Front-End Engineer

5 min readApr 10, 2024

How did you become a Tuumster, as many Estonians know you as a musician?

Starting a bit further back, I believe it was about 7–8 years ago when my wife first suggested that since I was casually exploring programming as a hobby, perhaps I should consider pursuing it as a career. About a month later, she came across Vali IT program and encouraged me to apply. So I did, completed the course and went for an internship. Initially, I worked as a Junior back-end developer dealing with .net. My mentor, who guided and helped me settle in, was more of a front-end developer. He was very talented, and I still have great respect for him. He asked me if I would be interested in React work and front-end development, and of course, I was, so he started assigning those tasks to me. I had never written HTML before, but it began to captivate my interest more and more, so for a year, after work, I dedicated my evenings to further learning to get things clear for myself. I felt I needed to do this to progress. I worked at my previous job for five years, doing a bit of full stack, and the last two years were purely front-end. But at some point, I grew tired of agency work. It didn’t suit me anymore, so I started looking around.

I applied to a couple of places, and Tuum seemed like the right fit for me. And I’m very happy about it. The workflow here suits me well, as it’s agile but without overly long scrum ceremonies. In previous experiences, I felt that meetings took away a significant portion of my work time.

What attracted you to front-end development over other areas within the IT field?

What attracted me to front-end development was somewhat coincidental, but I am keen on continuous learning and self-improvement. At Tuum, I’ve started learning Java, which is used here. I actually enjoy front-end and back-end equally. And it’s nice to be able to switch functions if I get tired of one.

Could you walk us through your collaboration process/typical workflow with designers and backend developers? Are there any particular challenges you face?

In general, everything runs very smoothly. Before the task reaches me, the back-end part is already done and tested. Something might occasionally come up, but everything is usually ready for me. Analysts prepare tasks for me, and I try to format them. Sometimes, there are mocks of how things could look, but usually, there are no designs in front of me. I have full liberty, and that’s great.

Have you encountered any misconceptions or stereotypes about transitioning from a creative field like music to a technical field like IT? If so, how have you addressed them?

I haven’t experienced any. There haven’t been any discounts for musicians, that’s for sure. All achievements have come through hard work. Many people go into IT, but it’s clear who puts in the effort and who doesn’t. I invested a lot because I had decided to stay in this field. In a way, programming or development is also a creative activity, so in my opinion, it suits musicians. I know a few others who have also gone into IT, but I don’t know how far they’ve come with it.

Could you describe your creative process and how you get into the zone when working on music?

I tinker with instruments, find interesting chords, start recording, and begin building. Nothing happens at home with kids around; you need to get away from the routine. I also had my little production hut at some point, but now I’m not actively involved in creativity anymore because I got so caught up with everything that I decided to put it aside. I didn’t even listen to music for a year.

The best creative experiences have been with my sister. Her band had the same crew as Ewert and The Two Dragons and it’s all very easy with them.

What do you find most fulfilling about working in the tech industry compared to your experiences as a musician? And vice versa?

Stability — because people in the entertainment industry suffer immediately if there’s a crash of any kind. Stability is also very important when having a family.

I also love that there are always new technologies, frameworks, and news. There’s a lot to discover — I feel like a kid in a toy store, with excitement and a desire to try everything. I’m naturally more of an introvert, and this field suits that temperament well.

One thing I miss while working in the IT field is having more free time. As a musician, you can be more in control of your time, which helps in creative work.

How do you recharge and unwind?

During winter, I don’t know how to do it. Usually, I learn a lot and spend time with my family. I do indoor golf training. From spring onwards, I move to our summer house, and the activities there recharge me a lot. Internally, I’m probably an engineer — my father and grandfather were also builders. I got to help with building our summer house as a little boy, and that passion stuck with me. I involve my children in the same way now; I let them drill and screw. I’ve converted attics into rooms, built furniture and brewed beer. I enjoy hands-on activities, and I guess that is why I love programming that much as well — I get to build things!

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