Initiating change: React upskilling for colleagues
Initiating change: React upskilling for colleagues

Initiating change: React upskilling for colleagues

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React is one of the most popular libraries for a variety of projects worldwide. A lot of people consider switching to it or are already working with it. Viktor Dojchinovski, React developer at Symphony Solutions took the initiative and made up a whole 12-week React course to upskill his colleagues during quarantine and help them become experts in this popular technology.

1. How did your path in the IT field begin?

I started learning web technologies more than 10 years ago. At that time the Adobe tools for creating web content were very popular, so I have started to learn to code in, very popular at that time, ActionScript 3.0 programming language. Since it was very close to the JavaScript programming language, very soon I switched to JavaScript, which I don’t regret

2. What was your first programming job? What was the first project where you used React?

My first full-time programming job came at the beginning of 2015 and comprised mostly projects related with other programming languages like PHP, the Laravel framework, AngularJS. Then somewhere around the start of 2018, I started to learn React, and around the middle of 2019 started to work on production ready projects with React.

3. What do you enjoy most about your work as a programmer?

The real joy in my life really comes from other things, and on the other hand, I love my programming job because it keeps the brain healthy and young. It is scientifically proven that mentally active people keep their brains young even in the late years of their life.

4. You have recently started your own React course inside Symphony Solutions. How exactly did the idea of this course come about and who will benefit from it?

The idea for the course was born in this chaotic corona time when I thought that probably there is something that I can do to help my company to stay healthy. And really the idea of upskilling was, let’s say, the most logical one at that point. So, feeling really strong in the field of JavaScript and also React, I said to myself, “Ok, let’s go on and try this.” And thanks to other guys and girls in the company it became a reality.

5. What is special about this course?

Yeah, the course is part of our Symphony Academy. This course has two level groups, one group is advanced JavaScript developers that are experts in some other JS framework, and the other is for Junior to Middle JS developers or even for QAs. The main goal of this course is to upskill our company in the field of React and its surrounding ecosystem because the newest trends show that React is by far the number one library for creating complex front-end applications. We are using a hybrid model for conducting the classes, namely, most of the people are following the classes online, and a few developers are physically present together with me in the Symphony offices in Skopje. But we have the full potential to go 100% online without any obstacles.

6. What do you like about teaching?

Teaching is great. When you teach, you are at the same time a student, and also the students are your teachers. Strange, but really true… I think this simple sentence tells enough.

7. Do you teach somewhere else? How do you combine teaching others with your full-time job?

Yes, I am also a teacher at another academy in Skopje for beginners. It is a bit hard to organize the time schedules, and it really requires you to be concentrated and do things quickly and optimally, but all that actually helps you become a better professional and better person in the end.

8. How do you follow professional trends? How do you learn?

Learning is really a never-ending story. I read a lot of technical books, participate in events, summits… Trying to keep up with the community, with reading technical posts, technical portals and so on.

9. What skills and knowledge does one need to start working with React?

React is a JavaScript library, so it is logical that JavaScript is a must if you want to dive into React’s world. And knowing JavaScript means knowing a lot of technologies, like project building stuff, version control stuff, some basic networking principles and many more. As for how steep the learning curve may be, it really depends on many things, whether you are from the web development world, or maybe you are a JavaScript developer in some other framework… but essentially, React has developer friendly syntax, which is true for all of the newly developed technologies.

10. What are the biggest advantages of React compared to other technologies for you personally?

React has a very big advantage in comparison to other technologies, and that is that it is developed with declarative programming principles in mind. Hopefully, someone who works with React knows the meaning of this.

11.  What do you think are React key benefits over Angular?

Angular is a full-fledged framework, which is like yet another layer over JavaScript, and it is very frequently said that it is much more self-opinionated. I have also experience with Angular and I cannot say that it is worse or better than React (and its ecosystem). Both are made by the smartest men around, and both have the potential for building complex applications of any kind. Yet, the React developers have made a huge step forward by implementing the declarative way of programming in its full potential, which I see as an advance compared to Angular.

12. What’s your favorite joke about developers/IT industry? Tell us one.

A beautiful girl says to a programmer, “I will do anything for you…”

The programmer, “Ok… teach me JavaScript.”

13. What are your morning rituals at work?

Well, I don’t have rituals… I don’t drink coffee in the morning, I don’t smoke… Let’s say that drinking water a lot is my daily ritual.

If you’re a front-end developer and you want to pursue a career in React, make sure to check out the recent React vacancies at Symphony Solutions. 

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