Kelvin Welter

Real Engagement: Specialized developers acting with flexibility

Effective collaboration among specialized professionals plays a crucial role in the success of any project. When the organizational culture encourages a sense of ownership, the results can be astonishing. In this article, I wanted to share an experience I had at Bitboundaire, where a teamwork mindset and a willingness to step out of our comfort zones resulted in creative solutions and successful delivery.

As a back-end developer, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand how software engineering reveals itself as a human science, where technical skills blend with empathy and collaborative work to achieve exceptional outcomes.

 

The sense of ownership

When I joined Bitboundaire, I was impressed by the Bit culture and its ubiquitous presence among everyone around me. My colleagues came from extremely diverse backgrounds, each having taken a different path—both in life and their careers—to reach that point. Nevertheless, the cultural alignment was very strong.

The culture I’m referring to can be summarized by the sense of ownership, the emphasis on agile software development, and the genuine commitment to projects and clients. It’s worth noting that despite the cultural alignment, diversity of ideas was always present in our routines. We didn’t have a shallow output of ideas; on the contrary, creativity and innovation were always prevalent.

With this cultural alignment and a team full of ideas, we came together to work on a challenging project. The project had been underway for some time and involved a variety of technologies. Our mission was to enhance the project’s engineering and architecture while developing a new functionality planned by the client. We had a five-month deadline to complete everything, which would require a lot of work.

 

Front-end and back-end working in harmony

At the time, we identified several areas that could be improved to enhance the speed and quality of our deliveries. These improvements were implemented simultaneously with the development of the main functionality, ensuring an accelerated process without compromising quality.

Within a few days of joining the team, I already felt like I had been part of that newly formed squad for years. The synergy among all of us was powerful and a great driving force in executing our project. There was a lot of collaboration, and the close contact between the iOS and back-end developers greatly facilitated the rapid integration of newly developed endpoints in the most efficient way possible for the app.

Any front-end developer knows the frustration that can occur during API integration: broken services, delayed deliveries, or nonsensical API responses are some of the obstacles faced in this process. But I’m proud to say that this was not our case. Deliveries to the front-end were punctual, well-documented, and carefully tailored for easier and more practical integration. What’s even more interesting is that all of this proved to be crucial in the future when the back-end development team and I decided to try our hand at working with iOS.

About four months into the project, we realized that mobile development was more challenging on the iOS than on the back-end. Due to the nature of the project, which highly valued design, multiple animations, and complex user flows, the iOS development team was under greater pressure than the back-end team. In many cases, the back-end developers could have considered themselves “free” after completing their tasks. But that’s not the mentality here at Bit.

 

The mindset of shared success

The company culture values teamwork, and we understand that if one part of the team doesn’t succeed, we all fail. This approach is familiar in many team sports around the world, but unfortunately, it’s not as common in the workplace. However, in our company, we take it seriously.

But how could back-end developers help iOS developers? We had already delivered our services, which were working correctly and well-documented. What more could we do? The answer lay in our willingness to step out of our comfort zones and work as a team.

We spoke with the iOS team, and they suggested that we could help with the networking layer and service integration. This was an area familiar to us, so we agreed to take responsibility for integrating the remaining services into iOS. This dedication required many extra hours of effort since we were working with a technology that was relatively different from what we were used to. We needed to learn and understand concepts that were unfamiliar to us, despite our back-end experience. However, despite the challenges, the strategy worked well.

By taking on the service integration tasks in iOS, we allowed the mobile development team to focus on more complex and critical tasks. The speed of delivering new screens increased as the integrations had already been completed beforehand. Moreover, the iOS team didn’t have to worry about implementing the network layer of the application, reducing cognitive load and improving overall productivity. Gradually, development on the iOS side accelerated and caught up with the back-end. It’s important to note that we managed to meet the five-month deadline without resorting to intensive work periods, maintaining our quality of life. It was a smooth period without overtime due to delays.

 

Software engineering as a human science

The action of back-end developers working with iOS may seem audacious to most companies, but it was directly responsible for the success of project delivery. Some people may read this article and have the perspective that it’s not worth having back-end developers working on iOS tasks and taking four times longer to complete them than iOS developers would. However, these people forget to see the human aspect of this situation—software engineering projects are not merely a puzzle of tasks and the team’s available hours

As one of the founding partners of Bit says, “Software engineering is a human science,” and this case is further proof of that.

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