Skill Gaps

A Website by Mobile Devs? How Hard Could It Be?

Damien Cavaillès’s developer team brought in a junior web developer who immediately threw everything that they worked on into the trash. Virtually starting over, Damien and his team came together to learn new libraries and techniques to build a site that help developers in their job search.


Lee Ngo 0:03
Hello everyone and welcome to educative sessions. My name is Lee Ngo and I am the Community Manager here at educative educated makes it easy for authors to provide interactive and adaptive courses for software developers, and educators Sessions is a multi episodic campaign to engage people in the developer world about their coding experiences. My guest today is Damian Tobias, who is the founder of we love devs calm, and Damien would like to talk about building a website that helps developers find a job they love. They mean Welcome to the show.

Damien Cavaillès 0:37
and nice to have me Thank you. 

Lee Ngo 0:42
Alright, Damien, let's begin, you know, let's start at the beginning of who you are and what you do. So what do you do? And what does your company do, especially in the mobile space?

Damien Cavaillès 0:53
So the mobile space we are, we are not working as mobile developers anymore, but me and my co founder, and we used to be mobile developers, for example, I've been working on a retail app like we have kind of drives through, store up you, you correct your, or you make your order on mobile phones, and you get your groceries to the grocery stores, with your car, and to deliver it to your trunk. When working with cars, I don't like having devices connected to your car and your smartphone is getting old fetching older data. And my co founder has been working in San Francisco in startups like Francesco, so whereas there is mobile money going in and stuff like this. Yeah.

Lee Ngo 1:38
Wonderful. Yeah. So now, what you wanted to talk about today, I thought was honestly a little bit odd, and maybe beyond belief, which is you wanted to build a website. But for some reason, as mobile developers, this was a lot easier said than done. Can you take us a little bit through about why this was a struggle for you and your team? Yeah. So

Damien Cavaillès 2:04
I think last time, we started working on the website, it was something like 2016. And at this time, we were still using the technologies like bootstrap and jQuery, jQuery, maybe using NERICA. And it's pretty much all done. But these were the one we learned at school. So as the one we were using before, so so we use them because pretty much walks out of the box. And we recently started to work on a larger app. And we took some technologies like react but our mainly main reason to use react is was because Airbnb Airbnb was using it and it was cool at the time. So basically no reason to use it. So far, it has been a good a good reason to to pick react, because

Lee Ngo 3:01
Are you serious? Was that the reason why you wanted to use react was because airbnb Yeah. And yeah, no other functional? Okay. I'm really trying not to make fun, but I can't think of any of the thoughts in my head right now.

Damien Cavaillès 3:13
Actually, actually, it was a good reason. Because since Airbnb and Facebook as it were using it, it got mainstream. So now it's done. Is it I agree, people using react? Okay, fair enough. So fair enough.

Lee Ngo 3:29
So yeah, but yeah. So you know, you were kind of familiar with other technologies. But you wanted to jump into something, was it specifically, you were looking for a react developer to make your site a lot more? I guess, especially given that react is designed specifically for that flexibility between mobile and web, is that correct.

Damien Cavaillès 3:51
And we'd love to have that come. There's no mobile app, because we don't see a point of having one. But as mobile developers, it was more easy because there is class object on things like this. There is life cycles, you know. And so it was easier to understand that to build something. And we use Firebase on react to have something working in a week or so. And we we use the UI kit. So it was not early at all. It was pretty much working here in seven days. And we were pretty much okay with it. And people were using it a lot. We are we already have auto firing person using our app. And it was basically like a CV, CV store or you have it's like a store with people on your new pickup resume on it. And at some point, we started to add the company pages on it so developers can read them before getting yours their resume inside of the app. And now we are basically your job board. is a with more content like videos on the fly this one we walk, we are we have a movie maker in our team. He goes to companies and makes videos with them. So it's much larger than this. And react is not is not any more good pick because we want it to be server side rendered. We want Google to crap out of this. Gotcha.

Lee Ngo 5:22
So you know, when it came to helping you build this particular site like you realize you needed to bring in someone else to support you. Tell us a little bit more about this person. And what was the experience like bringing them on board?

Damien Cavaillès 5:35
Yeah. So first person we hired was a very young person, he went to see us in person, and he was 17 year old and was looking for an apprenticeship. 

Lee Ngo 5:51
And you brought an 18 year old to build your website.

Damien Cavaillès 5:55
He was actually very fond of what we were doing. And I had yet built some kind of a shadow copy of our websites during his his his cool walk. And he was looking at first for like four months of internship, unpaid internship. And we told him, yeah, your graduation should come up and agenda. After a few weeks, he was really fond of the things he didn't he didn't know about Git or react. But he knew about web design. And he knew about CSS. And as a mobile developer, I still don't understand the ISO, standard CSS, I don't know how forking works, doesn't make any sense how CSS is working. Most people have that same sentiment, even when they consider themselves CSS professional. 

