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The work of an integration developer is not as well known a term as, for example, that of a frontend developer, which most people in the IT industry are familiar with. We asked our integration developers what their work involves. You can also read more about the role requirements from our other blog.
What are integrations?
At its simplest, an integration transfers data between two separate systems and ensures that the data being transferred integrates into the target system in the desired way. Therefore, in practice, we develop programs for data transfer, and often a separate integration platform is used as a tool. There are many different integration platforms on the market, but at Frends, we mainly use our product Frends and Azure's integration services to some extent.
Today, however, integrations are much more than just the transfer of data between different systems. APIs have brought with them the provision of open interfaces as well as consumption. In addition, the API architecture helps customers hide their back-end systems behind general-purpose interface layers. Robotics and artificial intelligence have also brought innovations to the realm of integrations as they are utilized in various integration solutions.
When making integrations and the integration platform, you also have to familiarize yourself with the operations of the source and target systems and the customer's business processes, which are automated using the integrations. Implementing integrations is in practice programming, although integration platforms offer a lot of ready-made components and functionalities. In addition to this, the role of an integration developer often also includes defining individual integrations, considering the architecture of integration solutions, identifying the fault situations of solutions in production, and participating in the testing of solutions with the customer.
Sometimes we also implement custom components or plug-ins for integrations when customer systems do not have interfaces that conform to more common standards or perform more complex operations on the data being transferred. Customized components are developed with custom code.
The everyday life of an integration developer
We work according to the DevOps model and an average day consists of trouble-shooting for solutions in production and the implementation of new integrations or changes. Production support is primarily the responsibility of our operations team, but we developers support them with production troubleshooting as needed. In addition, while the project is in progress, the developers are conducting problem-solving work on the products in a test environment.
A support ticketing system aids our work. One ticket can be a change to an existing integration or an entirely new integration. The number of tickets can therefore vary considerably. It is part of our operating model that another developer always reviews the implementations of others. So each of us also conducts reviews between implementations. This review verifies that the desired action has been made in the implementation according to the agreed coding practices and that the solution has been documented sufficiently.
We take coffee breaks to chat with our colleagues and teammates either in person at the office or via digital channels. We also occasionally need to attend various meetings: status meetings, project meetings, and testing meetings. In addition to email, we also communicate with the customer through various messaging applications such as MS Teams or Slack.
Our work is varied and challenging
In integration work, it is possible to get to know the customers' industry superficially because we automate their business processes. When we integrate ERP systems or automate the receipt of work orders, we inevitably become familiar with the dialogue between different systems and thus also with the customer’s processes. Our job involves a variety of tasks. And it is interesting to learn about other industries as well.
We also become familiarized with different systems (or at least their interfaces), which allows us to gain broad experience. Integrations are not always just simple file transfers but can be large and complex undertakings.
What are the requirements, and who would be a good fit as an integration developer?
The role of an integration developer is suitable for someone who likes to work as part of a team but also likes to take responsibility, enjoys doing different tasks, learning new things, and solving problems.
The work requires logical reasoning and programming skills as well as social skills and having patience.
As you’ll be working with customers and projects from various industries, you’ll also have the opportunity to shape your role and everyday work. Thus, it is suitable for a wide variety of individuals.
With Frends you get to see the development of the modern enterprise iPaaS platform from various angles. In our wide range portfolio of clients, you can find nationally and internationally known companies across 15 different countries that will lead you to interesting and meaningful projects.
Strong team spirit as well as trust, freedom and flexibility are the cornerstones of our culture. Top workmates coupled with challenging and versatile projects with a powerful platform which enables digitalization and process automation – this is Frendszone.