Meet Juan Lavorano – Our Front-end Developer of Greener Projects
25-year-old Juan Lavorano has started working as a front-end developer at Greener eight months ago and for these eight months has dedicated his time to developing the user interface of Greener Projects. In this interview he describes his work, what Greener Projects aims to achieve and what was challenging for him.
How would you describe your role at Greener?
Well, as a front-end developer I am responsible for the coding of the part of the software that the user sees and interacts with. The backend on the other end refers to the server, the databases, the APIs… everything that keeps the software running in the background. And since I was hired to help with the frontend of Greener Projects, I have been developing the code for the user interface of the software during the past months. So, I work closely together with the rest of the software team, especially Jasper Clarijs, the Chief Technical Officer (read his interview here) and Jim van Oosten, the Product Manager of Powerplan (read his interview here). We would discuss the concept and necessary functionalities of the software and I would then write the code to create a usable platform.
In the future, every customer of Greener Power Solutions will benefit from the Greener Projects platform.
What is the idea behind Greener Projects?
We have a growing fleet of batteries and at times many projects running. Additionally, we record a lot of data, for instance about the energy consumption and electricity peaks. Until now, we have had different external software to display data, administer our projects and to keep track of where our batteries are. Especially for clients, but also for our own employees all these different applications can be confusing and at times we need specific functionalities, which are not included. Therefore, the solution was to develop our own software platform, where we can centralize the data, keep track of the batteries, and have full control over our assets with a simple mouse click. This solution is not only convenient, but also perfectly tailored to Greener products and services, so we can ensure the best possible experience. And since it is developed in-house, the platform is an all-in-1 package and we can adjust in case of problems swiftly.
What does Greener Projects aim to do?
As a centralized tool, Greener Projects can be used internally by our employees and externally by our clients for three basic goals. The first of these functionalities is operational management, which means that insights into live and historical data are available, and commands or programs can be send directly via the Greener Projects page. Secondly, the platform includes project administration to keep track of the units deployed at a location, the types of projects, the users and the organizations involved in the project. And last, but not least, the analytics will be done inside the Greener Projects platform, so we can easily assess the performance of separate units, as well as whole projects. This analysis part is still under construction but will be added as soon as possible to the platform after its launch. We also expect that we will use the software internally for the administration and control part and to generate data reports directly from the system in the future. For actual project clients and partners, the monitoring together with the control part will become essential, while asset owners can use analytics to ensure a good state of health of their units. In the future, every customer of Greener Power Solutions will benefit from the Greener Projects platform. To make the system the most accessible and flexible, we also decided for a browser application instead of an actual downloadable program.
What has been the most challenging task when working on Greener Projects?
When I started working at Greener Projects there was basically nothing developed yet, and I had to work from scratch. For me, the whole experience has been one big challenge and I have learned a lot from it. The whole time I was learning as I was doing. Additionally, since I did not have any prior knowledge about the technology as I do not have an engineering or energy background, I was relying on the team for the specific information. Personally, the most challenging part was the graphs that we included in the platform. In the beginning, this was not my task, but since other colleagues in the software team have a lot of different responsibilities, I was asked whether I felt comfortable in taking over the task to develop the graphs. These graphs show the different times of data, for instance in a Gantt-chart and I had never coded something like this before. So, on the one hand, it was really frustrating at times when nothing seemed to go right, but on the other hand, the graphs are now the part I am the proudest about. I guess every developer knows this. With software development 95% of the time, it goes wrong and nothing works and the 5% of the times when it works, you feel like you can do anything. I guess, I love a challenge.
How has your experience of working at Greener been and what have you learnt?
The software team at Greener has been really nice. I never felt like I was left on my own to solve things, there was always someone, who I could ask in case of any troubles. Since I am not a senior developer and still at the beginning of my career, it is great to have someone to look up to, who always takes the time to help you out when necessary. The whole team worked hard on this project has worked closely together. For my personal development, the freedom of working out these challenges in coding, has enabled me to progress as a software developer. Since I had a lot of responsibility and learnt on the way, I have become comfortable with my position as a front-end developer. I am confident about my coding.