Sam Woodcock – Industry guest blogger from InTouchCRM
When people ask me what I do, and I say I’m a “Software Developer”, they seem fairly impressed yet not entirely sure what it means. Even my parents still can’t quite grasp what it is I do. They know I’m good with computers and also useful for any technical issues they have. So for both their sake and yours, I’ll attempt to describe what happens in a day in the life of a software developer working for InTouchCRM.
7:00 am – Wakeup
After many snoozes on the alarm…. I check my emails/Slack messages to make sure nothing’s broken.
7.30am – Head to work
This varies, if I’m working in the office then it’s about a 20 minute drive across town to our second office, if I’m heading to our main office then I’m out the door by half 6 to arrive for 9. On the many days I work from home then it’s a brief walk to my office.
8.00am – Arrive at work
As soon as I get to my desk I switch on my monitors, log in and then check if any urgent emails need dealing with. Then I check our error logs to make sure there have been no issues during the night that need dealing with. I will log onto our system just to check that everything’s running fine (peace of mind), startup the VPN connection and reconnect to the live servers and development server. Running three screens makes life easier, Screen 1 – Visual Studio, Screen 2 – Our Application, Screen 3 – Emails.
Depending on today’s task(s) I will work through our Bug/Feature list reading customer tickets and trying to understand the issue. Accessing Asana to get a more detailed report on the problem (screencasts and images replicating the issue), I will then load up our Development version of the application to fix the issue, either in our Library Code or front-end. If the problem is in the front-end then the issue can be solved straight away, otherwise it will have to be an evening release of the core library. Our Application has many aspects, HTML/CSS/Js front-end, c# backend with SQL and upwards of 20 console apps for keeping automated tasks alive, email sending, email bounces, automating emails (for reminders, birthdays) SMS sender and receiver and much more. Keeping these running smoothly means a lot of logs that needs to be checked.
12 pm – Lunch
It’s normally a tossup between Morrison’s, Chip shop or McDonald’s – Morrison’s normally wins. After coming back from the shops I browse a few sites such as: http://9to5mac.com, http://stackoverflow.com, http://codepen.io while eating lunch, and maybe check up on the news. It’s hard to get an hour lunch break when you’re sat at your desk with code open.
1 pm – Back to work
Around this time is when I normally have a eureka moment of how to solve the issue I had before lunch. In the afternoons we normally have discussions on how we could improve aspects of the application, with some background music on (Elbow’s new album is currently playing). I quiet often work alongside my colleague Ciaran, on what’s the best way to solve the issue and best design practices for the current task. This can range from amending the councils websites to enterprise-grade infrastructure for sending high volume emails.
4:30 pm – Home time
Time to head home and hopefully miss any traffic, getting out of the business park can sometimes take 30 mins. Working from home is much easier.
5:30 pm – Dinner
Time to cook dinner, Yum! after this the dog realises it’s time to go on his evening walk either to the park for a run or a stroll around the block.
9:30 pm – Learning time
Once I’ve exhausted Facebook, TV or PS4, I then head into my office and boot up visual studio for a bit of experimentation/learning. This normally involves watching YouTube tech talks, reading blogs and exploring GitHub, which gives me the chance to design new functionality we can put into our Application that I wouldn’t have time at work to play with. Currently, its Messaging Hubs to ease the load on our Application to let Microservices (little-dedicated apps) handle complex tasks.
11:30 pm – Bed
Time to watch Netflix for a few hours
1:30 am – Sleep
Software/Hardware that makes my life easier
Of course, my day wouldn’t be complete without my must haves:
- Visual Studio 2015 with Resharper – a must have!
- SQL Management Studio
- PostMan – for testing web requests
- Notepad++, Visual Studio Code, Atom editor – for quick code edits
- Slack – for team communications
- Smtp4dev – simple mail server to capture all emails allows me not to worry about emailing the wrong person as this captures all emails
- Fenix Web Server, allows me to turn any folder into a website (locally) for testing that code rather than uploading the code or moving it to IIS to test
- ClipboardFusion – allows me to keep a history of my copy and paste to recall anything I’ve ever copied at any time useful for storing code snippets
- My PC – Intel i5 3570K , 16GB Ram, 5760×1200 Resolution (3x Dell U2412M), Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball