Front End 
Developer 

Vesa Piittinen

  • I love performance, JavaScript and CSS.
  • I value native browser behaviour, HTML5 and accessibility.
  • I work in agile environments, avoid haste and do things properly.

Specialty: refactoring existing code and logic.


Tips & tricks!

If you're on a desktop browser you can use arrow keys to navigate between pages. Or press tab, that works too. In case you're a dev you might be interested to check out the source: it contains a lot of features considering how little JavaScript there is.

Techs and trends I deal most with (updated on May 2017)

  • React, Redux, React Router
  • Universal JavaScript
  • Responsive web design, mobile first
  • ES6+ / Babel
  • NodeJS
  • Google Analytics & Search Console

I've been working on React based solutions since summer 2014. Based on the experience it is clear React is currently the best way to go when working as a team on a JS project as it eliminates certain types of bad code style and design choices, and gives a clearer skeleton on how to work with the user interface. Redux adds in to this by doing the same with application state, eliminating issues and clutter that comes when working with React only.

Of course there are other kind of issues: it is very hard to maintain acceptable levels of performance, especially when working with a larger app. Also, since JavaScript world around React involves a lot of cutting edge technologies it is challenging to keep up and figure out what is important and worth learning.

I'm not the UX guy

I'm a developer, not a designer. However I'm probably one of the more designer oriented developers: I can take the layouts and produce an implementation that improves upon what is expected. I build more than is asked for, essentially making a good design a great design. It doesn't only look good, it feels good.

Technologically this means I take care of HTML semantics, pay some attention to accessibility issues, consider the way search engines see things and add in extra transitions in CSS if they seem like a thing that would improve experience for the user. I can work with the complexity involved in managing all these concerns while also managing the complexity of related application state.

In short I'm excellent with all the important parts involved in front end web development when quality is set as the most important factor.

I don't like to brag

Instead I'm quite honest in what I say. I question things all the time, including what I think myself. I don't speak a lot, but there is often a lot of meaning when I do. I'm the quiet guy who gets a lot of shit done. The introvert of introverts.

I work for Verkkokauppa.com Oyj

When I joined the company in 2013 my only merit was essentially to have 20+ years of hobbyist development experience. I didn't have any professional experience of notable value at that point.

During my first year I introduced HTML5, cleaned up the HTML syntax eventually improving search engine ranking, fixed front side performance issues on JavaScript side and added some nice "ajax style" cart features to the "web 2.0 legacy ecommerce site" that existed at that time.

During my second year work started on the modern responsive web which was when React was chosen as the main technology, which ended being a successful choice. The first project was to replace the checkout process with a new one. The new checkout is so good it has been essentially cloned by a few other ecommerce sites in Finland, even by one that could be considered as competitor.

Third year included a big push to replace the old website entirely with the new responsive site. Some hard things included refactoring the whole codebase from unwanted technologies to JavaScript as due to time limitations the project was started partially by a third party which gave quick results, but poor quality code and design choices. Also there were a lot of new technology and solutions at this time, including things like React Router and Redux, which were adopted.

Fourth year saw the completion of the main goal and the old legacy site was replaced by the new responsive ecommerce site for users of all devices. The site has been a great success and has kept Verkkokauppa.com quite competitive as a company. Main focus has changed from pushing a lot of new features into fixing issues resulted from feature focused development, focusing more on improving codebase and updating technology choices.

Links!

Programming
GitHub
CodePen
Finnish homepage
Some of my hobby sites
Kontu: Finnish community and wiki on Tolkien's Middle-earth
Settlers II.net
Maaya's Forum
Other
LinkedIn

Cool stuff I've done

The Settlers II.net Map Generator creates playable maps for the game. The maps have a very great variety. I think the landscape it creates is quite superior to about any other map generator tool I've seen. The end result works very well with the game.

This tool is probably the best offering that I can give of my skills outside the "web tech stuff" category. The logic that creates the landscape is not based on any existing algorithm – it is 100% hand crafted by me.

Web stuff

CodePen is the playground where I experiment the most these days. But sometimes it is hard to test older browsers there so I put my stuff on this site instead.