Skwarel: From Flash to Typescript

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Mar 2016 - Jan 2019
Skwarel is a web platform that allows the harmonization of internal processes, the automation of everyday tasks, and handle the communication between accounting firms and their clients.


Skwarel was my first job, starting in March 2016. The company's goal was to make the accounting industry look sexy! It was an inside joke that we often used during our pitches, but it perfectly summarized Skwarel's mission and team. At the beginning, the team was composed of Philippe, the CEO, Thomas, the CTO, and Mathieu, the backend developer. I was then hired as the first frontend developer of the company.

The MVP for the software project was developed using Flash technology, which the team was most comfortable with at the time. However, due to Flash's discontinuation, we needed to adapt their MVP to a newer technology to allow for team expansion and avoid technical debt. We chose AngularJS, the first version, although Angular 2 was on the horizon in 2016 but not yet fully released. To prepare for the transition to TypeScript, we decided to create an AngularJS project using TypeScript. This was a forward-thinking decision for 2016, especially considering the high adoption rate of TypeScript in 2023!

My first mission was to redesign all the screens of the Flash application using AngularJS. Despite some management differences during the transition, I successfully developed the client-side, and we presented the project to beta testers. It was an exciting experience that introduced me to the importance of customer feedback in software development. We used Intercom, a powerful software tool, to gather feedback from customers, and it was a pleasure to see how much we could learn from it.

I also had the opportunity to develop a Hybrid mobile application (with NativeScript) that provided cross-platform support for Android and iOS. The app allowed Skwarel's clients to send their documents to their accountant easily. This experience helped me to consolidate my knowledge of cross-platform mobile application development and build on what I had learned during my internship at the Dour festival.

Furthermore, I had the privilege to supervise web development interns who were completing their final internships at Skwarel. This experience helped me to realize my passion for mentoring. It provided me with a fresh perspective on certain problems, allowing me to spot technical debt in the project. In summary, interns are an excellent resource for a company. From my point of view, starting your first job as a developer in a brand new startup can be challenging for a junior developer. I encountered several technical issues that could have been quickly resolved with a senior developer's presence. However, it taught me resourcefulness and autonomy, which are valuable skills in any industry.

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Working at a startup has many advantages, including the opportunity to explore various roles and projects. One such advantage is the ability to work on small side projects that can bring in additional revenue for the company. At Skwarel, I had the chance to develop an "IPP" platform from scratch, allowing Comptaline's accountants (now Amarris.BE) to easily submit documents for personal income tax returns. This side project proved quite lucrative for Skwarel, especially considering the time invested in its development.

Another of the benefits of wearing multiple hats at a startup is the ability to pursue personal interests and skills. In my case, I have a strong artistic sensibility and a passion for design, which my boss Philippe recognized. He gave me the opportunity to work on designing Skwarel's future accounting platform, an experience that helped me develop my design skills and become more proficient in Figma.

I spent three years at Skwarel, and I am truly grateful to the team, especially Philippe and Thomas, for trusting me with various projects throughout my time there. I look back on those early years of my career with a lot of nostalgia. Now, as an independent contractor, I am a client of Skwarel's and use their platform almost every month to keep my accounting up to date. It's a really satisfying feeling for any developer to see a product they helped create continue to improve year after year.

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