A Day in the Life of Our Development Team
For someone who is not from the software industry, one is most likely to imagine a software engineer as a nocturnal being. Most times that’s the image we are likely to come across — code — eat — sleep — repeat. And in some cases, this may even be true. At TILL, we are more than this.
Rome was not built in a day and nor was our development team. It has taken years of effort to be where we are today. The count has increased from 6 to 25 over and there is no stopping now. It would not be wrong to say that each team member has been carefully handpicked through our robust hiring process because we wanted to break the myth or the stereotype that exists around being a coder.
A day in the life of our development team is just not about coding. We are building a culture for them to become an all-rounder, at least that’s the goal.
The focus never shifts which is to build a world apart product that we completely believe in. But in those 8 hours, we aspire to do more.
So what does a day for our developers look like? Here’s a visual that may get your attention.
It’s Monday, does not sound exciting but at TILL, there is no place for Monday blues. After the devs have settled in from their respective weekend hangover, the day begins with Daily huddles — thanks to slack, teams now use the huddle feature for internal updates with their team leads. This helps them to set the target for the week and catch-up on updates from each other. This also helps them to talk about their concerns, roadblocks, or just a normal chat that sets the mood for the day. With the task on hand, the dev gets down to work.
It’s Tuesday, brighter than yesterday, and also a day dedicated to Dev Collaboration Session. It’s a platform where each developer is given space to explain and share the tech or tasks they’ve been working on. It’s one of the ways where there is a knowledge sharing within the larger teams — whether a dev is from the backend or frontend team, they all get to have an eagle’s view of the product.
Experienced developers also devote their time in doing “pair programming” that helps a new team member with their code, suggest changes or some architectural changes when and if required.
It’s Wednesday, a good day to write a blog. Our Devs are encouraged to take a day off from their regular tasks and contribute towards building the Till Engineering Blog. A lot of brainstorming goes into this and each developer is free to pick a topic of his/her choice. One can also call this taking a productive break if the regular tasks get monotonous. The dev can turn their blog mode on and write from their work experience that provides them the exposure to share the knowledge with the wider developer community across the world.
We are proud of what we are building here and with the dedicated and committed team, blogging is an extension in becoming part of a larger community that shares the same interest and passion. And who knows, someone who has just started thier developer journey might find it useful.
On other Wednesdays, there are team sessions that go beyond coding. Sessions like Retros and “Why we do what we do?” helps the team in connecting with one another on a deeper level.
Retrospectives aka Retros are done using “easy retro” (https://easyretro.io) which is a tool that helps us in conducting fun sprints and improving the retrospective culture. This is a monthly session where each developer gets the freedom to talk about — what went well and what didn’t go well in the past month. The session ends with brainstorming the action items which are the result of this feedback. The developers take the ownership and responsibilities of the action items and ensure its implementation thereby ensuring the betterment of the team and the organisation’s culture.
Why we do, what we do? is another collaborative team session where we discuss the new policies, new strategies, or topics like work-life balance, power of acknowledgment, how to receive or give feedback, etc that help each individual in becoming a wholesome professional. The idea is to make every developer feel belonged along with discussing various perspectives that each developer brings to the table.
Other noteworthy events by the product team that occur on a weekly/monthly basis are:
— Bug Bash, where a leaderboard is maintained and points are allocated to the developer who fixes the maximum/complicated bugs with a fancy reward as the ultimate takeaway.
— Story walkthrough (technical breakdown of the stories) makes it easier to achieve a particular task by breaking into smaller chunks and estimating the timeline. It’s a productive way of collaboration between the product team and the developers.
— Conducting workshops regularly on features that are soon to be picked up calls for detailed discussions where the product and developer teams go through each topic, discuss how it will be done, what are the challenges and gather feedback.
Oh ! did we miss Thursday? Thursday’s are usually a “No Meeting Day”. This was consciously implemented to give breathing space to our developers who can focus solely on their work without distractions from other meetings.
Fun Fridays are happier ways to end the week. We gather up to play some games or learn fun stuff from each other. We have had virtual meals together, celebrated festivities, had Family day at work, and even had virtual concerts. Anyone can host fun Friday, so a developer at TILL is also busy running a fun quiz event for the team.
After work-hours are about family and rest. Some do their evening workouts, some are available for a friendly chat. We firmly believe in work-life balance and we encourage our team members to take ample time off away from work for a good vacay or just to rejuvenate.
That’s how the week look’s like most days. And a day in the life of a TILL developer, depending on which day of the week you pick!