Juha-Pekka Ylisela, one of our Senior Web Developers at CLICKON London, talks about some game changing tips and his part in building the ground-breaking CLICKON iQ product.
At CLICKON, JP...
- Creates, designs and maintains the web applications and mobile apps.
- Interacts with other parts of the company, such as management, sales and production to improve CLICKON software products.
- Mentors junior developers and improves the development processes.
What are your time saving tips for other web developers?
- Always consider using a third-party library, if one exists, before writing complex functionality from the ground up.
- Write readable code: good naming, comments, and documentation. Sounds obvious, but it will save a lot of time in the long run.
- Always focus on getting things done instead of getting stuck into minor details. I find a to-do list very helpful or other productivity tools to help focus the mind.
What does your typical day look like?
I usually grab a cup of coffee and start with going through my emails, to see if there are any urgent issues our team needs to deal with. These can include direct emails or notifications from our various monitoring tools.
Next I may move on to reviewing the code submitted by another developer, and discuss any possible changes that are required.
After this, it's time for me to put on my noise-cancelling headphones, and get into the "zone" for a few hours to work on whatever feature I'm working on that day.
Around lunch time, there may also be a meeting or two where we discuss the development roadmap or any specific technical or non-technical issues, quite often with some of the participants phoning in from the other side of the Atlantic.
For the rest of the day I'll typically go back to developing, and/or working on any other issues that have come up during the day.
What are some of your favourite things to do?
I love creating new features that users really appreciate, and hopefully even get wowed by. Working with great designers to build amazing user interfaces is another thing that really interests me.
Thinking about the big picture of media production, business and marketing - and adding value creatively with our software products would be yet another one.
Biggest challenge you face?
Balancing different requirements of the job may sometimes be stressful, but I think we handle it quite well at CLICKON. For instance, time spent deeply focusing on an important feature vs. time spent discussing issues arising in the moment.
When did you decide to pursue a career in this medium?
When I started studying for my Bachelor's Degree in Media Engineering, I had a general interest in technology and digital media production. But it was really during the freshman year of my studies when I realised how I could create absolutely anything out of thin air with programming. In addition, I've always loved the Internet and all the opportunities it provides.
I've always had an inclination to both analytical thinking (Mathematics) and creativity (I've played in multiple bands in high school and still write music to some extent), so in that way, this was a natural path for me to combine those interests.
How did you get to where you are today?
Really just getting out there and doing it!
Definitely the opportunity to work in both advertising and the startup world has helped me to understand some of the best practices of creating software, and working on challenging projects.
Having talented senior developers around when I was starting out was also very useful in the way of pointing me to the right direction.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in web development?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, especially in the beginning.
Focus on building new things instead of sweating endlessly over minute details in code.
Sit down and put the time in to learn and try out new things. And later keep up-to-date by making it a life-long habit.
Ask questions. Don't worry if you seem uninformed in the beginning, this is normal. Asking the 'dumb' questions will make you the one who actually understands in the long run.
Be careful when working with production environments. This of course doesn't apply to your personal website or learning projects, there make all the mess you want when starting out! :)
Read the documentation.
Read other people's code.
Favourite campaign / Inspiration?
Recently I quite enjoyed the campaign by some of my friends over at TBWA\ Helsinki for Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland.
It emphasised the independence and journalistic professionalism of the newspaper by kindly welcoming presidents Putin and Trump to 'The Land of Free Press' with massive billboards while visiting Helsinki for their bilateral summit. Further posters reminded the public about the sorts of headlines they might encounter in a country where either of the gentlemen would be able to control the media the way they desired.