Thought I would share with you my very first week experience as being a front end dev. Bear in mind my previous jobs before this were Army and Truck Driver, so this is my FIRST job in the industry or in a office at all! You may find some things easier.
What I do (Overview and what kinda work and the work flow you might be doing)
I am explaining this because I did not have a clue things worked like this at all. I thought we all just sat on a desk and coded from a spec haha!
Basically the firm I work for are like an agency, they have clients and lots of them, we do everything for them. We have a whole creative floor, a whole pay per click department, a whole dev department (my department) and a whole animation department.
The client needs something done, they either send us the PSD and we turn it into email/splash page/full website or amend things on emails and websites etc. OR creative make a psd template from whatever the client needs and send it to us to code up. We do it, send it to a testing department, who either send it to the client or send it back to us because something is not working. Sometimes we do the creative on small things. It is the first time I used photoshop this week, and first time slicing and arranging things from a psd. I highly advise trying it a bit before hand. It’s easy enough though.
Emails are HARD, the coding is easy but there are so many things that don’t work with different emails gmail/outlook etc. We use emailsonacid and campaign monitor. Basically tools that test the emails and makes content editable by the client. It is actually quite cool how it all works. Everything is inline css and there are NO divs. It is ALL nested tables.
One thing to consider learning is how everything works, especially git. Not what push, pull, fetch and commit etc does but actually try to use it.
if its a new build we create a directory on the server with all the images and psd etc then we make a repository then we do our thing commit it and push and then other people work on it too. We then FTP it up onto our server for the client to see. I looked like a right tool asking the senior dev how to use sourcetree (git) and how to use FTP and get my head around the server and where everything is located. So it is worth looking into these things, my week would of been ALOT easier if I had these down.
Luckily for me our senior dev is awesome, and they are fully aware it is my first job in the industry and my first office job. I did feel overwhelmed, quite a bit actually. Working of a psd and a spec for the first time I just felt the pressure. It is completely different working on codepen or locally and just using your imagination to do things. I thought I had a grasp on the basics HTML and CSS, but when things easily go wrong and you know people are purposely going to break your email/site its pressure. BUT I do enjoy it sooooo much. I love it!!! I have no doubts its just my confidence.
Atmosphere, office and equipement
This is my first office job, and I love it. We have free costa coffee machine (we can use whenever) and 1.5 hour break, taken whenever. Smoke breaks whenever. Not micro-managed at all. We get “tickets” (jobs) via a portal. With everything we need, psd, timescale and what the client needs. If it’s unclear you can just ping it back with questions and if something can’t be done, you ping it back explaining why you can’t do it exactly how the client wants it.
Could be for many reasons, gradient background on nested tables. Font’s we cant use (emails mainly). Or just not enough creative support.
We use macs, never ever touched a mac before this week. It’s embarrassing to ask how to use a mac, turn on the keyboard, how to navigate the file system and just the basics. ASK at the interview so you can research and play around. I am used to it now, and to be honest probably prefer it.
The office space is HUGE. We are not cramped in, nice shiney new MASSIVE macs. The rest of the dev team are super friendly. I would not of got through this one without them. It is everything you think it is! It really is. It’s amazing!