Working as a full stack developer during and after my studies, I was able to collect enough knowledge and experience about Web development to take the next step. After developing the first couple of projects with VueJs it was clear to me that I want to work in a company where VueJs belongs to the main tech stack. Working as full stack has many advantages, however due to the constant switch between FE and BE, it makes it hard to focus on a specific technology. Therefore I decided to search for a position in which VueJs belongs to the main tech stack.
For the first Interview, there was a one-on-one meeting with the Head of Frontend. At that time, I was wondering if it is normal that there is a Head of Frontend. From my previous job, friends and colleagues, I knew that there is a director responsible for all the developers. Later I found out that this is a valuable approach. In that meeting, we talked about my experiences, why I want to start a new position, and when I can start.
Until here there was not a big difference from other interviews I had by then.
After the evaluation of the first interview I received an invitation to the second meeting, a “get to know each other day”. This appointment, as well as all of the other meetings during the application process was online. From this part, I started to feel the difference with other companies I applied for. It was a long but relaxed and friendly couple of hours.
„Team get together“ – this was the highlight of the day
I was welcomed by a Scrum Master at the beginning of the day who gave me some information about the day’s agenda and how each meeting is planned. Then I had a 1-on-1 with a colleague from the People and Culture team (HR) followed by a longer “team get together” where we were able to get to know each other in a game. This was the highlight of the day because it was designed in a way that both the team and I could ask our questions. There were questions from hobbies to “why do I have a Scrum Master certificate”. After I started the position I found out that most of the participants in that meeting were my team members.
For the third and the shortest meeting, I had an one-on-one meeting with the director of IT.
Later during the day, a DEV Talk was planned. It was a meeting where two senior developers were asking technical questions to me. On my suggestion, I held a short Dev Talk about one of my projects which I had developed with VueJs. During the presentation, I answered some questions and could show which experiences I had with VueJs.
In the last meeting of the day, we had a one-on-one with the Head of Frontend who asked about the process and was curious if everything worked well.
…there were at least 12 people I met that day which was way better than classic interviews…
I had a good feeling after all the sessions because I knew more about the company and the people who are working there. It was also clear that the people I met did not fully represent every person at meinestadt.de but there were at least 12 people I met that day which was way better than classic interviews where you get to meet a maximum of 3 people with whom you are not going to work directly anyways.
Day 1 @meinestadt
The first day of my contract was also the first time I was in the headquarters of meinestadt.de. Like many other offices during the pandemic, there were not so many people there. However, it didn’t even take more than half an hour until I received my technical devices such as Laptop, adapters, and headset.
After that, the Head of Frontend showed me my desk in the office (very well decorated) where all of the team members would sit if there was no pandemic. Two of my team members were also in the office which was nice. We could grab a bite for lunch together on that day. Having two monitors, a magic keyboard, and a mouse belong to a standard workstation nowadays however I have experienced different situations as well. At meinestadt.de these “toys” are also standard and I didn’t have to write an official request with three signatures under it to get them.
It is a proper Café with a menu and a professional Barista.
Another point which was also very nice was the Café on the first floor, which is exclusively for meinestadt.de employees. I’m not talking about some benches and a coffee machine. It is a proper Café with a menu and a professional Barista. One of those in which you can have your favorite coffee with different milk types.
To sum it up, the whole first day gave me the feeling that the company’s atmosphere is a friendly and relaxed one.
My first tasks
I started the first tasks within the first 2 hours after my start. There were a bunch of Jira tickets that every new Frontend dev goes through at the beginning. They are actual to-do’s that help you to get a better understanding of the products for which your team is responsible. In my team, we are responsible for dating, events, outdoor activities and automotive. These tasks indeed helped me to understand the structure of the product and work myself through it. Every now and then, I still take a look at my notes and diagrams from that time to refresh the big picture of the product for myself.
The day-to-day business is not much different from any other scrum team. Daily, Refinement, Retro, Planning and Review, all belong to the two weeks sprints. However, the tasks are very interesting. We were lucky enough to start as the first team with a big migration. For this project, we mainly use Vue2 + Composition API, TypeScript, SCSS, Jest, Storybook, and Tailwind.
After almost four weeks of working at meinestadt.de, many other new starters and I were invited to the “Welcome Days”. It was an interesting event because of two main reasons: One, we had the opportunity to get to know everything starting from the history of the company up to the current business model and sales numbers along with much other information about the products. Two: Since sessions were more of a conversation than only presenting the company, we could ask lots of questions and suggest new ideas besides making the first connections with colleagues from other departments.
My personal conclusion
In conclusion, I would like to mention that in this article I only mentioned the most important points to me at meinestadt.de and there are many other aspects that can be covered in depth such as Academies, transportation ticket, team support, and many other factors but for the sake of length and readability of the article I excluded them.
To sum it up, changing to meinestadt.de was worth it for me by all means. Now I am working with the tech stack I wanted to get better at, I can see and experience how a small/midsize company works and have new challenges to overcome.