Richard Barsha studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Software Engineering at RMIT University in 2018 and is now a Software Engineer at Leidos
Snooze and ummmm… snooze again… So here is the thing, I’m just not a morning person. When my alarm starts blaring I will typically indulge my lazy side and snooze it. Once I manage to crawl out of bed, drinking a glass of water helps get the blood flowing (my substitute for the caffeine loaded beverage my partner obsesses over). Lights on, I cover the eyes until they adjust and move onto brushing my teeth, getting dressed and packing my lunch.
Early bird benefits. By this time, I’m in the car and driving to the train station. Having tried both routines, I can definitely vouch for the idea of being an early bird. Missing the 9.00 AM peak means plenty of parking at the train station, cheaper myki fares and a guaranteed seat on the train. Lately, audiobooks are my jam in the morning, so the earphones go in and I do my best to stay tuned into the book while I fight my forever wandering mind. In case you were wondering, I’m currently listening to “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.
Settling in. Just arrived at my desk, greeted the team and signed into my computer. After a quick catch up with the team, it’s time to check my priorities for the day. The development team is made up of approximately 4 seniors, 2 technical leads, a recent graduate and an intern. We are building a data management platform which will be used to store and serve data to millions of Australians – robustness and scalability are imperative. I’ll spend 5 minutes going through my emails, replying to anything urgent. Up next is checking Jira for workflow changes, if I have made a pull request it’s (hopefully) been reviewed and pushed back to me for amendments. I tend to prioritise addressing feedback on a pull request to maintain momentum – a lingering pull request is a bad news. After all, comments have been addressed, I push my code and move onto the next ticket – this should keep me busy for a while.
Stand up. You may be thinking it’s a bit late for a stand-up, well… kind of but not really. Running standups at this time has two benefits, firstly it gives the team flexibility to start when it suits them, secondly, it means people talk faster as it’s strategically close to lunch – works surprisingly well. Sometimes we will walk the board sometimes we will do a round-robin (yesterday, today, blockers), I personally prefer the round-robin but change is always welcome.
Lunchtime. I love food, so naturally, I love lunchtime. Resisting the temptation to buy lunch in the city is a tough one but eating dumplings every day gets expensive and the housing market isn’t playing nice these days… oh and I guess it’s not very healthy.
Busy work. Trying to deep-dive technical challenges straight after lunch is usually a struggle. Using this time to reply to emails and take care of any other “busy work” helps ease into productivity.
A collaborative effort. Recently we had a new intern join the team, as part of onboarding we do some pair programming – I found pair programming invaluable when I started my graduate program and it’s something we do often. It gives them a chance to follow along and solidify their technical understanding, asking any questions along the way. Similarly, it forces me to consciously explain my approach in a manner which makes logical sense, an excellent way to weed out pesky knowledge gaps.
Winding down or ramping up? As the day matures, instead of winding down I try and ramp-up to finalise any deliverables before I head off. The sprint review is tomorrow which means its all hands on deck to get the work we committed to during sprint planning over the line. After checking Jira, there are a couple of tickets requiring review so I grab one and jump into it.
That’s a wrap. Times up, I pack my bag, say my goodbyes and jump on a train. The days can be cognitively demanding so I skip listening to an audiobook, instead, I play some chilled music and reflect on the day during my commute home.
Home sweet home. I walk in the door, greet my partner and give the cat a scratch. I do my best to be useful while we prepare dinner, she is much more skilled than I. We have dinner, I do the dishes and try to mentally prepare for a trip to the gym.
It could go either way. Depending on how strong my will power is that day, I may or may not be at the gym. I try to make it there around 4 times a week, exercise is a key ingredient to a healthy work-life balance.
Lights out. After getting home I jump straight in the shower and prepare for bed.
The day is done.