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7 Questions With FOWA Rising Star Flurin Egger

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Flurin Egger is Swiss, lives in the Netherlands, is a front-end fanatic and lover of English shoes (who isn’t?) We caught up with him as he put the finishing touches to his talk for FOWA in London.

The Interview

Hi Flurin, to get started, let us in on a few of your favourite Twitter accounts - who should we be following?

I generally try to follow people instead of companies/groups. So if I’d have to pick a few I’d go for: 

Can you describe for us your role in a typical project at Digitpaint?

My role from a technical viewpoint is to see what (front-end) technology we’re going to use. I also guide the team in the choices they have to make. For instance if it’s a single-page webapp I take the lead in what framework or library (if any) we’re going to use and how we’re going to use it. 

From a project organisation viewpoint I make sure that everything is tested, code is reviewed and in general just make sure that what we build code that is of high quality and stays maintainable in the future.

What do you feel are the fundamental skills of front-end architecture?

This question has come up on twitter as well and I’ve thought about it quite a bit. I could tell you that you’d need all kinds of technical skills like knowing all the ins and outs of CSS, Javascript and HTML or knowing everything about testing, but in the end the technical skills are just means to an end. 

The most important skill for a front-end architect to have is being a good communicator. What good do architecture decisions do you if the team doesn’t understand them or feels they’re just some stupid rules the architect thought up to annoy them? Being a good communicator also helps you understand better what is important business wise. For example: you always want to build on the-best-framework™ because it’s super stable and makes everything super maintainable, but if it’s a tiny project for a campaign site this might not matter and you’d be better off using dirty-but-fast™ library.

Of course being curious helps a lot. For instance I always look under the hood of new technology. I don’t ever consider a library I'm using a black box, I look at its source if I don’t understand something. But being curious is not something I apply only to technology, I also tend to ask myself and others “Why?” a lot. It not only helps me to understand someone’s idea better, but it often also helps them to think about why want something or why they’re doing something in the way they’re doing it.

If you could master a new technology or skill this year what would it be?

This is a tough one. I could say I really want to learn welding (the one where you melt metal to connect metal), but I guess that’s not really what you mean :)

“I really want to learn welding”

I’ve recently begun to experiment with the Arduino platform. It’s amazing how simply you can get started and what you can do with these tiny microcontrollers. Even cooler is the fact that you can drive the Arduino from a computer with Javascript as well. 

What work are you most proud of?

I should be most proud of the most recent work I’ve done as it should be the culmination of all my previous experience. I however tend to think of being proud of work as something very relative. The work I’m most proud of is not per se the best work technically, it is the work where a team worked together like a well oiled machine. 

If not front-end development what would you be doing?

I’d probably be a chef. I love to cook and some of my friends work in hotels and restaurants. I used to give quite big dinner parties with 6 to 8 course dinners, but due to family, work, etc it just doesn’t happen that often anymore. It is however still a secret dream of mine to open a tiny restaurant someday.

What key lessons do you think people will take away from your session at FOWA 2014?

The lesson I hope people will take away from my session at FOWA is that they should never ever stop learning about new web technologies and that they should always be curious about the technology they work with.

More Flurin

Flurin will be presenting Try This at Home: Lesser Known (But Interesting) Browser APIs at Future of Web Apps on Tuesday 30th September 2014.  

Check out what he does at www.digitpaint.nl, or follow him on Twitter @flurin and GitHub.

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