Unpacking the life of a web developer with Muhamad Arar
In this edition of our Employee Spotlight series, get to know Muhamad, a Tel Aviv-based Web Developer who builds web applications to refine the Dynamic Yield platform.
From developers and engineers to marketers, those dedicated to customer success, sales leaders, HR representatives and beyond, our Employee Spotlight blog series surfaces stories of the amazing individuals behind our AI-powered Personalization Anywhere™ platform. With each edition, we get to the heart of our team so you can get to know us a little bit better and find out what makes us tick.
This month, meet Muhamad Arar. Muhamad has been with us for about four years now and is based out of Dynamic Yield’s office in Tel Aviv. He is a web developer in the R&D department, where he works on building and developing web applications for Dynamic Yield’s platform, which refines and improves our ability to provide our customers with marketer-friendly tools. A former member of the Support team, Muhamad is familiar with the technical wants and needs of customers and has been able to leverage his historical knowledge in his current role, using it to inform development projects, design better web interfaces, and improve the overall user experience.
Let’s learn more about him…
What is your role at Dynamic Yield? What are the roles and responsibilities of a Web Developer in R&D?
I am currently a full-stack web developer here at Dynamic Yield. I tend to lean toward backend web development, focusing on unique ways to turn beautiful UX designs into rich, complex web applications.
I have ownership over all technical designs for new platform features and lead feature development, transforming beautiful mockups into fully-functional interfaces. Additionally, I make a conscious effort to stay up-to-date on trends, using my observations and learnings to push the envelope, helping my team think more creatively and technically to improve and advance the UX of the Dynamic Yield platform.
What does the day-to-day of a web developer at Dynamic Yield look like?
I’m always tackling new challenges in my role, where I work across departments. Often, projects begin with the Product team, where team members identify gaps and needs to improve the Dynamic Yield platform. Typically, web developers spring into action once they’ve received mockups from the Product team, but we also collaborate with the Customer Success team from time-to-time to identify pain points clients are facing and find solutions to their problems from a developer standpoint.
On a daily basis, we, developers, must execute our coding responsibilities using cutting-edge technologies. This requires us to not only code new features and applications but do so while continuing to support legacy code developed using older methodologies, a uniquely challenging objective.
What are some of the unique challenges you face in your role, and how do you overcome them?
Software development requires a significant amount of problem-solving, and my role requires me to be nimble and innovative, finding the best solutions to a particular problem at hand. These problems range in complexity, and as a result, coming up with solutions isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, more often than not, it’s an uphill battle that requires me to be attuned to the latest technologies and methods available. As a result, I’m always in a state of learning, keeping my ear to the ground to identify trends and solutions developers outside of the organization are using, in addition to collaborating with my team and other colleagues, each of whom provides a unique perspective on a given problem.
How is web development in R&D different from other web development roles?
Often, typical developer roles require a focus on building a product or service explicitly desired by a customer. Development in R&D is a bit different, requiring days (or even weeks!) of experimenting. We tinker with ideas and technology to build things that may never even become a full-fledged product. Additionally, we also tend to build applications and tools that replace or improve our current technologies, helping us make our work more efficient and pleasant.
What led you to Dynamic Yield?
During my final semester of college, where I was studying Information Systems, I instantly knew I wanted to join a small-to-medium-sized startup. The allure of a smaller team was the ability to gain hands-on experience, network and work alongside “core” employees, have the opportunity to grow with the organization as it scales, and be granted the opportunity to climb in the ranks and gain exposure to other departments for further career growth.
What is something about your role other members of the Dynamic Yield team would find surprising?
I think many people at our organization would be shocked by the complexity of our work – not simply the coding aspect, but also the number of moving parts involved in our processes. And although we refer to ourselves as front-end dev, a sizable amount of our daily tasks are related to back-end development, requiring us to identify and create the logic behind our code.
What does your professional background look like, and how is your current role different from your past professional experiences?
I actually began my career here at Dynamic Yield nearly four years ago. I started out in the Support department, where I learned about the ins-and-outs of not only the Dynamic Yield platform but also the technologies and products offered by many of our customers.
I eventually wanted to make the transition of being someone who supports products to someone who builds products. The role of a web developer is very different than that of a Support team member, but my experience working directly with clients and troubleshooting their unique issues put me in the best position possible to build better products at Dynamic Yield that eventually better serve our customers.
What has been your most rewarding moment during your time at Dynamic Yield?
After four exciting years at this company that I’m grateful for, I had a round of conversations with my managers, my current team lead, and our CTO (and co-founder) to discuss my career development and what I wanted to focus on next within the organization. I was honing my skills and learning from my peers during my time on the Support team so I could land a developer role, and I was fortunate enough to earn that promotion.
What are some of your passions or hobbies outside of work?
I’m a fairly competitive person by nature, so outside of work, you can find me playing football or spending time competitive gaming. In addition to playing sports, I love spectating and can often be found attending professional sporting events on weekends.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received from anyone (either within or outside of the company)? And what advice would you give to anyone starting off in a web developer role?
Someone once told me to “bring value to your employer” because doing so won’t just be gratifying – it will also serve as an omnipresent reminder of your personal value within the organization.
I would urge anyone early in their journey toward becoming a web developer to remember one thing: there’s plenty to learn. I encourage you to listen to those with more experience. Enlist their help and mentorship and learn from their successes and failures. And never shy away from a big project – you’ll never become a better developer if you don’t occasionally dive into the deep end.