My work focused mainly on the frontend, and I put pre-commit hooks that ran stuff like prettier, eslint and jest. It expanded to more than that, for example, running rubocop on Ruby files. Check out my post on pre-commit hooks if you're curious about all that.
We were running an older version of Preact. The older version was blocking us from using a lot of the functionality that was previously only available in React—hooks, fragments, context, componentDidCatch to name a few. Upgrading Preact wasn't a huge change, but the testing library we used for components in the project was. It worked with the older version of Preact and not the newer one.
Around this time, React Testing Library (Preact Testing Library in our case) had started gaining traction. It clicked with me how this library tested components. So, another significant change came with the migration to Preact X. You can read more about that in the referenced changelog post.
I'm not an accessibility expert, but I had the chance to work with Marcy Sutton while at Forem. She joined us for about six weeks in the fall of 2020. I learned a lot from her. It also invigorated me to advocate for accessibility as we built out the product. We were building welcoming, inclusive communities, so it would seem hypocritical not to take accessibility into account.
I spoke to our head of engineering at the time, Molly Struve, to advocate for accessibility and explained that we need to make this an organization-wide initiative. She was on board. 😎
Did it start slow? For sure, but it gained traction, and it has now become a part of our process when developing the product.
A big shoutout to Suzanne Aitchison (@s_aitchison), our accessibility expert who joined the team in 2021 and helped push this initiative even further. Is the work done? No, but the application is leaps and bounds more accessible than in the fall of 2020.
As the application grew more significant and feature-rich, it was super important to be able to feel good about what we shipped. I remember a period when things were breaking a little more frequently. Were we doing a terrible job? No, but that confidence was lacking when we sometimes shipped features/bug fixes. I advocated for E2E testing and got the green light.
It took about a month to get the CI/CD pipeline to run the tests and maybe another couple of weeks to tweak how we run them locally during development.
A big shoutout to my knowledgeable Rails co-workers Josh Puetz, Michael Kohl, Rhymes, and Mac Siri for helping find the best strategy for cleaning the database between test runs.
As a more senior person on the team, you have to help scale the team and impart knowledge. I consistently did Pairing regarding all things frontend and programming in general. And another great thing about mentoring? You learn too!
You definitely forgot a big one on this list: POSITIVITY. I have consistently been so impressed with the way you lift others up, encourage everyone, and inject fun and humor into your interactions with everyone — both internally and in the wider community. More appreciated than you know!