Article featured image Developer Stories: Chris Visser
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Developer Stories: Chris Visser

Chris, also known as the Spider, joined Passionate People in July 2018. His first project was at BNN/VARA, where he worked on the CDS platform. CDS stands for Central Data Strategy, it is where users log in to see their details. At the start, work was mainly the refactoring of an unnecessary complex frontend-architecture and the addition of functionality. Now that the legacy is easily manageable, and the core is documented, Chris is focused more on the various external services - with the aim of reducing configurations and complexity currently consuming time from the regular people there. He specializes in: JavaScript(ES6), ReactJs, HTML, CSS, NextJS, GraphQL, Apollo, Cypress, Styled Components, Symfony, PHP, AWS, Webpack, Serverless.

Since July 2019, Chris has been working on a project at Ahold Delhaize, where also our CTO David den Toom is a DevOps Engineer, TypeScript, Node.js & React Developer. Additionally, he is constantly involved with in-house projects such as website improvement and the creation of numerous platforms. Occasionally, he is master of ceremonies or host of conferences and helps developers improve their talks. He has many roles. His main role is of course being a developer and a problem solver which means he doesn't really care about the tools, the tools should fit the job.

I am an intrinsically driven agile full-stack developer with an infinite amount of curiosity. Endless curiosity and intrinsic motivation translate to a high level of creativity, out of the box ideas, but also result sometimes in some very bad word-jokes.

He uses many JavaScript frameworks such as Next for his React projects, Nuxt for his Vue projects, NodeJS, Apollo, Express, AWS, Serverless, Linux / Fedora, MeteorJS and many more when needed.

I am using a lot of frameworks and tools, because there is no one size that fits all.

Chris joined Passionate People, because he was looking for a company that has more to offer than an environment where you can work. He wanted to be surrounded by people who know a lot. As we often say, Passionate People is a collective of developers and developers are in control. There are numerous really good developers at Passionate People and this is the main reason why he joined. “I also wanted to have fun and here we have mario kart.” (Guess who is winning most of the times ;))

Chris’ personal goal is to become a community leader, because as a community leader people look up to you a bit more. It is not just about that, but if people know that you are good/ qualified then people will listen to you and your advice. He would also like to get better at solving problems. In the past years he says he has learned a lot. He started just as a developer, but he has learned that it's more about the people and communication than just about the actual software development, because he knows and owns the code. At Passionate People he got the chance to improve his people skills, and to put himself out on the stage and really throw himself into where he needed to be. He thinks he already succeeded quite well this year and in the upcoming year he wants to be even better. Such as being more visible, proactive at the conferences and really taking the lead in some things we do.

According to Chris, the most outstanding moment for him since he joined the company was the Frontend love conference in 2019. It was by far the most scary, but also the most fun part that he had witnessed! He would have never participated in a frontend conference, but last year he was chosen to be the Master of Ceremonies (MC) on day one. He did have experience speaking in front of 50 people, but not in front of more. But then, our CEO Luke told him, “Chris, you can do this!” So he was thrown into the deep, standing there on the stage in front of so many people. He loved it, but it was absolutely terrifying. This is his best memory and of course the karaoke afterwards. He would like to do both karaoke and MCing more often.

Chris loves being part of Passionate People, because he gets the chances to work with people in a collective. According to him, you can choose whether you want to “just” develop or do more like contribute to the conferences, which is by far the most important opportunity according to him. In theory, all companies provide this opportunity, but they do not actively help you with the things you want to do. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, you just need to reach the goals the company has set and if it does not conform to their goals, you cannot do them. Sometimes that conflicts with the personal goals, meanwhile here you will be granted the space you need to fulfil your goal.

Chris also has an interesting nickname: The Spider! Curious where it came from? It actually comes from one word, Versatile. It basically means that he is a problem solver and in order to solve a problem he needs to be versatile. So that's a single word that makes him a spider, because a spider has 8 legs. Also, one of his first applications was a spider, true story! Spider is a crawler. If you create a spider, it is an algorithm that goes to a website, finds all the links on that page, then it visits them one by one and collects those links and then it jumps from link to link, until it indexes the whole web. Indexing means storing the content of the page. This is what google spiders do. Spiders are collectors and so is Chris!

Chris was among the 11 speakers at the exclusive one-day Node conference, organized in June 2019 at the Theater de Meervaart, where he shared his experience of “Becoming Spider”. He explained how you can use Node.js in combination with Serverless to set up a fleet of spiders that gather and refine information from many different resources! If you are curious about the whole story, check it out here!

He also had an indispensable role in organizing both the Frontend Love and Vuejs Amsterdam Conferences in February 2020. Hand in hand with Pooya Parsa, our fantastic consultant and open source developer, they picked the brilliant leaders in the tech industry and crafted the lineup for both conferences. As technical directors, they made sure to bring the best of the best to our audience, including speakers like Evan You, Sebastien Chopin, Natalia Tepluhina, Guillermo Rauch, Kristijan Rastovski a.k.a. Kitze & many more! Pooya was among the speakers too with his talk on Nuxt.js. Other topics included Relational data management in Vue, Building Blazing Fast Sites with Gridsome, Climate change and the tech community etc. Chris and Pooya did a fantastic job and were also involved in interviewing the speakers and creating some amazing content for future podcasts!

Chris has been an active member of his community and has spoken at some meetups in the past too! One of them was the Frontend Developer Summer edition at Holland Financial Business Groups this July in the lovely city of Diemen! He gave a talk on Latency Compensation in React (If you can't speed up the system, speed up the experience). Passionate People CTO David den Toom was also a speaker there with a live coding presentation in React.

More recently, Chris took part in another Frontend Love Meetup organized by Capgemini in Utrecht, on October 3rd! Chris gave a fantastic talk on the topic of Headless Frontend! He expanded on websites or applications that are built to work alongside a headless CMS.

Moreover, he started with a new project in 2020; he launched his new youtube channel, where he is sharing knowledge about MeteorJS, explores Vite with React and many more interesting forays into the newest tech resources!  Subscribe to his channel here!

Impressed by his resume? Well here are some tips from our very own Spider!

🔥 ⁣Work when you feel it. Don't work when you really don't feel it. Like seriously! Stop forcing yourself, take a break! The best quality stuff comes from your peaks!

🔥 Stop caring about how other people work best, find out your own way! Make your own schedule!⁣

🔥 ⁣You should be in control! It’s your responsibility to be as productive as possible in the given time! You commit to a sprint. Be passionate about it, of course.

🔥 ⁣Stop worrying about what other people think about how you should work. Most of them do not even see the process itself. They only see my end result (which is always positive). 😉