Monika: Let’s begin by studying a bit about you. What was your journey as a developer? What are you thus far?
Enrique: I am Enrique, however everybody calls me Quique. I have been a developer ever since I can bear in mind. I used to be in all probability round 13 years outdated when me and my good friend began to program very primary web sites, we known as them Homer Simpson-like web sites—only for enjoyable and for the sake of studying. Step-by-step, I continued programming by myself. In the long run I made a decision to check engineering, however as an alternative of pc science, I selected telecommunication.
I have been working as a front-end developer for so long as I can bear in mind. I labored with many frameworks, together with Angular, Vue, and React. These days I am based mostly in Romania, working as a rustic director of engineering at my firm. We’re hiring really excellent professionals and I am blissful I get to share with them our work tradition and assist them alongside the best way. I nonetheless contemplate myself a frontend specialist, however I am extra targeted on managing folks and tasks.
Monika: Have you ever all the time been an lively member of the group?
Enrique: All this time I have been concerned in numerous communities, I really like this sort of networking. I began talking at occasions and conferences, sharing content material, and creating open-source libraries.
9 years in the past I made a decision to place my abilities into use and fund HelpDev—an NGO targeted on serving to different NGOs with web site growth. It runs in my household—everyone seems to be concerned in NGOs, we love giving again to the group.
With HelpDev, the preliminary thought was to mix two sorts of exercise—serving to NGOs with out sources and supporting younger builders with none skilled expertise who wished to enhance their resumes. If you have no expertise, it might be arduous so that you can safe a job since each firm now asks for expertise. We solely work with NGOs that do not have any monetary sources; in the event that they’re in a position to pay, we be certain that they rent a contractor who’ll be capable to perform what they want.
We began as an enormous group of fifty folks, which turned out to be inconceivable to handle correctly. We would have liked to alter the best way of working and continued for the following three to 4 years in a small group of 5. At that time we had been creating easy web sites with WordPress for our NGOs. When the pandemic began, we wanted to rethink our exercise and discover higher methods to make issues occur.
Monika: And what did you modify?
Enrique: Originally of 2022, we moved all of the content material from WordPress to GitHub, making the web sites open-source. All of the code is public now. We’re utilizing Storyblok—a headless CMS which presents an API with all of the content material and is simple to handle for non-technical customers. Some folks we’re working with are very engaged volunteers however have restricted technical information. The software must be very easy to permit them to function on their very own with out issues.
For the frontend, we’re utilizing a know-how known as Nuxt based mostly on Vue. Combining these instruments makes it simple for us to create extra web sites, solely having to alter coloration, branding, and content material. We will use the identical parts for various web sites.
Hopefully this yr we’ll end the migration of the web sites to the brand new platform. Now the NGOs do not should pay something for sustaining an internet site, simply the area, however aside from that we be sure that the internet hosting is free. Storyblok is definitely sponsoring us, and because of that, now we have a free license. The businesses we’re partnering with normally assist our NGOs with some property they could want, for instance, offering them with new branding.
Generally NGOs are based in instances of want—that occurred after a devastating earthquake in Nepal, when organizations did not have time to set all the things up correctly. We got here to assist.
Our aim is to make volunteering for NGOs as simple as attainable—accessible anytime, from anywhere on earth. Open-sourcing our work was a method to do this. Now anybody can reply a request and repair a bug, or enhance an internet site ultimately. It permits extra folks to be engaged, however spend much less time engaged on one thing.
Monika: Whereas creating HelpDev, after the preliminary hype, did you’re employed with anybody? Did anybody make it easier to?
Enrique: To start with, when there have been 50 of us, the conferences had been chaotic and we weren’t in a position to attain an settlement. In the long run, 4 founders stayed to assist me flip the HelpDev mission into an official, registered NGO. They’re nonetheless with the group, working as vice presidents or advisors, and tackling monetary and authorized points. Now, since we function in an open-source mannequin, we do not want that many individuals to be engaged on a regular basis. It really works rather well.
Monika: HelpDev is an NGO serving to different NGOs. Do you could have a selected focus whereas selecting your companions?
