Lakshya Thakur
Lakshya Thakur's Blog

Lakshya Thakur's Blog

500 Commits Later At Hashnode

500 Commits Later At Hashnode

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Lakshya Thakur
ยทApr 30, 2022ยท

7 min read

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Today I completed 6 months as a software developer at Hashnode ๐ŸŽ‰.

6 months

A Bit About My Work

Most of my work has been around frontend before joining Hashnode. I started with Wipro and then joined Altran (acquired by Capgemini). Picked up few learnings from being active on Linkedin (good old linkedin), contributing to Stack Overflow and making some side projects.

Coming from a service based MNC background of 3.5 years, Hashnode, being a startup, is a breath of fresh air in many aspects.

I have key highlights to share around my experience and I will keep them brief :

Being Part Of Hashnode Community Revamp

My first task or to be precise, a series of tasks to do as I joined Hashnode was to become part of the hashnode.com revamp. Trust me, there were moments where I felt like we're almost done but it just got further pushed. But I liked that we didn't compromise on the quality aspect of it. From frontend to backend, we did iterative improvements, discarded designs and re-approached with better ones, worked on performance a lot in the last days. This whole thing was literally my first 3.5 months at Hashnode but I am glad I got a chance to be a part of it. Got to learn a lot from the amazing folks here. Besides the technical aspects of learning, I understood some of design and SEO shenanigans and now try to incorporate these learnings in my side projects (Prings is the latest).

Creating Fun Side Project - JinglyPuff

So amidst the community platform revamp, Syed Fazle Rahman (CEO and co-founder of Hashnode) had an idea to make a very small fun project around Christmas theme. JinglyPuff was born out of it and was really my first visible contribution as part of Hashnode since the revamp was still a secret ๐Ÿคซ.

Screen Shot 2022-04-29 at 11.00.50 PM.png

First Fully Owned Feature - Profile Hover Cards

Though community revamp had a mix of many tasks, most of those involved replicating existing functionality in a better way. Unlike those, this was my first feature development with full ownership of frontend and backend at Hashnode. Was very excited when this got shipped and yes, within 5 seconds I noticed a UI bug in prod but patched it before anybody noticed it (hopefully) and gave myself a pat.

Participating In Code Reviews

Before Hashnode, I have always had my code reviewed by seniors. Here we don't have that kind of hierarchy. I like to participate in them and make sure we ship quality stuff. We are still figuring out how to solve relevant stuff with tooling and have less cognitive load for developers. Besides the technical aspect of it, I like to participate in code reviews since they are one extra point of communication in a remote setup. LGTM.

kid thumbs computer gif

Hiring for Hashnode

As you know we are expanding our team and that means having many applicants and interviews. I have never been at the interviewer side of the process and here I got this opportunity to interview folks. Our process is straight forward and consists of take home assignments. Reviewing those assignments and forming follow up questions and discussing tradeoffs with the candidates have been a learning in itself. Interesting folks have recently joined us at Hashnode ๐Ÿฅณ and are already creating waves.

interview dwight gif

Pitching Myself As Part Time Video Editor

From my first day, I made sure that folks at Hashnode know that I like to do creative stuff by letting Tim Cook wish them Good Morning as I unbox the work macbook

But yes, since then I go around jokingly pitching myself as part time video editor for Hashnode. I mean you gotta see the jinglypuff launch video :

Learning New Jargons And Acronyms

OKRs, CTRs, MAUs, investor jargon and what not are some stuff that you can easily pick up when working at a startup. Just today I learned what ymmv (your mileage may vary) stands for. Trust me I am not a very good acronym/jargon person. I totally google them most of the times but when you are in a fast growth startup, it's normal to come across these. I am pretty sure I know the least.

Making Memes (very important)

I think our education system should now include a whole chapter on memes. I maintain a folder called memes in my work laptop and I have created 5 till now. Hoping to kid around more and inspire people. Here is the latest one :

too_damn_high_code_reviews.jpeg

I mean, too much of even code reviews ain't good.

Brainstorming With Team Around Documentation, Guidelines & Engineering Practices.

This has increased many folds now and I love it. Every team member brings something to the table and so with more folks joining in, we have had some good discussions around engineering guidelines, documentations and processes. Also we have implemented a subset of these and hopefully by the end of the year, we would have much stronger foundations here.

brainstorming_gif

My First Article Landed On Hashnode's Official Engineering Blog

Just this week, I got to publish the following article on our engineering blog. It feels good to be able to talk about your engineering efforts and document them and simultaneously represent your organization. Funnily enough, this is my first featured article on Hashnode ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Pizza Monday

We had our first Pizza Monday (on a Tuesday) 2 weeks ago where I concentrated a lot on my pizza and had fun playing skribble with the folks.

Engineering is One Aspect Of It

so much more

At Hashnode weekly sync ups, all teams gather and share what they achieved this week, what's in work for the next time and more. Besides our web and mobile team updates, we discuss company's growth, investor updates, incidents & recovery insights, marketing team updates, management updates, design team updates, content team updates etc. Due to this intersection of information, there is also an opportunity to learn something more. I personally learned that even though Hashnode is powered by a lot of tech, the need to scale is very much dependent on how much our users love it. And engineering alone can't solve that. That's why we have these amazing folks at Hashnode who come up with strategies and design that drives engagement and ultimately makes sure the community thrives.

Making Progress

When I came to Hashnode, I identified myself as a frontend developer but now I am steadily moving towards my own vision of being a Software Engineer. And much of the credit for this goes to all the folks at Hashnode. There always is a helping hand around and that matters a lot to me from mentorship perspective. Nobody here sets a limit on what you can or cannot do. Not that I am going around learning every possible thing (personally can get counter-productive) but with an iterative approach, I feel I am progressing and that's important. In fact, as part of that progress, I undertook migration of one of the core components that powers search on Hashnode and a detailed article would soon land on our official engineering blog. So stay tuned โœจ. Here's to unlocking more potential together

ultra instinct

Personal Commitments

I mean it's a startup but it's flexible. You get to decide your work timings. You can take out time for stuff that's important to you and for me, even before I joined Hashnode, I was following a set routine to exercise and that continued after I joined it. I was able to attain a good health goal this year along with my work commitments and I see that as a win.

Wrapping Up

So these were the highlights of my 6 months journey with Hashnode. I still remember creating an account at Hashnode in 2020 but not really using it until 2021 and within one month of usage, applying for the job and now it's a part of my daily routine, sometimes as a developer and sometimes as a blogger.

Here are some special mentions as part of this experience - Vamsi, Megha, Girish, Sandeep, Fazle, Sandro

Looking forward to add more people to the list and collaborate ๐Ÿค with them.

Also, we are constantly iterating on what Hashnode means to people and organizations and if that excites you, apply at our careers page.

See you soon. Ciao ๐Ÿ‘‹

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