This article is the next one in a series of articles about our developers and their projects, and this one is about PHP technology. We have interviewed three PHP specialists to learn about their practice. Some of them are loyal to this technology. Some were going back and forth. In any case, now this technology is their main focus and the instrument to bring the best technology solutions to our clients.

Interview with Albert

The first person we have interviewed is Albert. This February, Albert is celebrating 6 years working in Amsterdam Standard. He has joined our company in the last year of his bachelor studies. While working with us, he also got his Master's degree. First, Albert started as a PHP developer. After 2 years, he decided to change to JavaScript (Angular) and later on to other libraries like React or Vue, with the idea to become a full-stack developer. The primary purpose of changing the stack was the desire to develop himself and the opportunity to create more things that PHP could allow at that time.

In 4-5 years of working with PHP, I knew almost everything. No significant updates came at that time. Other languages provided more features.

For the last 2 years, Albert was working on the Superdealux project with Ruby technology.

Not just technology change, but also moving projects, is what makes Albert excited. He felt it's time for a change, and after the meeting with management, they together have chosen a new challenging project for him. This is the project for which he is back to PHP technology.

About the NieuwbouwOnline project

In December 2019, Albert, together with our Product Owner Pauline, joined the team of the NieuwbouwOnline company, which has 3 developers and the project manager on their side. NieuwbouwOnline is developing a national platform for NVM (Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents) for setting up new construction-related websites. On these websites, they present the new build offer from the largest brokers in the Netherlands. In addition, the platform has been optimized for obtaining leads. The whole purchase process of a new-build home is digitized.



NieuwbouwOnline wanted not just to extend their team but also to change the way of managing the project. That is one of the reasons why Albert found this project appealing to him. Currently, step by step, Amsterdam Standard is implementing the Scrum framework (in 2 weeks sprints) to development. The project manager on the client-side is delighted with this new approach to work, as it improves the speed and quality of the end product and allows him to concentrate more on generating new ideas.

Another thing that attracted Albert to this project is the unseen side of the project. This platform is not only for the customers but also for the brokers. Brokers profit from it by getting crucial statistical data. For example: which areas are more popular between the buyers or what kind of consumers are more interested in certain areas and buildings. NieuwbouwOnline strictly follows the privacy rights regulations.

Albert is responsible for the creation of one of the new features - form builder for the brokers. Brokers can add a widget, create forms, and display it to the customers. This feature will improve the unseen part of the project even further. By asking the right questions from customers, brokers will get a more profound knowledge of the market. This knowledge will help them to provide more suitable new buildings for consumers.

The extra task which Albert will work on, and which he said he is good at is refactoring. 

As the project started 5 years ago, it's time to simplify and clear the code.

Albert about the work in Amsterdam Standard

Even though Albert is already an experienced developer, he doesn't stop learning and improving. He participates in workshops, reading a lot of materials about programming in general, and holds his side/volunteering projects. 

He is happy to be in a company for 6 years. When he asked him what he likes the most about Amsterdam Standard, he gave us the following answer.

I love the people who work here, atmosphere, flexible hours, and our social room.

In the social room, we spend our coffee breaks, playing table football and recently also a pool. Also, it's the place where we learn new things during the workshops and presentations and eating delicious pizzas on Fridays.  Also, Albert finds it very important that when he needs something, he feels free to go to the boss and speak with him. That's the open culture we have in Amsterdam Standard.

Interview with Przemek

Przemek joined Amsterdam Standard in March 2019. He was hired as a full-stack developer with a focus on PHP. Since December 2019, he is a team-lead and a full-stack developer for the De Nationale Hypotheekbond project. Before this project, he was busy with the Srprs.me project (where his main focus was on React Native) and with a few short-term projects.



About the “De Nationale Hypotheekbond” project

De Nationale Hypotheekbond (The National Mortgage Association) carries out ongoing research into the mortgage market. They develop technological solutions to provide consumers and advisers with up-to-date and transparent information. That information is vital during the closing of a new mortgage and especially during the term of an existing mortgage. 

The team of Amsterdam Standard works on creating interactive forms that enable users to calculate the maximum possible amount of bank loans for the mortgage regarding their circumstances. The client owns the advanced algorithms for such calculations.  

