jstanier Here be dragons.

Day in the life

I’ve been reading the latest issue of Offscreen magazine, and one of the features I enjoy is seeing what fellow tech professionals get up to on a day-to-day basis. A lot of the time it’s fairly unexciting, but maybe I just like being nosy. Here’s mine for January 4th.

6:45 - My alarm goes off on my phone, and I wake up. Today is the first day back at work after the Christmas holidays and I haven’t been up this early in a couple of weeks. I head downstairs and make an espresso and some muesli. I read some of my book while I’m having breakfast. I get in the shower.

7:45 - I pack my Brompton bag with my work gear, then glance out of the window as the skies open and a clattering downpour begins. I transfer the contents of my bike bag into my backpack, as I’ll be getting the train with Rebecca instead.

8:00 - We get around the corner to the station to find that the train is cancelled. However, it’s stopped raining…

8:05 - We decide to risk walking in. The risk pays off as we get a lovely walk into work through Preston Park. We secretly follow one of my colleagues who is about 40 paces ahead. He walks pretty fast.

8:45 - I’m in the office. I start sifting through my emails, which were luckily quite few over the Christmas holidays. I sift through any Slack conversation that I’ve missed. I check on some AWS spot instances that I’m using to do some performance testing of a rearchitecture of some of our data platform. I send a quick reminder out about Brighton Java as I’ll be speaking there this week.

9:30 - We have a meeting about the various projects that are going on in Engineering at the moment, and which members of staff are allocated to them. We discuss whether that’s a good balance given everything that we want to achieve, and work out how we should maintain that allocation over the next few months.

11:00 - I join a (late) stand-up about the data platform rearchitecture project, then I head back to my desk to get on with some work.

12:00 - We have a weekly check-in with the CTO about how the rearchitecture project is going. We identify any risks, what the critical path looks like, and whether there’s any more work that we could begin in parallel while we wait for some long-running tests to roll in.

12:30 - I head over to the Earth & Stars for lunch with some of our new starters. We have a great conversation about Facebook’s infrastructure, what it’s like to work at Apple, living in San Francisco, and image recognition.

13:45 - Back in the office. I make a quick Aeropress coffee with Rebecca as we cross paths in the kitchen.

14:15 - I finish writing some automated load tests for the rearchitecture. I set them off running, and monitor the query speed results as they come back. I then record the results alongside the other storage alternatives that we’re considering. I begin preparing for the next stage of load tests that we’re going to do, as we’re hoping to make a technology decision in the next week or so.

16:45 I realise that there are a bunch of things I’m not going to get around to today, so I move them to tomorrow in my to-do list. I do however start arranging my trip to visit the San Francisco office next month, to spend some time working with my team out there.

17:35 I pack up and pop to the breakout area to wait for Rebecca to finish up. I watch the ball during a game of table tennis that’s happening at the moment. It’s quite hypnotic, and I’m rather tired after my first day back. My eyelids get heavy.

17:40 A quick peek out of the window and it’s pouring it down, so we walk to Brighton station to get the train back to Preston Park. We pick up some ingredients for dinner at the other end.

18:30 Vegetables get chopped while we have a conversation about meaning in life and work. We discuss some plans for the future, and how busy our first day back was. We cook, eat and wash up.

20:15 I make a couple of decaf coffees: an espresso for myself, and a cortado for Rebecca.

20:20 We sit down to play Diablo 3. However, after about 30 minutes we discover we’re too tired to concentrate, so we stick an episode of Frasier on instead.

21:30 To bed, for another couple of episodes of Frasier. However, I’m out like a light before the theme tune finishes. See you tomorrow.