Fabien shares his experience as a web developer at Sport Heroes

Published on 14 December 2020

Reading time 7 minutes

Hello Fabien, can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hello! I'm a former Wilder from 2019 based in Reims. I was no longer fulfilled in my previous job and Wild Code School gave me the opportunity to do a job I love. As a sports enthusiast, I am now lucky enough to be able to work in a company that works in this field. And being able to run with your colleagues is great! :)

What was your background before attending the Wild Code School in Reims? Why did you choose to join this training programme?

Before starting this training, I worked for 5 years as a graphic designer. I had spent 3 years studying in Namur to acquire the necessary skills. But it turns out that the market is really crowded, and the company I was in really didn't have the same vision of graphic design as me and I felt restricted.

Besides that, I was doing some projects for myself or for NGOs, doing both graphic design or sometimes the webdesign/development. I was lucky to have some basics during my training as a graphic designer, and thanks to some tutorials on the internet I managed to get by. But I didn't feel legitimate on the job market.

That's where Wild Code School came in. On the one hand, my knowledge wasn't up to date, it worked, but other languages had since appeared. But I also had no idea about the development tools that were being used in companies. Especially Git, which may have been complicated for some at the beginning, but which is now essential to work as a web developer in companies.

The fact that training is largely based on practice was very important to me, I think that this is how one learns best. Between that and the big projects, I found that we were in conditions very close to when working in a company. If you add all the more organisational aspects such as daily meetings and the SCRUM methodology in general, you're very close to how it works in a startup. Therefore, I did not feel out of place when I did my internship.


After your studies, you became a developer at Sport Heroes, can you explain what the company does?

Sport Heroes offers a SaaS product whose overall aim is to motivate people to do sports (and make them happy!). This product can be used in several contexts :

  • In B2C as a private label (historically our first communities: Running Heroes, Cycling Heroes and Swimming Heroes)
  • In B2B (United Heroes, a corporate wellness solution that engages employees around the employer brand)
  • As a white label (for strong brands wanting to build on their image by creating and animating a community of sportsmen and women, such is the case of IRONMAN Virtual Club or the Club Paris 2024 for the olympics).

To do this, we work with different providers (connected watches, tracking applications). Thanks to this, we will be able (with the user's agreement of course) to know when they did an activity and to have this information in the app. Each activity is processed on the backend side and interacts with different micro-services to update different screens. Thus, an activity can update both a challenge, such as a ranking or a user's profile.

This is the heart of the system. And thanks to these mechanics, we can create different websites or apps. One can activate this or that functionality and renew the experience according to the needs of the client or user. For example, some platforms will need a ranking screen. For others, you may want a rewards screen, or activate a user step tracking feature.

The code is available for each app, but you can quickly activate or deactivate a feature.

What are your challenges? What are your objectives for the future?

Promoting sport and well-being in companies is one of the key issues. We will also seek to develop our communities to reach out to as many people as possible, and thus support users in their sports practice by motivating, challenging and sometimes rewarding them. :)

What is your role in particular?

For my part, I joined the "app" team. I therefore work mainly in react-native. A large part of my work consists of translating a need into code, whether it is visual or more functional. But it's not all code that needs to be written. Being in a team, you have to think about communication, comment and document your code so that it is accessible to other people. You also have to monitor error reports so that you can quickly correct errors.

I also like to bring a graphic design perspective from my previous work experience.

The specificity, but also the complexity of the app part, is also everything that is native. Indeed, our apps are available on Android and iOS. And to be able to distribute them, you have to work on the files specific to these systems.

Can you describe your work environment? How is your team composed?

In Paris, the working environment was very pleasant. We were in an openspace, grouped by BU (business unit). There were several meeting rooms, a relaxation area with a ping-pong table, sofas, coffee machines...

There are about 70 people in the company, but the Tech/Product team, in which I am, has about 20 members. It is divided into several departments. The backend to receive/process data and dispatch it to each micro-service, the front-web and front-app which will display this information, the Product part which will think about new functionalities, create user stories and communicate improvements to other members of the company, and finally the Support part which will manage user feedback, create bug tickets etc.

As it is still a lot of people, we are grouped in 2 squads and each squad is working on its topics in parallel. In each one, we'll find a project manager who will drive the whole thing, at least one back-end developer to take care of the core, and then app or web developers who will work together on the body ;)

What languages do you code with?

I code mainly in react-native, for some needs it will be done in Typescript. We also have tests to write, this is done with Jest.

Sometimes, it is necessary to have a look at the database, so knowledge in MongoDB is necessary.

It is also necessary to know how to read Swift (iOS) or Java (Android).

From what you learned at the Wild Code School, what was the most useful?

Of course the technical aspect of React was very important. But from a professional point of view, I would say that it's really this aspect of business conditions that was the most useful for me. Knowledge is acquired over time, and you have to constantly renew yourself, but I think it's important to be at ease in a company with all the interactions that it implies.

How do you see your career evolve?

It's still very early for me to think about evolution. For the moment, I am still acquiring as much experience as possible. SportHeroes allows you to grow internally, to see what you can do when the time comes and according to your desires. There have already been examples of developers evolving towards a more senior role or as a project manager.

Thank you for all your answers, do you have a last word for the Wilders?

Stay Wild ;) The road is sometimes complicated, but in the end it's really an exciting job that allows you to work in different fields. It's really stimulating and rewarding!

To find out more about Fabien's Web Developer training, click here!