Enrique: Earlier than changing into an open-source NGO we had been solely working with Spanish NGOs. Every part was completed in a standard method—face-to-face conferences, planning, cellphone calls, authorized actions, and so forth. These days we’re now not restricted to that, we are able to work with anybody world wide. We’re additionally now not focussed on providing every of our companions a person resolution anymore—their web sites are at present unified, which makes it simpler to take care of and additional develop. Each time I create a brand new element, I can use it for all of the web sites. What’s extra, with Storyblok, the NGOs will be capable to implement many of the modifications on their very own.
The Spanish NGOs we beforehand labored with are actually various, every having a distinct focus and completely different priorities. NeedU works with homeless folks in Barcelona, Asocciación APISF helps docs in Africa—the scope is absolutely extensive. In Spain, now we have many NGOs for various causes and other people ceaselessly volunteer. It is fairly in style.
Monika: What’s subsequent for HelpDev? What is going on to alter after transferring to GitHub?
Enrique: The problem I am at present dealing with is remodeling an NGO right into a GitHub mission. Each group member is aware of how GitHub works—you could have templates for points and other people serving to together with your request. It isn’t simply libraries—I imagine we are able to have far more than that. I would love the entire mission to be maintained completely by the group—clearly our core crew would nonetheless coordinate the principle library and implement all modifications if wanted. Nonetheless, all of the bugs, new parts, and small points will ultimately be mounted by volunteers world wide. I am 100% certain group members can be keen to assist us with that. And it is also useful for them—a lot of our requests are tagged as ‘Good First Challenge’ on GitHub, which means that they don’t seem to be technically difficult and can be an excellent match for rookies who’re simply beginning to construct their portfolio. For instance, proper now we do not have a element for Carousel, however it’s tremendous simple to do. Everyone seems to be welcome to hitch and assist.
For us, it is simply as we deliberate from the start—serving to each NGOs in want and younger builders.
Monika: Are you concerned in every other group exercise proper now?
Monika: What motivated you to hitch the Google Developer Specialists group?
Enrique: I’ve all the time been concerned in group actions. Sooner or later a good friend of mine who can also be a GDE—Jorge del Casar—invited me to this system. Our paths truly crossed 12 years in the past—at that time we had been each engaged in dev communities in our space. I believed it might be an amazing thought to hitch the GDE group. I even informed the crew in the course of the interview that I am not right here for the swag (which is, after all, good), however as a result of I really like interacting with folks and chatting about know-how, particularly immediately, throughout conferences and workshops. Being a Google Developer Professional additionally lets me trade concepts and information with the brightest minds within the trade, individuals who know 100 instances greater than me—I admire their expertise and experience.
After becoming a member of this system, I additionally took half in Girls Developer Academy as a mentor in 2021. It was a novel and provoking expertise—with the ability to mentor somebody and put my information into good use.
I additionally found new methods of sharing with a group. Final yr I created a podcast and invited ten folks from the trade to speak, not about know-how however about themselves, to study who they are surely.
All of this would not be attainable with out the GDE group. We’re in contact on Slack, we see one another throughout completely different meet-ups and conferences, now we have an opportunity to encourage one another.
Monika: Would you say that builders have the sources and talent to alter the world for good?
Enrique: I am certain they do. In truth, not solely builders, however all of the professions on the market have rather a lot to supply. The issue is commonly the folks—we develop up in a society that pressures us to pursue perfection, do greater than others, strive tougher. I imagine generally it is good to cease for a second and assume that doing one thing at no cost, regardless that it does not convey you cash, will convey you other forms of advantages that cash can’t purchase.
We’re now very nicely paid, it is a good second for our occupation. We will spare a second to assist others by mentoring, sharing information, or instructing.
Monika: What would you say to somebody who needs to observe in your footsteps?
Enrique: I feel that for me, some of the necessary learnings of my skilled profession was to not be too specialised, to not deal with only one know-how. It is higher to take pleasure in what the trade has to supply. Although I am engaged on frontend, I’ve additionally tried a little bit of DevOps, backend, IoT, and apps. I do not actually care about being the very best in Angular or every other framework. My aim is quite to be an excellent skilled than only a good developer. As a hiring supervisor, I desire knowledgeable who possibly wants to enhance their technical abilities, however who’s a well-organized, efficient communicator.