It seems like I only blog when I have big changes. I really need to work on that. But today I’m writing here again because I have a big change. Today is my last day at my current job working on Blue Summit Supplies while working at Franklin Creative Solutions.
BSS, as we call it internally, is our ecommerce store where we sell office supplies. Sounds simple enough but it’s been one of the most fun and challenging jobs I’ve ever had. And the people here have been wonderful!
This was a new IT department and I was tasked with some things that pushed my skills as well as things I’m pretty good at already. They tapped into my previous experience working with coding standards and style guides and I wrote our engineering bible. Primarily this included common coding conventions like naming our classes, controllers, methods, etc. As well as the style of the code itself, which I leaned hard on the style I learned from WebDevStudios and more specifically from Aubrey Portwood. I really love more spacing around everything (mostly) and how easy it makes it for engineers to read my code and how easy it makes it for me to follow someone else’s code. If the new job doesn’t already have something like this in place I know what I’ll be pushing for.
- Working with our custom product catalog solution that we called Sobul to sync around 8500 skus from our system to Shopify. Some of the challenges here were making sure our ERP had setup the product properly before syncing as well as the limitations (4 requests per second) in Shopify’s API. These limits are more than reasonable and we recently learned they have a bulk upload API that should make it even better for larger syncs. It might still take a while but it’ll be much more streamlined and less complicated. This task required some anonymous functions and array_filter magic that is not my strong suit so this was a fun challenge and great opportunity to learn and collaborate with my friend and coworker Brady.
- Working with Kylee, our Product Analyst, to recreate her pricing algorithm in our system. I had already begun working on this with a previous employee left before it was completed and she came in and re-wrote and simplified the logic and together we honed it to where it’s pretty rock solid! There’s still work planned for this that I wish I could have finished before I left but I’m very happy with this project and the results for the company have been meaningful. It’s always a nice feeling when something you write makes a real difference.
- Working with guidance from Brady again I worked on a Sales Sheet generator (think quotes on steroids) using Laravel and React! This was so fun that I’m now hooked on React and want to learn it even more. It’s an amazing tool for building app-like experiences for users.
- Importing competitive data from a 3rd party API so we would have access to chain data from competitors that we could use with our pricing algorithm to produce very competitive prices. The challenge for me on this one was hating SOAP because I’ve managed to get away with not using it very often.
- Using jobs and queues to work with larger data imports / exports instead of doing them serially to improve performance. We use Laravel queues with AWS workers which had its own challenges, like what to do about failed jobs and when to requeue them, etc.
I’m not leaving because I was unhappy here. While I didn’t love everything this move was just about opportunity and where I am in my career vs where the company is at currently. I’m sad to leave such a fun place to work and so many great people.
But I’m also excited to start my next adventure. It’s going to be for a much bigger company which is a new experience for me. For starters, I’ll be able to focus solely on writing code as they have a full IT department who handles servers, devops, etc. It will give me the chance to really deep dive into the software concepts I’m more interested in and there’s plenty of opportunity to grow at a big company like this. I may end up hating it but everyone I’ve met has been there at least 1 year but most have been there between 10 and 30 years! Reviews of working for them have been extremely positive and I’ve already met the team and everyone seemed really nice and easy to work with. I’ll write more about them once I get settled in.
Oh, and the new company I’ll be working for is called Adtran. They are located here in Huntsville (with offices all over the world) but I’ll be working remotely for the next few months at a minimum. I’m sure we’ll likely start spending at least some time in the office if Covid ever calms down.
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