“You only get one shot!” Inside Casengo #1


7 questions to a front-end developer

One of our rocking front-end developers, Jaime Vega, left the beautiful Canary Islands behind to take the lead on the Casengo interface. Here’s some insight into his work at Casengo.

Q: What have you found to be the most difficult aspect of working on the front-end so far?
A: Casengo supports different communication channels, so working on the push technology that enables updates between the application and the chat message board was quite intensive. But for me, the most difficult aspect was taking over the lead from someone else. It meant learning the ins and outs of another person’s wireframe – often a bigger task than creating something from scratch yourself. But front-end is such an exciting field. It’s moving very fast, with new technologies popping up everywhere. And I love being able to see the results of my labour as I work – as can anyone else.

Q: What elements of the product are yours?
A: The range of features I build range from the very subtle to the quite obvious. I got a lot of satisfaction creating a capability such as the Twitter search. But I also work on the fine-tuning, like the ‘auto save’. The application will save communications automatically and remember open tabs. When you log in today, you’ll see exactly what you saw when you logged out yesterday. That’s one of my babies.

Q: Why did you choose to work for a startup?
A: With a startup it’s like watching your kid grow up. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to turn a concept into a product and influence the overall development? Plus, a startup requires its employees to be very flexible, to stretch themselves across different technologies and adapt very fast to new situations, which I find very cool.

Q: What advice would you give a developer considering working for Casengo?
A: Don’t be afraid to learn new things. Your biggest requirement is to get out of your comfort zone and broaden your focus beyond your core expertise. A proactive, positive attitude goes far.

Q: Usability is critical for adoption – do you feel the pressure?
A: Yes, I definitely do! Even the most feature-rich application will ‘gather dust’ if usability is an obstacle. In the past, people used to adapt their working habits to the software they used. These days, people expect software to adapt to the way they work. The internet makes it easy for consumers to search for alternatives. You only get one shot! People can’t generally relate to the infrastructure behind an application, but they can relate to its user-friendliness. There’s a lot riding on front-end design.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I’m working on improving the chat widget, and I’m figuring out a way to forward cases via email to colleagues or peers without access to The Casengo application.

Q: What feedback are you looking for from our beta testers?
A: We want to know how our beta testers actually feel. If they feel that a weight’s been taken off their shoulders, that the steps from point A to point D come easy and logical, and that this application actually improves their work processes – then we know we’re on the right track. If they feel frustrated at all, confused, or inhibited due to either usability or the absence of a feature, we definitely want to know. They don’t necessarily need to provide us with tips for improving something, or an answer to fixing a function – although it’s great if they do. We’re quite happy already to hear about their emotional reactions to the screen, and Casengo’s Product Owner is actively gathering this feedback. *Next week, as mentioned above, Casengo’s Product Owner, Thijs van der Veen, talks to us about product development, beta feedback and the multiple roles he assumes as the Product Owner at a startup. ** Did Jaime sell you the benefits of working for a startup? If his analogy of watching your child grow up wasn't convincing enough, can we entice you to join us with blokarting beach trips, drinks and snacks? Casengo is looking to add two front-end and two back-end developers to our ever-expanding team.