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Kelly's sign off

Kelly Milligan
Sunday 27 April 2014


After four glorious, happy years working with these very talented folks - adventure calls! - and It's my last day here at Frontend. Over the next few weeks I'll be making my way through the USA to Amsterdam. I'm embarking on a new journey in creative (and life!) development, and I'm seriously excited to see where it leads.

I've done this write-up to reflect on my time here at Frontend. There's so much I've learned, so many great people I've met and worked with, and a bunch of projects I'm proud of.

 

Before Frontend

While studying you get asked that question: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?". I didn't quite foresee this... but man am I stoked to be here now. I was studying Electronic Commerce with a major in Economics - mainly Business School papers with some Computer Science peppered throughout. I'd tinkered with web and flash as a hobby, who would've thought it was career material!?

A summer work-experience placement as a junior web developer got me hooked. From the very beginning of my web career I've been excited about creative development. When I started it was Flash, specifically what was possible in likes of Papervision3D.

 

Hello Frontend!

I came in to Frontend as a junior/intermediate front-end developer. James was my interviewer, and I've had the pleasure of working with him since. Over the first couple of years Simon gave me plenty of opportunities to try alternative parts of the process: wireframing, interface design, mobile design, project management. This exposure gave me focus and clarity over which parts I love the most - code & interaction. My other two years at Frontend have been solely focused on these two topics. This freedom to explore my talents and preferences has been incredibly valuable, and I applaud Simon for his open-minded approach to this within the team. I leave as the Senior Front-end Developer, a title I'm very proud to have earned.

 

The take-away projects

There's been a bunch of great projects here that have taught me so much. If you work in development you'll know that feeling - every finished project makes you a far better developer than you were before. It's one of the things that make this role so interesting. You never stop learning, growing, and improving. Embrace it!

 

Spark Digital / Gen-i

Undoubtedly the largest and most intense projects I worked on here were for Spark Digital (formerly Gen-i).

In 2013 we created a brand spanking new digital channel for Gen-i. Design, client-side code and platform all new, without legacy haze. Making such big picture decisions around the client-side was an awesome challenge.

After the public website was complete, we began work on the Gen-i Procurement portal, which ran through 2013 to early 2014. Gen-i Procurement is an online store where Gen-i's customers purchase all sorts of business related hardware. It's like an enormous eCommerce shop, and shared the same UX issues that many eCommerce stores share. We reviewed every part of the UX with a fine tooth comb, and re-built the whole interface from scratch with UX as the number one priority. What we got was an incredibly detailed, polished and intuitive shop interface. Gorgeous on both design and technical levels.

In 2014 Gen-i and it's parent company Telecom rebranded as Spark. With the rebrand came an overhaul of the public website. The chance to re-visit the design and code of a project in-depth is rare, and we embraced the opportunity to finely tune what we'd previously created. Knowledge gains from the Procurement portal made their way into the public website, and the whole digital identity became even more cohesive.

Fonterra Living Water

This was a fun one. A rich one page website with a challenging timeline. We got something pretty impressive out the door in a few short weeks. Full-frame frameworking, parallaxing, forced agile-ity, we learned it all here.

Frontend's own

We've had a lot of fun with our own website over the years. It's always hard to find the time for your own website - but it's one of those rare projects where you truly have full creative control. Among many other things, we had a lot of fun exploring SVG's and their real-world usage on this latest iteration.

 

What's around the corner?

For me, it's Creative Development. I've got a great opportunity to pivot my Front-end development skill into Creative JS development - utilizing new "web-standard" methods like CSS3 and WebGL. I feel extremely lucky to be following my passion in this area of front-end coding.

Frontend is in growth mode, there's fresh talent coming in, more fantastic projects coming up, and loads of top-quality stuff going out.

 

Signing off

It's been a wonderful time here at Frontend. I really look forward to keeping in touch with the great friends I've made here. Simon, James, Anna, Corinne, Scott, you're all awesome - and I'm sure our paths will cross again. Thanks for all the laughs, stimulating conversation and engaging collaboration. Dan, enjoy it here dude. You've got an undeniable passion for front-end dev, and I really look forward to seeing what you guys create together.



Keep an eye on my personal website at kellymilligan.co.nz to see what happens next :)

Dank je wel!
Kelly

Kelly's sign off