What is it like to be a Back-End Software Engineer at Easy LMS? Koen, who has been with us for ten months, brings out the uniqueness of Easy LMS by discussing his various employer experiences. Do you want to know more about his daily tasks and his challenges? Read on!
Work experience at Easy LMS: Ten months
Current role: Back-End Software Engineer
You made a career switch a few years ago. Easy LMS is your second company as a back-end software engineer and your third company overall. What was the trigger for you to look for a different company?
“I wanted to develop my skills faster. I started my new career at a small company with around four developers. We were working on many different projects for many different clients simultaneously. Mostly, I would be working on my own project. Although my colleagues were helpful, I missed working together on the same project. Working in the same context drives learning because feedback gets more specific and valuable. Another reason was that I felt we were often too much time constraint because we delivered bespoke software to often small clients.”
And Easy LMS fits into the profile you envision for your new job.
I immediately felt I could thrive in this company's culture because it prioritizes personal development
“Yes, I was looking for companies with around 15 employees or more, so there would be enough interaction possibilities with colleagues. Another plus was that Easy LMS makes its own product instead of bespoke software for clients. This approach would likely result in a more long-term perspective on the product's life cycle. After the job interview, I immediately felt I could thrive in this company’s culture because it prioritizes personal development.”
That’s still how you feel?
“Yes, I did take a salary cut when joining Easy LMS. But that’s definitely worth it. I gained a much more engaging job, and my progression took a significant step up. Until now, I have never felt any stress working here. That is also because the way we work suits me really well. We strive toward a single-item flow process, and I guess my brain is wired that way too! I also appreciate the open feedback culture and working atmosphere. The Friday afternoon drinks with colleagues, including playing Dominion, are great fun!”
At Easy LMS, we are continuously improving our processes. How do you experience this?
The drive to improve is intrinsic
“I have witnessed our continuous improvement in our processes for a year now, exceeding my expectations. This steady improvement is a great motivator for me. At Easy LMS, we are engineering according to the principles of Continuous Delivery. During my job application, I was told that Easy LMS deploys to production once or twice a week. At the moment, we often deploy one or two times a day. That’s a huge improvement in less than ten months' time. We also strive to improve the existing codebase when working on a new feature. Our mantra is ‘if you touch it, leave it in a better state than it was.’”
To what extent do you think that drive for improvement differs from other companies?
“The main difference with other companies is that the drive to improve is intrinsic, and there is no pressure exerted by Easy LMS. The culture is cultivated, not forced.”
You already had some programming experience, but I imagine you were eager to expand your knowledge of specific techniques, languages, or frameworks. Could you share which ones interested you the most?
“I was not yet developing according to Test Driven Development (TDD) principles at the time, but I wanted to. Here I got the opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues. For me, the most fun to learn was getting more and more out of the AWS services. We use many AWS services such as DynamoDB, RDS, ECS, Lamda, CloudFront, S3, SQS, SNS, EventBridge, SES, and plenty more, all of which have their uses and limits. Using these services effectively enables us to create an application that scales effortlessly with demand while we can put more of our time into the functionality itself. Knowing how to get the most out of AWS is a very useful skill, and I really enjoy working with AWS.”
Can you describe a typical workday at Easy LMS for you?
“On a typical day, I usually start where I left off the previous day developing. At 9:30, I have a stand-up with my team to discuss the status of the ongoing stories, when we expect them to be ready, and divide the work. We always try to work with the team on a single item, so we will mostly work on the same story. During development, we keep each other up to date and discuss our decisions with each other. When we finish a story, we deploy it to production and pick the next item from the list. We will write a short plan before we start on this new item. This is done together or, if it is a straightforward plan, by someone in the team individually. After writing the plan, we will divide the work again and start developing.”
Is it software engineering only constantly, or are you also involved in side projects?
If you want to take a broader perspective in your work, then it is possible
“The latter, but it depends on your preferences. If you want to take a broader perspective in your work, then it is possible. I have experience with cyber security. So, I contributed to risk analysis sessions required for our ISO27001 compliance. Other stuff I did: providing feedback on an upcoming marketing campaign, analyzing client questions with an implementation consultant, and revamping the process to include more feedback on choices in UX design.”
I understand it may sound biased coming from us, but can you explain why others should choose Easy LMS?
“If you are looking for a job with a constant drive towards improvement and learning, both individually and as a collective, then Easy LMS might be the place for you. We are a diverse group of people, all strongly motivated to work towards a better product and service continuously. Easy LMS is a small company which means your contribution will be significant, which is always fun. There is that, and we also have Kibbeling Thursday every month.”
Are you looking forward to bringing your career to the next level? Does this sound like a job for you? Hopefully, Koen’s experience has given you a better idea about the day-to-day work of a Back-End Software Engineer. We are looking for a talented colleague to join our team!
Check out our vacancy