Our team for this project consists of 3 specialists: Przemek - PHP (Laravel) + React JS, Paulina - Product Owner, and Jacek - React JS. This part of the project is on the finishing stage. 



Members of our team have daily internal calls. The most contact on a client-side is held with the Project manager and with the CTO. For this project, there our team has chosen popular frameworks, which help avoid unnecessary issues. 

The biggest challenge of working on this project for Przemek was understanding the business logic of the application. In December, the client traveled to our Krakow office to meet with the team. He described the concept of their solution, the progress which has made, and the plan for further development.

Przemek about work in Amsterdam Standard

Przemek is working in our Rzeszow office. He enjoys working in Amsterdam Standard.

 The biggest advantages of working in Amsterdam Standard for me are the possibility to work directly with the client and a variety of projects.

The first one allows him to get constant feedback and practice his communication skills and improve his knowledge of the English language. Also, weekly English lessons with a native speaker help a lot. ;) The variety of projects allows always learning something new and gives the possibility to switch technologies. 

I’m open to technologies and prefer to have a change.

He is aware of the latest changes and updates in the technology field as he is always keeping an eye on the new versions and tools by reading the information in blogs and groups. To have even more diversification, in his free time, he is helping his friend to manage the project with Wordpress technology.  

Interview with Aleksander

Aleksander joined Amsterdam Standard as a PHP developer after working as a freelancer and in a StartUp company. He told us that he had a natural path to become a PHP developer. Aleksander has first worked as a designer for 2-3 years, then he switched for the front-end development, and then he started to work as a freelance developer, where most projects required PHP knowledge. Aleksander celebrated the 2 years with Amsterdam Standard on 1st February this year. Since March 2019, he is working on the MrWork project as a PHP developer with a bit of React on a Front-end. 


Aleksander PHP developer

About the “MrWork” project

The team of Amsterdam Standard for MrWork project consists of 4 developers (including Aleksander). There are also 2 intern developers in the Netherlands on the client-side who are helping our team. Since 2-3 months ago, Aleksander is also a team-lead for this project. His day program consists of both programming and administrative tasks. Administrative tasks include managing the tasks for the team, keeping contact with the client, reviewing, and relaying the process with both parties. Aleksander already had experience with leading the business side of the projects, as previously, he was working on projects with a small team where he was holding the role of CTO. He appreciates the balanced mix of technical and business parts for this project as he can learn and develop himself in both worlds.

MrWork is a platform that automates job offer advertising by managing job advertisement campaigns on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin). Our team makes it simple for customers to create job offers by automating the process. The customer is responsible for the creative part, and the MrWork system manages all the campaigns for them. 

When Amsterdam Standard joined this project, MrWork startup was already 2 years old. The legacy systems were built with a time term of 5 years. This system has extensive functionality that still covers the needs. “We have started to build the platform from scratch, but we have decided to continue the PHP technology for the consistency of the code”- Aleksander notes. Our team chose other technologies in consultation with the client. The primary technologies used are: the latest version of PHP with Symfony Framework, AWS ECS, and React on Front-end. 

The team is staying on top of technologies. In every sprint, there is a dedicated time for the technology check to keep the application updated. 

Communication with the client

This project doesn’t have a dedicated Product Owner; this way, all the administrative tasks are shared between Aleksander and the client.

The team works in bi-weekly sprints. Bi-weekly meetings are held for planning the roadmap and for the high-level overview of the project. Based on these meetings, more detailed work is distributed: Jira tickets are created, and the work for the upcoming sprints is prepared. Also, there are weekly meetings for standard Scrum tasks as going through issues and consulting with the client on making changes. 

The client is visiting our Krakow office 3-4 times a year. 

Aleksander about work in Amsterdam Standard

I feel good about working in Amsterdam Standard, especially since we have the new office.

We have all the necessary facilities to work and relax. You can always play some table football or pool. I didn’t have the opportunity to try the pool yet, but it looks good. Before joining Amsterdam Standard, I have mostly worked from home, so I have nothing to compare with, but I find the atmosphere here relaxed and friendly. 


Aleksandr is playing pool


Summary

There are far not all the ongoing projects connected with the PHP technology. And new projects keep coming by. We are always happy to welcome skilled developers to our team! If our way of working looks appealing to you, and you would like to participate in projects where your ideas and talent are welcome and appreciated, apply for our open positions or send us a message

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