I believe a person has a special place for the first company he/she works for. Zomato being my first company acquired that place in my heart. As a graduate straight out of college, I was excited and enthusiastic to welcome this change in my life. My journey began on 4th of July 2016. On the day of orientation, HR told me that I would be working with the Web team at Zomato, whose primary focus was to work under the domain of “zomato.com”. This felt special and alarming, for the responsibilities I would have for a consumer-facing product. This experience led me to believe how much faith this company shows towards their employees. I won’t shy away from saying that though I was excited to work, I was also a little depressed to see lack of proper frameworks, coding guidelines, tests etc. Nevertheless, I was interested in facing the challenges that would come my way.
I along with Areeb, Ankit, Prabhanshu and Aniket joined the web team and were introduced to Sparshith, Nidhi, Ashish Kanwar and Gunjan (CTO Zomato). It was an immense pleasure to be working under Gunjan. He is one of the most grounded people I have ever met; his dedication towards his work inspired me. His small gestures like to take out his time to listen to my most straightforward queries made me his fan. The best thing about the team was that they all were passionate about software engineering and work was not work but play for them. They would be in an energised state when faced with a challenging problem. I soon become a part of this loving family and never felt like an outsider.
My first project was to work on lazy loading images on our collections page. I worked along with Ashish Kumar Kanwar on this project. Working with him, I learned the art of never giving up and keep on pushing my boundaries to achieve more. Moving forward Ashish and I become terrific friends, and I hope we would stay the same for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, I enjoyed a short period working with Sparshith as he decided to move on in his career. Though in this short time span, I learnt the importance of managing time from him. Nidhi to me is a living example of how to keep on learning and exploring. From working on HTML, CSS, js, to working on nodejs, PHP, go, she knew it all. She never said no to a challenge posed in front of her and kept on growing in the process. While I learnt a lot from my seniors, I also learnt a lot from the people who joined in with me. One of them was Ankit; his experience helped me in understanding the importance of teamwork. How essential it is to take the team together and have a feeling of ownership of the project you are working on.
Since I said it was more of a family than a team, we not only worked together but rather played, partied and shared personal as well as professional learnings with each other. Any person was just a walk away.
To me, Zomato meant open-ness, freedom, rush and 1% done. People at Zomato are given the freedom to choose the technology that they feel is best for the task in hand. People were open to discussions regarding the new technology and ways to do a certain task. This freedom not only led me to add linters in our PHP code base but also introduce a minimalistic slim framework while I was working on PWA Apis. During the journey we adopted Reactjs, go and even started writing our first user service inside Java. From a monolith to breaking zomato into services and UI kits, it was indeed a journey full of learnings. Discussions with teammates, learning Fridays, sharing things you find interesting, etc. all will be missed. The benchmark is set and high, and I hope my future endeavours don’t disappoint me.
What did I learn at Zomato? A lot. I present the things I feel are most important in no particular order.
- Ask the question why? You may already have a solution to it. As a developer/engineer, your work is not only to do the stuff that management wants instead engineer’s job is to listen to the problem at hand and then find the best possible solution.
- TEST! Yes, it’s not just testers job, it’s yours too! Make sure you have thought off all the edge cases your self and then tested them. Your goal should be to make sure testers are not able to find a bug in your code.
- As I worked on UI as well, pay attention to the details. It is essential and makes a lot of difference between a 2px border radius, 4px border-radius and no border radius at all. Have a good look at the design, zoom in and even suggest if you think designers missed out on something.
- Grid in the mind of a designer is so much different from the row-col based grid we use in HTML. The grid in designer’s mind is the global grid across the site while in HTML we know bootstrap way grid is nested. When you start working on a new design, confirm the grid size used by the designer and make your grid decisions accordingly.
- Think of all future possibilities, it’s better to spend an hour first thinking about the options than to code asap and hack the future upcoming into the system.
It was a great experience working with Zomato; I wish Zomato best for their future. For me, I have moved on and joined Adobe. I am taking all these learnings with me, let’s see what do they have in store for me ;)