Lee Ngo 6:45
Don't feel too bad. So it sounds like this person was I mean, very young. But how were they able to be successful in building the site that you were looking for?

Damien Cavaillès 7:02
First of all, he was very tenacious, you he really wanted to use Flexbox. And he was really saying that bootstrap was out of date. And he built things to show us that Flexbox was a great idea. And, you know, I think in a few months or so, there was no more bootstrap animoji query on our website. And it was mainly react and jSs is like CSS between react. And I mean, it just is just, you just build things. It was working, and we kept on with it. And we just took care to make sure that he is taking good habits, making reasonable code and feel like this is a coaching we can do as experienced developer, even if even if we don't know CSS.

Lee Ngo 7:55
So how are you? You know, it sounded like you were giving him a lot of latitude to really build the things that you bring your entire work up to the modern era, as you know, a founder of this company, how did you make that leap of faith when it comes to letting a 17 year old person looking for an apprenticeship? You know, bring your entire website into the modern era?

Damien Cavaillès 8:22
Well, I think he knew what he was doing. He was, he was so happy to have an opportunity to build something right, something he is going to be proud of. And I think if if he was going to be proud of what he was building, it would do the job, it would be great. And to be honest, even if we weren't we, we bet online was crappy. There was people living it and people using it on a daily basis. And the welder loving what we were what we were building every day. So when you started adding new features, people loved them. So it was a such easy, try baby steps start with baby steps on get to larger steps.

Lee Ngo 9:08
Fair enough, fair enough. And I think it's great that you know, what I like? What I find encouraging when it comes to a lot of coding environments is that there's a lot of space for trial and error. And it sounds like you have the philosophy of someone who if you want to help someone become successful, you have to give them the space to potentially fail and just trust that they will get there. Would you say as someone who you know oversees a company that is there to support developers in general? Is that a guiding philosophy for you?

Damien Cavaillès 9:43
For me, it's it's a way you have to manage the developers to make sure I understand what the users the mixture understands the business impact. And developers will always create greater value is understand which which Always shows how it creates value for the people, actually, for the users first company.

Lee Ngo 10:06
What are some lessons learned and wisdom that you've gained as a founder in this particular scenario that you think would be great for other founders and other coders and other managers as well that are in this space?

Damien Cavaillès 10:20
First of all, what I learned to school wasn't up to date anymore on a young person went to school, who was just out of school was learning fresher things than me. So he knew better about about what, what we should do on on this specific area. And my job, my job as a manager is to make sure this person delivers fully full product on potential I to do this, I just given care, and yeah, sort of care and consideration. Maxim delivers our full potential. So one thing is that even if a website is not great, even if if you're not proud of your code, if it if it's useful to people, and they keep using it. Since day one, we had people telling us it is aware that we're having a bad time, or looking for a job and our website was ripping. We have people finding, finding a job as they actually love on our website. And I think those daily feedback kept us walking back for every day on a daily basis. And now we are we are looking more than 200 people to find a 200 developers to find a developer jobs they love every month. And there's been a long way. But it's it's still the same crappy, old code that is making sure this is running the machine. And there is better people working on it now than me. If you build something people love them. They won't care about about the coming test. I don't feel like this.

Lee Ngo 12:03
Gotcha. Gotcha. Well, they mean, that was wonderful to say. And I think that kind of sentiment is I mean, it's a romantic sentiment. But I think that's an okay thing to have. In fact, we should probably have more of that in the coding world. We are just about actually at the end of our session. But Damian, I wanted to give you as we do with all of our guests an opportunity to talk about whatever you like you'd call it a shameless plug, call it a shout out to whomever the floor is yours for you to talk about. Anything that you wish, so go for it.

Damien Cavaillès 12:35
Well, I don't know how it's going. I we always going outside of France about this. But what I see every day is that newcomers to code to development, software development, software engineering says they don't get enough consideration to me. And I think that in every team, there should be young people and there should be apprentice and new people and we should consider them mentors. And I think having younger people like this, our newcomers are making us a better person. And I think everybody should I have people who are just freshmen, just them because we're going to be your greatest bands.

Lee Ngo 13:22
I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I'm ready to make that leap. But you are a much braver person than I am Damien Cavalli, yes. Thank you so much for taking the time especially you know, out of different time zones this time around to speak with us here at educative and I want to thank everybody for listening or watching to the show as well. Please pay attention to our YouTube channel and our pod cast channel and also our various social medias for our next talk coming up and please sign up for these live shows as well as are quite fun to interact with. And a final plug. If you want to learn more about what we do at educative check us So for all of us here at educative happy learning. Thank you all so much. Goodbye. Goodbye. Thank you for watching this episode of educative sessions. If you liked this episode, please like it and share it with your community to stay informed about the latest sessions subscribe to our podcast at educated sessions dot pod bean comm You can also check out our vid casts on YouTube as well. Lastly, if you're tech curious, check us happy learning everyone

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