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My first year as a frontend developer at Triple

Tech Lead Triple

This blog is written by Rick Buter, frontend developer at Triple.

My name is Rick and 1 March 2022 was a milestone date for me: my one-year anniversary as a Triple employee. Looking back now, I have gone through a true transformation, developing from recent graduate to professional web developer. I am doing things now that I never would have thought possible back then. How did that happen? It came naturally, to be honest. Through this blog, I would like to share my development over the past year with you.

The real deal

After successfully completing my Communication & Multimedia Design studies at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) I took my first steps into the business world: a full-time job at Triple. I had already worked a full-time job for a while between my third and fourth year of studying, but at Triple I felt that this was the real thing.

The aspect that made this somewhat challenging was the fact that I started in the middle of a lockdown. Fortunately, my nerves quickly disappeared as a result of the warm reception. My colleagues really made an effort to put me at ease and make me feel welcome. I was allowed to work in the office every day for two weeks and the colleagues who were working from home took turns to come to the office a few days a week. This way, there were never too many people in the office together, yet I still got to know everyone ‘live’.

The induction process

As a result of a gradual build-up of responsibilities, I did not experience any pressure or stress. I was given a few weeks to get acquainted with the way of working at Triple. I already knew the terms Scrum, Jira and ticketing systems, but I had never worked with them before professionally. Getting to know how we use these principles in our work laid a good foundation for the rest of my career.

The tech stack we work with was already somewhat familiar to me. However, my knowledge of React.js, for example, was a bit rusty. Fortunately, I was given all the time I needed to brush up on it and to familiarise myself with the latest developments in the platform.

The first project I worked on, the Triple app, had been a conscious choice. The advantage of starting with an internal project is that there is less pressure from a waiting customer. That provides you with more time to get started. Knowledge definitely sticks better absorbed at your own pace. Step by step, I familiarised myself with the working methods, the techniques and the system we use to assess adjustments to web apps. A great system that provides you with directly applicable, useful feedback on your work.


First project for a major Dutch streaming service

As a member of a dedicated multidisciplinary team, I spend most of my hours working for a large Dutch streaming service. Again, the introduction went gradually, step by step. Before I was assigned any real tasks, I participated in the daily stand-ups. These are short standing meetings in which we discuss plans, divide tasks, spar about challenges and keep the others informed of progress. I got to know the clients and listened carefully to find out what was going on in the project. The way the teams of the major Dutch streaming service and Triple worked together surprised me. It’s not as if everyone is working on their own tasks in silos, there really is a shared sense of responsibility for the entire process. Great to see!

My first task was to solve a number of relatively simple bugs. Not the most exciting task, but an ideal way to read up on the code and to get to know the project. Now that I am taking on bigger things, I still benefit from this. My direct colleagues at web development invested a lot of time in supporting me. This really helped me to quickly master the project.

Onboarding for multiple projects

When I was ready, the team involved me in an increasing amount of projects, short-term as well as ongoing ones. These included, for example, the Triple website, a regional public broadcaster, an apple cider brand and a TV channel.

An interesting project to highlight is the regional public broadcasting company, because it is such a versatile project. At the streaming service, my focus is mainly on one component of the whole, namely video. At the regional public broadcaster, my tasks span a much broader range. I work for them on SEO, accessibility, performance and redesign. We do the frontend and the backend. I learned so many new things in this project. Server-side rendering using Next.js, for example, which was something completely new to me at that time.

For the regional public broadcaster, I also started off with smaller tasks like fixing bugs and redesigning smaller components. After a few weeks, I was able to handle larger features. New pages, search functions, larger redesigns and improvements in accessibility. And now? Now I am actually the only web developer at Triple who works for this broadcaster. Most of their online touchpoints now have my code behind them.

Why I like working at Triple

Commitment is the word that first comes to mind when describing the culture within the organization, despite starting my job during a hard lockdown. Obviously, it was more difficult to fully experience the Triple culture at that time. What really struck me about all of the people, from developers to management, was their commitment, both on projects and on a personal level. They helped out with complex issues or stopped by for a warm chat. What also helped were the (many!) surprise packages that were delivered to employees’ homes. Every single time, they gave me a smile on my face and a feeling of true appreciation.

When you work for Triple, you can be sure that there is always plenty of focus on your personal development. Every eight weeks, I discuss the past period with my managers and we look ahead to the coming weeks. These are open dialogues in which I receive constructive feedback on my technical skills and also on topics like communication and collaboration. My input is extremely important here, and I can make these conversations as valuable as I want them to be. If you take your development seriously and spend time preparing, you will make great progress at Triple.

Now that the lockdown has been lifted, more people are going back to the office. There is more room to socialize again. Triple is known for its fantastic Friday afternoon drinks. This is an element that I personally value enormously. Now that they have started up again, I can confirm their good reputation. The first couple of parties since the lockdown have already been celebrated and as far as I’m concerned, they can go down in the books as a great success. I am already looking forward to the next parties!

The transformation

I went from student to professional in just one year. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be the only web developer working for a regional public broadcaster, I would have broken out in a cold sweat. But as a result of the gradual build-up in the onboarding process, I experienced little stress and feel like this role fits me like a glove.

Seeing my changes go live and experiencing satisfied customers are the things that give me great satisfaction. And I did not just grow my technical skills. Moving around as an employee in a large organization, dealing with A-customers and collaborating with them; these are skills that I have gained for life. These skills include communication, planning, responsibility, persuasion and much more.

And this is just the beginning. For the future, I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, but I am already orienting myself in two directions, a technical and a conceptual one. Luckily, I am receiving guidance from several people who are genuinely interested to be involved. I hope that my goals will become increasingly clear in the coming year. In any case, Triple has plenty of opportunities for growth as an organization. When you show ambition here, everyone is ready to help you.

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