Cover image for my 'vertu lap 1' blog post.

🏎️ Lap 1 @ Vertu Motors

It's been a year since I started as a frontend developer at Vertu Motors, and it's time to look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on some achievements from the past year.

by yours truly

Some Roadworthy Achievements

The frontend development team at Vertu Motors is poised to become a trend-setting digital powerhouse in the UK's automotive industry. Together with our backend, design, and marketing team, we are proud to celebrate our websites which won the “Dealer Website of the Year” award.

Our team has celebrated many other wins this year, including the re-launch of VansDirect and various internal software and tools that have drifted us into the fast lane. There are so many other projects to name and celebrate, so I'll leave it to my fellow colleagues to take the stage and share their insights on those projects in the weeks to come.

In the remainder of this blog post, I want to celebrate a few initiatives and projects that I was involved in over the past year, either as a contributor on one of our amazing teams or as a tech lead of Team Rocket 🚀.

Notable Projects Contributions

I contributed to various projects over the course of the year. While I cannot go into too much detail at this time because the scope of these projects are large and their nature is quite innovative, I can share the following summary:

  • As a contributor with Team Komodo 🐉, we delivered a task queue dashboard for tracking the progression of various in-store activities.
  • As the tech lead of Team Rocket 🚀, we delivered a complete redesign of our in-store vehicle presenter. This was a six-month effort that we are delighted to roll-out in the coming year. Huge shout out to my fellow Rocketeers for all of their hard work, innovation, and creativity!!
Team Rocket conducting user acceptance testing on site at a secret Ford Dealership.
Above: Team Rocket conducting user acceptance testing on site at a secret Ford Dealership.
Bottom row from left-to-right: Zakariyya Ahmed, Farshad Shafii, Haris Rafiq, Zoheb Malik.
Back row from left-to-right: Christos Efstathiou, Panos Siokas, myself.
MIA: Hasi Hannaby, Ben Brownson.

A Private Package Distribution

One of my favourite achievements in the past year has been identifying and implementing the architecture for a private javascript package distribution. This has been a huge undertaking, and I'm really proud of the work we've done. Not only has this architecture helped us to better distribute our javascript packages internally, but it's also provided a solid foundation for future development and growth. It's been a smooth implementation so far and we're already seeing some impressive acceleration in terms of code reuse and syncronising our various microservices.

Writing a Foundation for a Component Library

Another accomplishment I'm proud of is our efforts to write a component library that we plan to use for our applications. This has been a long-term project with many contributors, but I'm happy to say that we're finally starting to see some real progress. The component library we're building will provide a consistent, reliable set of tools that we can use across all of our applications, which will help to streamline our development process and make us more efficient as a team.

A Template for Success

One of the projects that I'm most proud of is our internal template or boilerplate for our frontend applications. We have created the equivalent of “create-react-app" for our projects to help harmonise configuration and best practices across our codebase. This has been a big undertaking, but I'm happy to say that it's been a huge success. The template we've created has made it much easier for our team to quickly spin up new applications, which has saved us a lot of time and effort.

Helping to Design and Shape Team Processes

In addition to working on specific projects, I've also been involved in helping to design and shape various team processes.

Together with Lead Developer Steven Blyth and fellow Senior Frontend Developer Farshad Shafii, team culture has been an import part of our work. This year we have drafted a plan to build the fastest, most ambitious, and most impactful team of frontend developers in the automotive industry. We believe that our pit crew is tuned to realise new gears and take on more complex projects. It has been a pleasure to help be involved in molding our team, and I am excited to see what we accomplish in one year's time.

The Brains Fueling Innovation

One year ago, I joined Vertu Motors as a junior developer and was immediately impressed by the wealth of opportunities available to me. In this time, I have been able to supercharge my personal development thanks to out incredible team. From the frontend team to our colleagues in the digitization department, there are so many brilliant minds to learn from and create cool stuff with.

I want to give a special shout out to two of my amazing colleagues, Steven Blyth and Farshad Shafii. Steven is a brilliant developer who has taught me so much about building production-ready websites. His code is often awe-inspiring and sometimes even spiritual to read. Farshad is a brilliant developer who was instrumental in introducing me to the team, graciously showing me the ropes, and continues to inspire me in so many ways. He is a masterful problem-solver and always patient and gracious with his advice and sanity checks. I could only hope to emulate half of what these two amazing people have achieved.

At Vertu Motors, we are like a well-oiled machine, working together to drive innovation in the world of automotive digitization. I am proud to be a part of this dynamic and forward-thinking team, and there are so many other amazing people here who I dare not mention for fear of this turning into an Oscar-like speech. What I will say is that I am excited to see what the future holds for everyone on our amazing teams!

One More Special Shout-Out

I have to give a special mention to Vertu Motors for being so gracious to me, especially my managers Steven Blyth, Tom Kirton, and Simon Ward. Not only have they provided me with challenging and rewarding work, but they have also provided myself and my partner with Visa Sponsorship, enabling us to make plans to stay in the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future. This is a huge relief and we are incredibly grateful.

What's Next?

With such an exciting first lap at Vertu Motors, I am looking forward to what is on the road ahead for our frontend team. We are settling into a pace that can put us in a position to set many more records. For me personally, I feel like I'm just getting started and I cannot wait to find my next gear in the coming year.