By Ana Basílio
Hello! My name is Ana Basílio and I am an avid Software Developer. While I have been primarily focused on Frontend Development, I am also curious and have already worked in other areas that make up our tech world.
The field of technology has always fascinated me, but it hasn’t always been my safe haven since the beginning. It took some time, dedication, and courage to let myself be completely involved in what would become my professional ground of choice and passion.
In this blog post, I will briefly describe my journey into the world of engineering development, focusing more on what has been my experience working at Infraspeak.
Background and First Steps
Providing some context about my educational background, I hold a degree in Computer Engineering, followed by a Master’s degree in Software Engineering. While I haven’t always been fond of software development, it has become one of my passions. I believe this field is where you either love what you do or find it difficult to enjoy. There is a period of adjustment where it becomes clear whether this is the right path for you. For me, it became evident that a career in this technical field was something I wanted to pursue.
In my college days, more precisely in my first year, my favourite subjects were all related to mathematics. Everything related to programming was very complex and challenging for me to understand. This not-so-great relationship between me and programming started to change as soon as I understood the basics and came up with solutions to problems on my own. My grades in these types of programming-related subjects also improved considerably; it didn’t take long for that to happen. Midway through my sophomore year, my relationship with programming was now one of curiosity and patience.
Reaching the end of my educational path, with a Master’s degree almost completed and also after completing a curricular internship, I was now ready for the next phase — starting my professional career in the field, one with many doubts and few certainties.
When I was still finishing my Master’s degree I started working as a Fullstack Developer in a startup. In the beginning, I felt that each day was a discovery and learned a lot during that time. However, as time went by and even though I learned a lot, there were some aspects of team management and agile development methodologies that I had not experienced yet.
So after some internal thoughts, my conclusion was that I needed to explore more in this field and find a different professional context for myself, especially in that early stage of my professional career.
At that time, and having been in the same company for almost two years, I started looking for some other options that would better fit my ambitions.
The Start of a New Journey
While browsing through the job sections on LinkedIn, to find a new professional challenge, I came across Infraspeak. This company’s mission was great, and its technical stack also matched what I was looking for. But, what caught my attention, was the sense of culture described in the job proposal. As a result, I decided to apply for their job offer for the Frontend Developer position.
After the first interviews with different team members from different departments, it became clear that the key point of this company was really its culture. “Be a Source of Good Life” was their main motto. And indeed that was the case. Long story short, I was accepted, very excited and looking forward to starting my new journey with them.
In the first weeks of onboarding and getting to know my team, I felt, from all the departments that Infraspeak holds, a strong desire to mentor, help, and teach others. The communication was very fluid and we could be in touch with everyone. This type of horizontal hierarchy organisation speeds up any question/answer process we might have, regardless of context.
When we find ourselves in an environment with this type of work mentality, our adaptation process within the company will likely become an easier path to navigate.
Some weeks passed, and the emotion of learning new things and adapting to new processes was still very much alive. I was learning new ways of programming, applying best practices, and working in an environment driven by engineering principles. In such a short time, I interacted with many of the subjects that I was curious to understand before joining the company. And because of that feeling, I understood that I had a lot to learn or experience, and that was the best part!
My daily work is focused on developing and maintaining Infraspeak’s main web platform. Our technological stack for the Frontend side revolves around Vue.js with Typescript, HTML, SASS, Jest, and many other tools. Nowadays, the Frontend development spectrum is where I feel the happiest to work and where I want to improve my knowledge and grow.
The Path of Adaptation and Evolution
The sense of guidance and mutual help between teams was evident, but so was the technical complexity and scope of the product. It took a couple of months for me to fully integrate with our codebase and achieve autonomy and independence within the project.
Understanding the product’s core functionalities, not-so-core ones, and business logic was not an easy task. Even these days it’s still an unfinished task and it will always be a bit like this. New things are being implemented, specs grow and new adaptations to functionalities are being built every day. It’s a daily job to keep updated with our platform growth, but today I feel much more comfortable regarding product knowledge.
Today, two years later, I am the one who guides new team members and also transmits to them the importance of the motto that we follow. Mentorships, weekly meetings, code reviews, and shadowing sessions, among other moments of interaction, are the mechanisms used to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and interaction between team members. These moments of interaction provide an easy way to always stay in touch, even if we can’t be physically close to each other. Infraspeak is a company that follows a remote-first format, so working from home is more than a valid option.
Some Final Thoughts
I must say that today I feel like a fundamental part of the Infraspeak team and, above all, respected within the company. I highly value a good work environment because it can greatly impact our lives. So never give up looking for a job that makes you happy and fulfilled.
Bonus point: Don’t forget that it’s important to surround yourself with people who can help you evolve and learn new things every day. As the saying goes:
“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius
If you want to achieve the best and build your path to personal and professional evolution, adopting this mindset can be extremely helpful. Learning from the experiences of others is the best way to learn what to do and what to avoid doing (or not).