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Karsten Westra

A Virtual Reality app developer from the Netherlands

Catawiki Online Auctions

Awesome concept on Android that needed some tender, love and care.

Catawiki is the world’s fastest growing online auction platform. Buy and sell with the Catawiki auction app in over 300 weekly auctions for special objects. Starting in June 2016 I placed my bets on an online auction platform called Catawiki. I loved their concept and the real-time interaction component in their project.

My enthusiasm really wanted to make a deepdive into Android development and needed a new challenge. I applied and got the job. After talking to some good friends that worked there tought me that the Android teams there could use the expertise and manpower.

“I found a somewhat inexperienced team working on a product without architecture or tests. This triggered my enthusiasm and scared the hell out of me.”

I started out as employee 420+ in a team mobile consisting of eight. There were three Android developers (including me), two iOS developers, two backend developers and a designer responsible for the buyer experience of the product. We were responsible for maintaining and advancing the buyer apps. Most of the designs of the Catawiki shown on this page are made by Danny Ruchtie, he is a real cool and inspirational guy. Go look at his work. It is totally worth it.

In the Android part of the team I found a somewhat inexperienced team working on a codebase without unit tests or architecture. This triggered my enthusiasm and scared the hell out of me. This lead to some (easy) improvements in workflow and was a fun and enlightening adventure.

Some achievements and results:

  • I introduced the use of a coding standard and reviews for quality control and learning from eachother.
  • Learned some lessons in dealing with office polytics.
  • Improved the app’s architecture with MVP, RxJava, Dependency Injection with Dagger.
  • Improve the localisation process for the over 14 languages the app is presented in.
  • With the team we introduced Unit tests for quality control.
  • Introduced Kotlin as the new program language to coexist with Java.

Over time the delivered quality and workflow for the Android team started to improve. In the gallery below you can see some parts of the app that I worked on specifically over the last two years.