• archisbhoir

My first year at Metamug as React developer

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

This may be an extensive read. For that, I apologize in advance.

So a little about me, I am 20 years old, started web development about 3 years back and ReactJS a year later.

I am pursuing a Bachelor's degree focused on Computer Science from Mumbai University.

Last year I was looking for an internship so desperately, reached out college faculty for the same and that’s when Mr. Deepak Mishra, Founder at Metamug LLP contacted me.

And the journey began!

I joined on 15th June 2019. Deepak gave a brief product tour. An API console was an unfamiliar thing for me. Never knew such technology existed!

The first few days were just spent on onboarding. I was told to study a few basics related to the technologies I was going to work with, stuff like API's, XHR, HTTP status codes, etc.

These days were a little scary, whether or not I will be able to handle the responsibilities given to me or not was a big question. I am sure newbies who have just started their first job can relate to this.

And then I met Mr. Anish Hirlekar!!😁

Anish was managing frontend development all on his own before I joined. He managed entire Product Development. So my job was to help in Frontend development so he could focus on bigger things.

After the first few informal call interviews, they gave me an assignment. I created a new React app that had tasks related to the additional features planned for the principal product UI. Till now; I had only worked on projects like those in YouTube tutorials. We based the core of the app on the CodeMirror library. That required me to dive deep into the documentation, do crazy workarounds for the things library didn’t support out of the box. I also worked with a react tree library during this period.

There were many challenges and I was not used to solving such problems where I needed to navigate to the 2nd page in google search 🤣. Anish closely monitored my progress, frequently asked how things were going. But when I explained what problem I was facing, he used to say

Good, you will learn something new today!

And it was true. I kept figuring out things, problems that seemed impossible at first until eventually, I figured out a solution or a workaround. That was an important thing I learned about software development, that there is only so much you can learn from tutorials, most of the things you have to learn on your own. Here is the link to the GitHub repository.

After working on this assignment, finally, on 18th July, I started working on the main project. I realized right away how different it was from working on a personal project. My first task was as simple as adding a star icon beside the unsaved filename. Even this took me an entire day, as I had never gone through 800-900 lines of code that someone else wrote!

To make matters worse, the code was very old, React v0.14.8 which was released back in March 2016! For those who don't know what old React code looks like, here is how you create a component,

import React from "react"

export const ChangePassword = React.createClass({
	getInitialState() {
	    return {
	        //state key-value pairs here

	//reset icon code

        //submit handler code

	render() {
        return (
         //JSX here

After the first minor fix, the next task was to integrate a new library called react-split. Anish warned me that this will not go as smoothly as I might think. And that was the case, I couldn’t integrate it as our React version didn’t support it! During this time I realized how much it will benefit us if we updated React, so I suggested the revamp and planning started around it.

Anish and I developed a friendly relationship. Maybe it was because we had similar interests and views about many things. We both love our bikes, 😎. After the first 3 months of my internship, I got another opportunity for an internship, and I still wonder why Anish was the first person I asked for an opinion, whether I should do this internship. After the first 3 months, the foremost reason for me to continue at Metamug was that I wanted a mentor like him. For me, he is an ideal Manager and a brilliant Team Leader.

In December, I worked on a new project called Interceptor. Interceptor is an API monitoring tool that I built from scratch. About mid-January, I started with the Revamp, this task looked simple on paper, just update react, other dependencies and you are good to go. But it turned out to be a gigantic task. We still haven’t released this new version😥.

In this one year, I got to learn a few additional things in React. I am improving at debugging an app, optimizing the app for production, configuring the build process with webpack, version control, etc. I now understand better the difference between UI and UX.

When I joined Metamug, I didn’t understand the business side of building software. Being a tech enthusiast, all I cared about is the coding part. But as time passed, Deepak and Anish started involving me more and more in business and sales area. That helped me get a whole fresh perspective towards the software development process.

For the last 2-3 months, I have also been trying to contribute to marketing as much as I can. Working at a startup made me realize how crucial an individual’s thought process is for a company. I recreated logos as vectors, edited videos, proposed a video marketing idea. I enjoy not being restricted to a certain area to contribute. I think this kind of freedom can use the real potential of an individual.

I was also given the responsibility to manage another intern who joined later. I found out soon how hard it is to manage other teammates while doing your work. I quickly realized that I am not yet ready for such a hard task😅.

I am amazed by how much this one year changed me in so many ways. I can now see the software features for the value they can provide rather than just how cool it looks. Working in a startup environment taught me what commitment towards work looks like, what are the sacrifices you have to make looking at the bigger picture. I can now happily encourage anyone who wants to work in a startup.

You won't regret it!

Thank you for those who could bear my blabbering till here😅🤣.

#react #job #firstyearatwork

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