Joined at an exciting time, just before the company underwent a rebrand, a launch into a new market and a complete digital transformation.

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I joined Koala in late 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After an in-person orientation, we transitioned to remote work. In my first few months at the company, I was responsible for maintaining and enhancing the existing eCommerce websites for Australia and Japan. This was my first exposure to Vue, Nuxt, and Shopify, but I quickly became familiar with the workflow and started shipping updates.

As an engineer at Koala, I was heavily involved in the shipping of new products and the launch of each sale, which presented a major challenge for the team. We knew we needed to find a better way to handle these processes, and that's where the digital transformation initiative came in. This initiative was tied to Koala's launch in South Korea, as well as a rebrand and the introduction of a new range of mattresses.

Digital transformation project

As part of the digital transformation project, I was tasked with creating a brand new design system that would form the basis of the new eCommerce websites. We setup a monorepo architecture using Nx, and used Storybook to quickly develop, review, and showcase the design system and component library. We ultimately chose Tailwind CSS and Chakra UI as the foundation for the design system, which enabled us to work quickly and flexibly to build out the vast component library.

One of our main goals with the digital transformation initiative was to make every part of the eCommerce websites modular and authorable. This required us to create a large number of components and led to some interesting implementation challenges.

Launch and farewell

In mid-2021, the all-new Koala platform launched simultaneously in Australia, Japan, and Korea. The team was excited and celebrated this major achievement, as detailed in a LinkedIn post by Andrew Sladen.

Unfortunately, after almost exactly one year of employment at Koala, I was lured away by Corellium. While it was bittersweet to leave such a great team and project behind, I greatly enjoyed my time at Koala and am grateful for the experience and skills I gained there.

Further reading