Mihaela: A Day in the Life of a Female Developer
Following the spirit of International Women’s Day last Thursday, we asked one of our developers, Mihaela, to diarise a day in her life as a woman in tech to get an insight into the kind of things she gets up to. From yoga to researching ReactNative to attending evening meetups, Mihaela’s day is busy and varied! We also captured some of her day on film, which you can see in the video at the end.
The day has begun. The commute needs to be — commuted. I like to spend my train time checking my emails. I get a lot through from women in tech groups (especially from the Ada’s List network!), and it gets my head in the right frame to tackle the day. I like to start my day with uplifting, motivational news and the great stuff which is coming out of the women in tech groups is just the trick.
I also like to scroll through social media, see what’s new in the world of tech and innovation. You take your eye off the ball for three seconds and someone’s invented a flying car in this business.
In the office. In need of coffee.
Time to crack on with the day. First things first: a to do list. Top of my to do list? ‘To write a to do list”. There is no better satisfaction than being able to cross off items, and the more items I can cross off before lunch the better. This is also the time I use to prep for stand-up by checking outstanding tasks in the Jira board and making notes. Lots of notes. Tech is great, but I find if I write down ideas or plans it sticks better and helps me be coherent when thinking about these later on.
Stand up meeting. This is a great chance to find out how the rest of the team are doing and how other projects are going, we try to stick to 15 minutes but sometimes it can go over.
Luckily today is not one of them. I like to warm up the old grey matter with a few coding exercises on sites like codeacademy, freecodecamp or code school. I find it really helps get my head into developer mode.
Alongside these exercises, I spend the first portion of my day wrapping my brain around what I’ve got to do — breaking down the steps to needed to tackle a task, whether or not I need to put my Poirot hat on and do some digging to see whether i’ve seen the piece of code somewhere else in codebase, or working out who else I’d need to talk to in the team who would be able to help me with that particular ticket.
Yoga! We have an instructor come into the office once a week, and it’s amazing. Clears my head, stretches out all the kinks, aligns my chakras, all that good yoga stuff. It really helps to get away from the computer for a bit and look after the mind.
After a busy morning it’s time for food. Dependant on who is in the kitchen/who’s loitering around/the weather I either spend this time talking to people, watching YouTube videos and Ted Talks, or taking a short walk around Croydon.
Back at the grind.
I spend the afternoon working through the to do list I made this morning, trying to cross off as many items as possible.
Part of my afternoon is generally spent working closely with a colleague on a project. It’s good not to work in a silo, and the co-creating aspect of the job means that I get to take on other people’s viewpoints and learn from them, as well as easily add my input
When I can’t look at a laptop screen for any longer and need to take step back and digest what I’ve been doing, I like to challenge a colleague to a game of table tennis. The thing about this office is there’s two main sports: ping pong, and juggling.
Back at my desk.
Today I’ve been working on looking for a technology we can use for internationalisation across all our apps, for now and in the future, and I need to start wrapping up the day’s work so it all makes sense when I come in with a fresh head in the morning. My investigations today have covered various modules that’ll work with our current app tech stack, and looking into various internationalization libraries that include all the data that helps to automate the adaptation of the product to international markets. It also allows the language to automatically adapt depending on the gender and plural rules for the target language. Today I came to the conclusion that react-native-i18n is the best one for us. Tomorrow, I’ll start looking into the most used libraries for internalisation in the React/ReactNative community.
The last hour has arrived! I spend this time finalising anything I’ve been working on during the day, discussing the day’s events with my colleagues and using them as a sounding board which can help me find a solution to a tricky problem. I find wrapping up my day like this helps me pull all the thoughts I’ve had during the day together, and prepares me for the next day.
Home time! Train time.
In the evenings I can usually be found at an event or workshop, either networking and supporting others, or brushing up on my skills. The joy of working in London means there is always something going on my favourites being Ladies Who Code, Women Who Code, Codebar, or Udacity Friends