Five Weeks In

I’m now about five weeks into my new job, working as a front end developer at a startup in Newton called appScatter. So far, I’m liking it a lot.

I really like working with the guys I’m working with. Rami is warm and friendly, knowledgeable, and laughs easily. Mike is smart and enthusiastic and very positive; his style is to encourage rather than enforce. Mark is even newer than I am, and I’m still getting to know him, but he dove right; he’s enthusiastic and inquisitive.

Unlike my old job, this position is strictly front end; I’m building a single page app using AngularJS, and it’s been quite an adjustment. I knew nothing of Angular before; I spent part of the week before I started boning up, and felt I understood it at a conceptual level, but of course, practice was another matter. Once I actually started digging into it, I was fighting syntax the whole way. Every stupid little thing — and it was always the little things; the big things were relatively easy — seemed to take forever. I wasn’t used to the Angular style of passing functions around in the arguments of functions; it didn’t help that I was moving from a fairly plain text editor (Homesite) to Sublime, which autocompletes quotes and parentheses and brackets, and doesn’t select text quite the way I was used to. So I was ending up with extra or missing quotes and brackets and parentheses, and was in JavaScript Hell for a few weeks. It didn’t help that I’d given wildly optimistic estimates for my tasks, based on how I would have done them the old way.  I feel like I’m gaining on it now, and the last few pieces I’ve added have come along a lot more easily. I’m spending more of my time on the fun little details of smoothing out the user experience, and less on the basics. I’ll have a lot more to say about Angular, I’m sure.

The other adjustment I’ve had to make is not having access to the server or the database to help myself on the client side. In ColdFusion, the basic generation of the page is done on the server, usually by cfoutputting a query, often one I wrote myself. Now, I’m making web service calls, getting the data, placing the data in Angular’s model layer, and letting it handle the display.

The commute is shorter than the commute to Rhode Island, by about 20 – 40 minutes each way. About the only thing I miss are the people and my sunset rides along the East Bay Bike path.