B-Side – Job Work
I have a job as a web developer. My most recent project, still on-going, is building a website for a travel company based on the Swiss Alps, which offers lodging and different packages depending on the season. I want to mention this as one of my external projects because of the importance it takes in my life. It's how I help support the increasingly high costs of living abroad and distance myself from relying so much on my family, but most importantly how I experience work where the goals are beyond my personal scope.
As an active development project, things are visually not polished, but there was a lot of work for building the platform. I work as a system designer, planning and executing the implementation of features. My job is defining the underlying technology to make the project viable. As so, I design the architecture of the server, its deployment and what pieces are required: databases, frameworks, APIs, testing procedures, performance optimization, accessibility features and SEO. I also design how all these pieces connect and talk to each other. For example, how the booking system triggers the invoice and payments systems to do their own tasks.The commits on development branch
Besides working on the back-end, I'm also tasked with coordinating with another designer for developing the front-end of the website. One of our goals was escaping "cookie-cutter" layouts, so we decided to explore creative options for bringing a more personal experience to the user. We achieve that by referencing aspects of the location where the company is based, trying to represent the geography, climate and mood in a interactive three-dimensional environment. Might sound cliché but we want our client's feelings of being in the alps to start already with the website. We established a productive workflow that starts with Illustrator, moves to Blender for 3D composition and is exported in GLTF, a format which allows easy import and manipulation with the Three.js library. This provides powerful, GPU-powered graphics on the browser.
A big project like this requires attention on different fronts. We have to be ready for malicious digital attacks and legislation compliance (such as GDPR), and have a rigorous test system to ensure bugs won't jeopardize the business. We have the challenge of making this website accessible to different types of users and the specificities that come with that, such as varying devices and levels of digital experience, and properly handling the different implementations of web technologies available in different browsers.