Ever wondered what it's like to work at one of Greater Manchester's leading tech employers or what specific job roles get up to each day?
What does a typical day look like for you in your role?
Being a software engineer can be tough, so I aim to start my day in a way that prepares me for the day ahead.
7:00 – 8:00 I wake up, get coffee and read a book or article. The field is fast-paced. It’s important to keep up to date with new technology and be aware of the new releases in the industry. I include books on my list to read like “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie. Technical skills are important but soft skills are too. My role involves a lot of communication within the team, the project manager and stakeholders, etc. so it’s good to polish those skills too!
8:00 – 9:00 I exercise, shower and go through my to-do list for the day. Sitting numerous hours in front of a computer can be taxing on my health so I make sure I work out and stretch for at least half an hour. I may not always spend hours at the gym, but consistency is key.
9:00 – 11:00 I pick up where I left off from the day before or start a new ticket/task. There are some tasks that can and do take multiple days to complete… each task has its own challenges.
11:00 – 12:00 This is a vital time. The team does a ‘stand up’ meeting, where we go through every person in the team and talk about the progress, blockers and potential resolution of a challenge in a task. Software engineering is a collective effort, more times than not, as there may be engineers that know more about the system, the framework or the language.
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch! I try to plan my meals. If it doesn’t go according to plan, I tend to grab something quick and take a break from screens.
13:00 – 18:00 I bury my head between my screens with my headphones on. There have been times when I was in a room full of software engineers and the sensor light would switch off because no one’s moving, everyone is thinking. Planning before writing any code is crucial, as well as debugging and figuring out the next step to complete the ticket.
Because I work at a consultancy, this means that I’m taking care of my clients' needs, but also my company’s needs. This means that I have meetings during the day for the company, as well as client meetings which can get busy!
18:00 – 18:30 I stretch again, and plan the next day:
- what I need to do
- what I need to finish
- where I need to be
- whom I need to speak to (if there is any)
I would be lost without the to-do lists and reminders! It’s one less thing to worry about remembering if it’s all written down.
What do you love most about your role?
The feeling of victory after overcoming the challenge! Software engineers make fun of ourselves because there are times that we google quite a bit of what code we need to write. But there may be times that we get stuck on what we need to search for. It’s a love-hate relationship. I’m surrounded by intelligent colleagues (who have later become my work friends). I’m always learning something new, not just for work, but also for the wisdom and experiences that the team has. There is a great deal of communication with the team. We all work very closely and it’s paramount to have a good rapport with the different members of the team. The flexibility of my role means that if I have appointments, I can make up for the time later that day.
What is the biggest challenge in your role?
The challenges of the tasks. It wouldn’t be fun if all the tasks were easy but there have been times when I couldn’t sleep because I’m running scenarios/algorithms in my head or the moments where I was mentally and physically drained, for example when we entered a global challenge and I had to make my schedule work alongside my client work.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of working in your role?
In my humble opinion, it’s important to learn the theories, be up to date with the latest technology and constantly work on your technical skills, as well as your communication and social skills. Find a mentor who can help you get to where you would like to be. Be confident, especially in times when it seems daunting!
Thank you, Missy!