Johan Sahlén

Johan Sahlén.

front-end developer

What's your expertise?

I build user interfaces that feel right to use and that look good doing it. I pay lots of attention to the little details in both the end-user experience and the code, and I enjoy making things fast and performant, setting up projects that can live for a long time and empower the people working on them to keep things consistent and beautiful.

What path brought you here?

I've always had an interest for art and design (my school notebooks used to contain more illustrations than math at the end of the semester), and I've also been writing code for as long as I remember, building websites for fun, and learning how to make them interactive and increasingly more advanced as time went by. I knew I wanted to combine the two in some way as a profession when I grew up, leading me to this school called Hyper Island. The school really opened the door to the web industry for me, and landed me my first job at a digital agency in Stockholm.

I spent a few years as an employee at different agencies at home and abroad, working on everything from Facebook pages to campaign sites to huge, big-build websites, often handling some project management duties in addition to design and the nitty-gritty development work. After a while I realized that I really wanted to have more control over my work situation, and I decided to go freelance, which was great as it let me pick my own projects, learn about running a company, and get plenty of insight into different types of agencies as I worked for them.

There's only so many kinds of projects you can do as a freelance developer though, and after a couple of years I found myself itching for more long term projects as well as the familiarity of a permanent workplace, without giving up the freedom to do the types of projects I wanted to. I happened to cross paths with Oktavilla, and the way that they were working—all experts, as a collective, on long term commitments—was an excellent match for what I was looking for.