rookie like myself?” 

Well a big part of web development nowadays is learning what the latest and greatest is in the JavaScript library, which can be a pretty confusing thing to navigate through! I’m much more of a backend guy that gets fascinated by large amounts of calculation and data. But if I had to give some advice, it would be to think about your solutions beforehand. Consider how your solution might get effected if one of those pesky JavaScript lib dependencies runs out of data.  

Also, I find the process of transferring calculations from big servers to end user computers quite alarming. Sometimes you can visit a site and it can take up to 10 seconds for a good computer to load the page. But if you stripped the 40mb of JavaScript code the site would load in less than a second. 

To summarise; I find peace in simplicity. Design and execute your website/app in a way that it’s only using what is necessary. 

“Looks like I made the right choice” As the meeting continues, the two of you bond over your shared love of beer. The CEO tells you he is intrigued by your background. “How did you end up interested in the world of hops and ales?”  

Well I guess it’s similar story to most people involved with brewing. 

I started my studies at Tampere University a year ago and went to a few student events, which can sometimes include drinking a few beers. I think I developed the taste for better beers after drinking the same old cheap beer at those events.  

One day I was browsing reddit and saw the "r/homebrewing" subreddit. I decided to try make a batch of beer myself and it turned out pretty good. Although, the batch was pretty hard to brew since I had a pretty small apartment in Tampere. 

I’m looking forward to next year when I'll be at Aalto University (I transferred from Tampere University)I hear there’s huge brewery that students can use that’s not too expensive! It will certainly be an upgrade from my very basic tools that I have at home. 

“Interesting backstory you got there.” The CEO says, stroking his meticulously groomed goatee.  

Before the meeting finishes, he reveals “I’m a little nervous about going digital Jaan, what are some common mistakes companies make when upgrading their website that we should keep a look out for?”  

Be sure to include technical people when evaluating time and cost expectations. Ask the developers or technical team how the digital transformation is going to be implemented and if the provided cost and time estimates are realistic - or even possible to reach.   

Also, don’t fall into the slippery slope of doing things the fast way all the time when it comes to developing sites. It may seem like a good idea but if you always do things the fast way, maintaining your websites will quickly become your company’s biggest expense 

The meeting concludes and the CEO is happy with the knowledge you shared with him. You head home and wind down by enjoying a cool glass of your soon to be released "The winds of change" brew. Speaking of enjoyment, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of your role at Luxus?  

I think me being in an underdog role usually sets certain expectations on what I can bring to a companyAnd I think I have successfully proved that I have professional insight with many things, from server management to API development (+ many more). At Luxus I’ve always felt respected and listened to regardless of my junior job title. That is what I enjoy the most about my role here. I also like that as I have knowledge in multiple areas, I’m welcome to help other team members their own work too. 

The beer company release your product to the public and within months you build up quite the fanbase! You receive a call from the brewery CEO who is delighted with the success of the beer. He says the website you helped upgrade is performing so well, he’s going to hire some in house development personnel to keep on top of the ever-increasing demand. He hires you and Luxus as consultants. What advice would you give the inbound team on how to manage the high workloads so common among web developers?  

I would tell them to embrace the high workload and the learning curve of web development. In the tech world, there isn’t a field like web development, as you’re always learning something new. This is because lot of the time you’re discovering better ways to achieve what you want, so you’re learning as you work 

With that in mind, I try to use my high workload as a motivator to have a great work performance level. This is something I learned during my time in the military (conscription), where I cultivated some good habits for dealing with high workloads in a busy environment. 

We salute you Jaan!