A day in the life of a BoilerJuice Developer

08:30 to 09:30 – After making my first of many cups of tea, I start my day with getting my Jira card wall in order and making sure my timesheet is up to date. We operate an Agile methodology, so tickets and time are very important to us. The team stand-ups begin at nine, we have one for each team, each of whom have their own focus and specialities. We get moved around the teams every so often when our talents require it, so we’re always kept abreast of what’s going on in the rest of the development team.

09:30 to 12:30 – We will regularly have ticket estimation, sprint planning or mid sprint review sessions during this time. We operate in two week sprints, so it’s usually easy to predict which meeting will happen when. These sessions tend to be very useful, as we are given an opportunity to voice any concerns and to make sure all stories have enough information on them. As a business we always try and make sure there are enough in-depth requirements on each ticket, however these sessions can help when we think more needs adding.

Once we’re done, or on the days when no meetings are booked, we begin our code writing time. Personally, I like to do the pull requests my colleagues have assigned me first, so as to avoid context switching, however I know some of the other devs like to spread these out during the day.

As the work is so varied, there’s never a dull moment, and I am constantly pushed by product, my bosses and my fellow developers to improve my knowledge in a number of areas.

If it’s Friday, then I know there’s some treats coming, so I patiently wait for an announcement from our office manager to denote the treats are ready.

There’s always healthy, and not so healthy, snacks available throughout the week, so there’s no chance of getting hungry even when it’s not Friday.

12:30 to 13:30 -Lunch time! The centre of St. Ives is only twenty minutes walk away, or we can use one of the company provided bikes and get there in about five minutes. St. Ives has a large amount of amenities for a town of its size. There’s plenty of restaurants, pubs, cafes and take-aways to get your lunch from. There is also a farmer’s market twice a week, where it’s possible to get lots of fresh produce. If you’re not hungry, there’s loads of shops, both chains and local independent business where you can get just about all you need. If you I fancy a walk, there is a big lake only across the road from the office, which has lots of wildlife, and is a great spot in the summer. Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly adventurous I continue walking past the lake and through the surrounding woodland and ending up in a very picturesque village.

Once a week we have a boot camp, run by a personal trainer. He puts us through our paces in a local park, we all always coming back tired, but glad we did it. That is, until we wake up the next morning.

Also, once a month we have a staff meeting around this time. This is where we’re kept up to date with all the other departments, are introduced to new staff members, and the person we voted “Employee of the Month” is announced. We’re also given the opportunity to ask questions, either there and then, or anonymously beforehand, to which management do their best to answer. Also, there’s always a really good buffet provided.

13:30 to 15:30 – This tends to be the time QA and product have signed off the latest release, and if it’s my turn to be release lead, I press the big red button. We’ve managed to set up our production environment so that only one instance is deployed to at one time, which means no downtime for the website, which is definitely much better than having to get up early, or stay up late!

Once every two weeks this is the time we have our sprint retros, which I always find particularly useful. I feel as though any concerns I have are listened to, considered and either a solution is thought up there and then, or a particular member of staff is assigned a piece of work to try and make our day to day lives easier. We also vote for a sprint champion during the retro, which is a great motivator. I’ve won it once and got to keep the trophy on my desk for the following sprint.

15:30 to 17:00 – If we’re in the process of building a release, then this is the time QA reveal any defects. This may sometimes be frustrating, however it’s always worth it, and we always end up with a finished product we can all be certain is of top quality, and that we can be proud of. If we’re not busy fixing release defects, we’ll be continuing with our development tasks until we all finish around 5pm. Sometimes some of us will go out for a few drinks after work, myself and a few of my colleagues take part in karate lessons once a week, our sensei being another fellow developer. We can all go home after every day knowing that we’ve contributed to keeping another household warm for another day.