For those who don’t know me, I moved to Norway last January. This post isn’t about the differences between Norway and Portugal, but more focused on the type of work I’m doing right know. How I jumped from a developer that mostly does enterprise websites to a developer focused on one big web app and one big mobile app.

Company differences

There aren’t so many differences to begin with, both my previous and my current company are small companies, with a small team, with Intutor (current company) having a slightly bigger team. I would say the difference is this small team works with big projects, one of them holds 70% marketshare, and here I’m more focused on the project I’m working on.

At Velcro(previous company) every week I had a different website to do, different client, different everything and after a while I started to hate that. I felt like my work was not important at all, because after a week everyone would forget about that website, unless some bug creeped out.

Big projects

I see myself as backend developer and when my boss said that they don’t have designers and I didn’t need to focus too much time on styling I was pretty happy. Don’t get me wrong I like pretty UI’s and I always try to make everything beautiful, but following someone else’s design is not for me, specially when they don’t have a clue about what is possible and what isn’t.

I was pretty happy when I got picked to convert our biggest project to a mobile app, even thought I don’t enjoy frontend as much as backend I felt valued.

Technologies

Previously I was using CodeIgniter (a really old PHP framework) and HTML with SASS to build websites, with a CMS that I tuned a lot. It really worked great after I tweaked it to the maximum, it made me do websites really fast.

Now I’m using Symfony framework for a legal documents archive project, it feels great to use a big boys framework. And for mobile applications I’m using React Native with Expo. We were thinking about Flutter for mobile development but I think it’s not mature enough.

Would I move back?

Well sometimes this job has a lot more responsibility, but the freedom I have here is way better than in other job I had before. I can suggest other technologies and I made the team use GitHub Issues for issues report and also task management which works great for small teams and I’m absolutely loving it. I would not go back to my previous job but I really appreciate all the baggage it gave me.