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Developer Spotlight: Harrie Pieters


In this installment of the Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight Series, we sat down with Harrie Pieters, a Full Stack JavaScript developer in Amsterdam. Harrie recently was on a team collaborating to build the Bookabus project, a localized transportation website that serves marketing and bus-route content to its European markets. Follow Harrie on GitHub, LinkedIn or Twitter, and enjoy the Q/A.


How long have you been building software?
It all started more than 15 years ago, at the time where people just started to realise using tables was a much better way to build websites than frames. At that time I just started high school and was just playing around. During my university years some 8 years later I decided to start turning my hobby into a business and have been developing websites, web applications and apps ever since.


What is your preferred development stack?
Currently I focus heavily on JavaScript as full stack developer, using React on the frontend, React Native for apps, and Node on the backend. 


What past projects are you most proud of and why?
One of the most rewarding projects was building an app for The Ocean Cleanup to digitise ocean trash sightings research. Especially debugging the app in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean  was a unique experience, as having no internet or cell service calls for some creative solutions.


In talking about your process for building apps, do any recent projects come to mind?
So early on this year I was asked to build the Bookabus website from scratch, in an attempt to combine the productivity React with Server Side Rendering (SEO) I decided on giving Next.js a go. One of the requirements for the website was a CMS for the team to be able to edit content that supported multiple countries and languages in Europe. We found Cosmic to be the best solution for us at the time to act as our headless CMS.



The current stack consists of a backend API using GraphQL that serves the content to the frontend (website). The API fetches the localised content from Cosmic, makes a local cache, and serves the content based upon query parameters. The frontend does some additional caching for static content such as FAQ items and pages. 


We are currently investigating the possibility of moving one step further and making a static build that already has the localised content in the project. Utilising the web hook to trigger an automatic build.


What are some technologies you are excited about that you are using today, or want to learn more about?
There are so many exciting things going on, currently I am excited about serverless stacks, improving products beyond our own imagination using AI, smart-contracts and moving towards functional programming. 


To learn how you can contribute Apps, Articles and Extensions to the Cosmic JS Community, contact us at jobs@cosmicjs.com.