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Student Interview: Lena Ryoo on Company Projects May 15, 2019

At Rithm, we believe that one of the best ways to prepare students for jobs as web developers is by giving them opportunities to work on real-world projects. Working on personal projects can be fun, but working in a team or on an existing code base gives students insights into the day-to-day challenges of a developer that they might not otherwise learn. Our 10th cohort recently completed their company projects, so we spoke with Lena to get their perspective on the experience.

Describe yourself in a few sentences (where you’re from, what you did before the bootcamp, something unique about you).

I’m a Korean-Canadian who has lived in the bay for the past 10 years. I got my BA in Architecture and am a grad school drop-out (Developmental Psychology). I was a professional babysitter/infant-toddler teacher for over four years, then transitioned to working as a front-end web developer for a blockchain start-up before the bootcamp. I made the transition from babysitter to front-end developer through self-study, but I wanted to learn more deeply, which is why I joined Rithm. I love to play volleyball and read tarot cards in my free time!

Lena working on The Relish

How would you describe the experience of working on these company projects? Can you tell us a little about the projects you’ve been working on?

We worked on the CMR (Content Management System) for The Relish, a platform for non-conventional sports fans. It is built with React and uses Firebase.

How large is your team? What have you learned by working together?

Our team for The Relish was 6 people. I worked with Cynthia as a pair on improving the performance of the statistics page. We worked in the traditional driver-navigator pairing style for complicated tasks. For implementing changes that are redundant across different Components, we split the work. Working on the project with Cynthia really helped me see the value of pairing. When we hit roadblocks, we were able to get through them by putting our heads together. It was efficient and also comforting to have another developer to review and test the code and to bounce ideas off of.

What are some things you have accomplished while working on these projects?

As a team, we were able to optimize the loading time and eliminate unnecessary data transfers across the whole application. When we began, database queries were being made almost every time you clicked on anything - going to page 2, sorting by date, moving to a different page, etc. This was inefficient, because the app was often asking for the same data from the database multiple times, which not only affected the load time, but also the user experience, having to wait for data to be received every time you clicked on anything. We utilized the Redux store to solve this issue. Anytime a database query was made, the data was saved into the Redux store, so that the next time the data was needed, it could be accessed without another database query. Making the transition from database to Redux as the main source of data in each Component was difficult, but definitely feasible given our training at Rithm.

What was the most challenging thing about working on your project?

Having to work with a client who wasn’t with us in the office was a challenge in decision making. We didn’t know exactly what the client wanted when it came to some of the details. Sometimes we’d have to wait for a response that changed our workflow.

As a developer, what have you learned as a result of working on production code?

I learned the value of documentation. Actually, the first thing we did when we started working on the project was to update the readme file so we and future developers could get an organized overview of the project.


It is not only motivating, but fun to work on code and features that will be used by many people. Check out more about our company projects here!

Written by Angelina Angelina

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