Today we are happy to introduce Sowjanya, one of our frontend engineers!
Sownjanya, please introduce yourself to the blogosphere:
Well as you know, I’m Sowjanya Ennam. I'm 25 years old, and I was born and raised in Srikalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. I finished my bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2017 and started as a full stack developer at Skylark Drones, a company that innovates and integrates drone solutions and services. Afterwards, in January 2020 I decided to do an internship at Vinicisive Solutions. Eventually I realized that my future didn’t lie there, so I joined Logward half a year ago as a frontend engineer. For now, I basically handle everything regarding user interface, user experience and everything related to it. Why have you decided to join the team? I was pretty interested in Logward and logistics in general, because it offers a vast scope of things to do. What was also very important for me, is that even though my title says FE (front-end) I can work in both backend and frontend since we're a startup. Sometime I can even help with DevOps or QA. That makes the job very diverse and exciting.
Of course, I also love the team. It’s so much fun working with all the guys. I only wish we could be in the office! We also have a great mentor system. We got rid of the conventional “boss” or “supervisor” structure, and instead focus on personal development. That’s a great concept! Can you give one example of a project you have worked on? Yes, I implemented tracking module in our My Shipments and Control Tower features. The end result is a map which shows the planned and actual voyage, including markets for the origin, destination, and transshipments as well as current location utiliizing AIS. My work including connecting to various services for the geocoordinates and time-stamps and deciding which libraries to use, as there are many. We use leafletjs and mapboxes in this case. We've also enabled the customer to share the link of a shipment as an open URL.
Awesome, that looks really cool, thank you for that. Yet before we continue, you have to explain the difference between frontend end backend engineering to me as a tech-novice. I'll try to make it simple. Everything that you see on the screen and interact with, such as design, command lines or navigation menus, is based on frontend engineering. Whereas the relevant data, data bases, servers, are linked to backend. Frontend is tangible for the user, backend is not. As a FE engineer, you improve visual aspects, with no limits to colors, animations, etc (as long as it's on brand), and on the backend, you are focused on performance improvement, basically making the software more efficient.
Ok, that sounds clear. Why did you decide to do frontend engineering?
Actually, I’m comfortable with both, backend and frontend. I want to be a full stack developer. Here we use Java and C# and I’m not too familiar with either yet. There is also a big gap because on the backend side it has many components which are unknown to me. So, I started by working on the frontend, but after I know the app more completely, I hope to work on the backend also. I see myself as kind of a hybrid.
If working on the frontend means transferring code into something visual, it sounds like you need some artistic creativity. Where do you get your inspiration from? I sometimes just stroll through the internet and random websites, look for examples and look at the reactions to the site, and think about how to apply it to Logward. In a way you have to take the customer perspective, right? Yes, definitely. For example, when we buy a mobile phone, we know the basics. This is the camera, this is the home button, and so on. If you give it to a person not used to a phone, they somehow need to understand the handling. This is why there are universal icons such as the cancel icon with an X.
Creating an intuitive user experience is definitely hard. Applied to Logward, our customers haven't necessarily seen something like our interface yet. This means we somehow have to visualize it in a proper way, attractive but also kind of self-explanatory. Isn’t it complicated since you know how it works but the customer does not? Don’t you get a certain tunnel vision? How do you get the vision of the third person? Yes, exactly. Sometimes you get to a point where you simply can’t spot your own mistakes anymore or you don’t realize where the customer needs advice or a hint. For that case we have the user acceptance testing. We give the developed product to another person before we publish it and they give us feedback on the understanding and visualization. Ok Sowjanya, sorry for diving so deep into FE. Let’s change topics and get a bit more personal. What’s one of the biggest challenges you've faced so far in life? Me and three other members of my family got sick with coronavirus. We actually recovered pretty well and I’m really thankful for it. It was certainly scary and that was a serious strain for the whole family, but we managed to overcome it.
Sowjanya in color!
I'm very glad to hear that your whole family is healthy again. What do you say to conspiracy theorists or people claiming Covid-19 does not exist? It’s crazy, even well-educated people debate whether it exists. I try to explain it in a calm way and just ask them why they think all of this is happening around us. For which three things in life are you most grateful?
Well, that me and my family are healthy. That I have an awesome job (Editor’s note: She doesn’t have to say that). And that my parents are my best buddies. I think that’s awesome having such a close relationship to your relatives.
Classic interview questions: What are your greatest strengths? I like challenges and I don’t give up easily. Second thing would be that I mingle well with people!
How do you compensate for sitting in front of your monitor all day long? What hobbies do you have?
As a balance I love gardening, cooking or petting animals. Complicated question first. You have to solve an issue which divides our world. Dog or cat?
I definitely prefer dogs because of their loyalty compared to cats. Also, they are way more thankful and show more love. (Editor's note: Unfortunately the wrong answer)
Regarding cooking: What dish are you best at?
My most professional dish is probably Biryani. It's a dish made of rice, vegetables, meat, spices and gravy. Interesting! What do you think is the hardest thing to cook?
Soan Papdi. That's an Indian dessert made of sugar, ghee, nuts and gram flour. It's has a crispy and flaky texture, which makes it very hard and time consuming.
Thank you Sowjanya! Let's finish with our classic Rapid Fire!
Book or Movie? Movie Car or motorcycle? Car Boat or plane? Plane Phone or Computer? Phone
Fruits or vegetables? Fruits
We build software, move containers, and change mindsets.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit us at www.logward.com.