Ever wondered what’s the difference between the Shopee Frontend and Backend Engineering teams? Both teams work hand in hand, and are necessary pillars for creating a high-functioning site and app.
Meet Yee, from the Shopee Frontend (FE) Engineering team. His team is responsible for the look and feel of the Shopee app, all while ensuring proper functionality for our users.
“Be empathetic to our end-users.”
Yee (Y): The Shopee Frontend Engineering team is responsible for designing and developing frontend features that will be used by millions of Shopee app users. After which, our Backend Engineering team then builds the infrastructure that supports the features built by the FE team.
A lot of thought goes into ensuring that our Shopee app is both visually appealing and interactive for our users. When you open up your Shopee app and look at the details such as the screen’s layout, text, colors, buttons, animations and more, you’re essentially looking at the FE visual interface.
These details may seem small and unimportant when they standalone, but together, they impact the way you interact with the app and its features — from searching for products, to adding them to your cart, and finally making a successful purchase.
“When it comes to learning, be hungry.”
Y: My journey in frontend engineering started back in university when I majored in Computer Science. That’s when I chanced upon an internship opening with the Shopee Frontend Engineering team. During my 3-month stint, I managed to apply what I’ve learnt in school, and build up my knowledge with the guidance provided to me by my peers and mentors in the team.
The team not only creates product features, but also focuses on the technical details in the process, which gave me tons of invaluable experience. We hold multiple knowledge sharing sessions regularly so that everyone is able to grow together by learning from mistakes and experiences. From these sessions, I’ve learnt to hone my skills in programming to become a better software engineer. This was pivotal in influencing my decision to join the Shopee Frontend Engineering team as a full-time employee after my graduation.
“A Frontend Engineer understands design.”
Y: As critical as an FE Engineer’s work is, we don’t work in silo. We often collaborate extensively with the Shopee Design team, so effective communication and collaboration is essential. Occasionally, we’re also faced with challenges where the design works well but is technically difficult to implement, or may even cause performance issues.
To resolve this, we work with our designers to see what are some compromises we can make to the design to ensure technical feasibility. This can lead to many iterations to the site, as we ask ourselves questions such as, “What if the user’s screen is too small?”, or “What if the content is too lengthy?”.
One of my most memorable moments in Shopee was when my team successfully launched our UI Component Library after months of hard work! This library has helped to reduce developmental time by using a single code base to build apps across multiple platforms.
“Frontend Engineering is always evolving.”
Apart from technical skills, potential candidates need to have an appetite for learning, as the web is a constantly evolving universe. An important aspect of our job as Frontend developers is to keep up-to-date with new trends, tools and workflows.
I would characterise my day-to-day in Shopee as a Frontend Engineer, as one that’s full of new discoveries at every turn. To anyone who’s looking to make a mark on the e-commerce landscape, I highly recommend you to join us and be a part of our hyper-growth story.
Love technology as much as we do? Join the Shopee Frontend Engineering team today.
Keen to find out what the Shopee Engineering Data Infrastructure team is all about? Check out their feature here.
*All photos were taken before the implementation of COVID-19 Safety Measures.