I switched teams back in April and have been focusing on Fullscript's design system these past few months. I've cleaned up old components, build new components (hey
Accordion), made some accessibility upgrades, and lately have been working creating design tokens as a precursor to colour theming our application.
This is new territory for me, and is different from what I was doing before, which was feature development. There's tons to learn and lots of new tools I haven't used before. My work now affects all the front-end developers at Fullscript, and I'm responsible for any questions or issues that arise with our design system. I've gone from working in a team of 8 to working on a team of 4. My new team consists of three developers including myself and my tech lead, and one designer.
Building design tokens was something completely new to all three developers on the team. We've leveraged a couple third party tools for an improved developer/designer experience. It's been a bit slow going with all of the trial and error we've been doing, the decisions we have to make, and all the documentation we've been reading. One thing we found that made the entire process so much easier was to noodle together.
Noodle together? I wish we were enjoying bowls of ramen at Sansotei, but alas, remote work. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's an idiom that boils (haha, no pun intended!) down to thinking together. Instead of banging our heads against the wall for hours working on solo tasks, we would come together in a video call to pair program and to work through problems together. We found that we were able to tackle more challenging tasks like building our first GitHub action in a shorter amount of time.
It's been a winning process for us, and I would highly recommend it in any situation where you see task roadblocks, or need to make team decisions like structuring data. Yes, it may seem expensive to take away individual time from multiple developers and team members to work on a task together, but in the long run, it's really not (one hour of teamwork vs. a day of struggling). And a bonus? It fosters community and team building especially in a remote work world.
If you have any questions or notice an error in this post, drop me a line at email@example.com.