First time I came to Japan, I was as a student, researching neural networks and reinforcement learning algorithms. I did an internship in RIKEN Brain Science Institute, in a lab doing experiments on human-robot interaction. For my own experiments, I developed a 3D simulation interface, in which I could overview both the simulated robot and data visualization. Unfortunately, the lab had to move to Europe. I really wanted to stay in Japan, so I decided to change my career direction and became a front-end engineer.
I soon realized that web development was a completely different world from academia, with more pressure on deadlines, teamwork and project planning. I was directly dealing with international clients, both small ventures and giant corporations: negotiating specifications and training staff. I gained experience in full stack, from UX to back-end and infrastructure. I learned the importance of quality for client-facing products, and about the joy when my work is appreciated by the user.
Abeja provides me with challenges of both the academic and corporate sort. Front-end development at Abeja is not the usual kind. It feels more like building an application than a website. Dashboard, our client-facing product, is a single-page application for displaying data. Except for the JSON API for getting data, there is virtually no back-end. Rendering tables, charts and heat maps happens directly on the user's machine, using reactive components and cutting-edge browser technologies. This means we have to keep tabs on application state, juggle many kinds of data from multiple sources and take care of memory usage.
As a front-end developer at Abeja, I constantly think about the meaning of the data we display, about how to make this meaning clear for the user and how to help the user achieve the goal. This means I have to understand marketing terms and business models of various kinds of users. This is what I learned at Abeja.
Every software engineer has to constantly learn to keep up with the constantly changing world of technology. At Abeja, it's not only possible, but encouraged and even required. The company environment is perfect for engineers who love improving their skills and staying on top of modern and future technology. We have daily meetings where we share interesting developments. We organize internal mini-conferences where we teach each other programming, electronics, maths and science. We organize meetups about various forms of innovation: AI, Big Data, IoT, robotics, building a community of technology enthusiasts inside and outside of the company.
Abeja employees have interests and hobbies unrelated to work and ranging outside of technology and innovation. Some enjoy outdoor activities like surfing, hiking or cycling. Some play musical instruments, some study history or psychology. Our lunchtime conversations involve philosophy and ethics. Our office bookshelf features business, engineering and UX design books, together with novels, art catalogues and non-fiction books about past times, distant countries and cultures.
Abeja is a fast-paced, always changing company with great potential. The contents of work and the company structure changes faster than we can update our PR materials and print business cards. We are driven by challenge, keeping tabs on the most recent wave of innovation, currently entering our daily lives. Not only that, we think far ahead of the time, considering future business directions and technology that doesn't yet exist. Whatever the future may bring, I'm sure work at Abeja will never be boring or repetitive.
Come and join us to develop world's first AI-based Gamification UX web application!