Femke joined the Mobiquity Mobile team as an iOS Developer over two and a half years ago. She talks us through her journey, how she started out in Print and Marketing before switching to Development and building her first app. Femke speaks about the importance of usability and simplicity when creating an app but also the opportunity to add power to your app.
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Femke Offringa: I'm originally from Friesland, located in the North of the Netherlands. I am now living in Utrecht. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I like to try out lots of different hobbies, but what I enjoy the most is watching movies and exercising. I keep fit mainly through Zumba and also my Nintendo Ring Fit.
I began my working career as a Desktop Producer for a local advertisement company. For them, amongst other things, I would work on the local newspaper. I also worked part time at a music school where I would maintain their branding. At that time the print business was starting to slow down a lot, so I had three jobs on the go, as I would also help out my Dad at his store. All of this work was quite task based and not very creative. I needed and wanted to do something more interesting so I went back to school and studied a Bachelor Degree in Communication and Multimedia Design at NHL Stenden Hogeschool.
Throughout the Bachelor Degree we would get various projects to complete. I focused mainly on the marketing side at first, but I missed having that final product that I could say I had built. In my marketing roles we would work a lot in teams, throughout the planning and execution phase on the various activities we were conducting. I wanted to be able to create something all by myself, on my own. So I decided to switch to development. In my last year I asked a company if I could intern on building an iOS application and they happily agreed. I had always wanted to build an application but didn't quite know where to start. I had never built an app before, but I was excited to try. My school had some classes I could attend to learn more about development but it was mainly through my own determination and self teaching that I learnt how to do it, and succeeded.
After graduating I moved to Enschede where I started working as a Mobile Developer. As I was a junior at the time, I didn’t always get the opportunity to work as the main Mobile Developer so instead got the chance to take up a Product Owner (PO) role for a while where I was bug fixing, writing tickets, prioritising tasks, and working with customer services, which was very interesting and different for me. I didn’t enjoy the city as much as I thought I would have, so I decided to move to Amsterdam. My previous manager put me in contact with Mobiquity and that is how I found my way here.
The more I got to know Mobiquity the more I liked the company. All my colleagues really give their best and put an extra effort into everything they do. As we all help one another out, it is a very supportive work environment, and because of this everyone thrives excellence. It's inspiring to be surrounded by so many talented and skilled people.
What do I enjoy about Mobile Development? It involves working with all the other competencies such as Frontend and Backend. I like to learn more about what they do and how our competencies can complement one another while developing the end product. Mobile is quite UI (User Interface) heavy as one of the most important aspects is the usability of an app. As an iOS Developer you are the person who influences this to determine the best way to ensure the app is easy to use, looks well, and makes sense. However, there is also an opportunity to put a lot of power in your app by adding a database and optimising security. That’s what I really like about Mobile. It’s in your pocket and you can make it really easy to use but also really powerful, depending on the clients requirements.
I have gotten the chance to be part of many interesting projects at Mobiquity. I worked on a project with the first digital bank in the Middle East, ila bank. I am currently working on Datakeeper. It is a very interesting project that required a lot of learning at the beginning, since there are so many services involved. We are connected to several Backend services and a website Frontend, meaning we are working more full stack. We built an app using Ionic, which allowed me to build an app suitable for both iOS and Android. As we were making a lot of prototypes this was a fast way to get to the testing phase and from there we could determine if we progressed and developed the final app. It was a bit challenging as I am more familiar with iOS, but also very interesting. What I enjoy about creating this product is that we also had the opportunity to take part in some of the Fieldlab events, to allow people access to events with a negative Covid result. This was very cool and gives you an extra sense of achievement when you see people actually using your app and how it was benefiting them. It is a great collaborative project which also involves a lot of knowledge sharing between Mobile, Backend, and Front-end which I love as it allows the team to be very flexible and capable of helping each other out when needed.
Every day people are becoming more and more mobile orientated. For a lot of people mobile devices have become very important, that they carry it around with them everywhere they go. The beauty of Mobile Development is that you can make it as technical as you want or as simple as you want but really the overall most important factor is that it is flexible and adaptable. It is a very interesting field to work on because you have such a limited space for the actual application. You really need to minimise the design and functionality to what your client truly needs and try to make the application as simple as possible, while not compromising on efficiency.
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