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A Day in the life of a Frontend Developer

 

Meet Tobias Siebert, a Senior Software Developer at Allianz Global Digital Factory

Collaboration Innovation Engineering. 

Tobias Siebert is a Senior Software Developer at Allianz Global Digital Factory. He joins us today to talk about his work as a Frontend Developer, what does a day look like for him, which stakeholders he works with and what does it take to become a Frontend Developer. 
There are three different development teams at the Global Digital Factory with different focus areas. The backend, DevOps and Frontend. I am part of the frontend development team. We own and develop assets, framework and libraries, that cover all aspects of the Angular driven frontend development at Allianz. For example, our Angular NDBX UI component library which went open source: GDF UI Component library goes open source! | Allianz Global Digital Factory
I focus on the development of the Building Blocks platform, which is a part of the IT Master Platform (ITMP). The platform is all about the development of customer journeys and consists of multiple assets. These modular assets can be combined and used in different ways. 
The asset that I own is the Page Flow Engine (PFE), which enables the handling of dynamic flows of the pages within a customer journey.
Clich here to read more about how page file is making development of digital assets at Alliany easier! Developing Digital Allianz solutions made easy with the Page Flow Engine | Allianz Global Digital Factory
I also work on the underlying libraries that are used for the development of the building blocks themselves (Building Blocks: GDF's Modular Building Block Approach | Allianz Global Digital Factory). These libraries enable other developers to develop building blocks.  A huge part here is the use of Angular Schematics. They make it possible to fully generate customer journey applications out of a configuration. It helps develops to focus on features and it automates the boilerplate. 
As development team (Along with the head of development, Jochen Supper), we are responsible for the further evolvement of the whole platform. This means that we also take on the role of product owner for the assets. The requirements are based on our platform’s vision and the needs of our stakeholders, which are not only other developers but also the business and Allianz customers using the apps. 
In summary, being a developer in the frontend development team of GDF does not only mean to code. It is also about owning the assets and contribute to evolution of development at Allianz. We strive to foster collaboration and tech culture across Allianz including our yearly eMerge developers conference. For me, being a member of the eMerge organizational team is an incredible way to push this and to work on something that is very different from our ‘’job profile’’. (Why we started eMerge | Allianz Global Digital Factory)
What kind of tools and methods do you work with?
Our frontend assets are based on Angular and we manage our code in GitHub. We also follow an Agile Kanban like approach with weekly stable release cuts. We introduce breaking changes every 6 weeks (if necessary) to make it easier for other teams to anticipate. The release dates are aligned with the Product Increment of ITMP.
We also do refinements and retros. To refine, we go over our backlog, discuss and prioritize the stories. We also plan our next product increment. 
What does a typical daily routine look like for you?
My day usually starts at around 9:00 with the daily meeting. Here we align on our current topics and plan for the day. The entire day then is a mixture of collaborative work, focused work on current topics, coding, code reviews and meetings. 
As a part of BMP, we are developing the underlying Framework/Platform that is used to develop the customer journeys.
How does your work interact with other functions?
Our primary target group/users are other developers. We do regular exchange meetings with teams using our assets. Another important point of contact are the UI/UX team to align on design related topics. 
And there are also overarching exchange points, like the Communities of Practice or eMerge. 
What are the best aspects of your job?
I find being able to work in a great team with an awesome manager, the autonomy to make decisions on my own/in the team is what I like the most about my work. I am trusted to make the right decisions. 
The constant improvement and moving forward with the state of the art technologies and methodologies, and that diversity of topics that also go beyond coding makes my job much more interesting and engaging. 
What would be your advice to someone who would also like to become a Frontend Developer at the Global Digital Factory or Allianz?

From my point of view, there are a few expectations that are really important to be a frontend developer.

1.       Being curious and proactive. Taking initiatives.

2.       Willing to take over responsibilities

3.       A drive to improve and evolve from the current state to a more efficient and improved state.

4.       Most importantly, it is vital to be comfortable working in a team.