A Day in the Life: Josh
Two years ago, I joined Product Development as a new graduate hire. I was put to work on developing features for Seahorse, the iXBRL conversion tool for Word and Excel accounts. A typical day at the office consists of the following:
The first thing I do when I arrive in the morning is check the results of the tests that were left to run overnight on our continuous integration server. Any failures need to be addressed. I tackle any issues related to the code I have been working on, and pass any additional problems to the appropriate person within my team.
Once I have fixed the test failures, I check the status of the live service to monitor its performance. Usage statistics and graphs for the live service are generated overnight, so I check these to see if anything looks abnormal.
We have a team debriefing each morning at ten, during which we discuss test failures, any bugs which need to be resolved, and the work in progress. After our team discussion, we have a stand-up meeting with all the members of staff that work in Product Development (PD). Each team leader gives a quick summary, detailing the work their group is currently involved with. This is also the time when other announcements are made, including whether anyone has brought in doughnuts or chocolate. I make a mental note of this, so I know where to find my sugar fix later!
With the morning meetings over, it’s time to start working on new features for the software. We tackle most work in pairs, although some simpler tasks can be completed individually. Everyone in the company has large dual screens to accommodate working together. I continue to work on this until lunchtime, unless we need to respond to a request from Support or QA.
I take lunch around twelve thirty. As the offices are located within ten minutes of the city centre, I often walk into town to get something to eat. We are also within walking distance of an excellent gym so, from time to time, I use my lunch break to go for a workout or swim.
After taking a break, I return to programming. Most days, I pick up where I left off before lunch. Wednesdays afternoons are different though; the entire PD department test one another’s work. These assessments give me the chance to familiarise myself with the products I am not directly involved with, and the progress of each one.
I start to round off the work for the day, making sure that I leave the code at a suitable point to continue tomorrow, and double-checking that all the tests are passing. If I’ve just finished a feature, I’ll demonstrate it to rest of the team, before marking it as ready for sign-off and QA. Hopefully it’s all working smoothly, but if there are some issues raised I begin work on addressing these.
Before finishing for the day, I’ll write down a list of things that I will need to address in the morning. I usually manage to leave on time, and then I am free to head off and enjoy my evening.