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Arrive at work.
Make coffee.
Talk to co-workers.
Open up issue tracker.
Resolve all easy-to-do issues.
Play Wario Land 3 or some other Gameboy Advance game.
Tackle some medium issues.
Get lunch.
Continue the medium issues until I can't focus or they're resolved.
Play GBA again or talk to co-workers.
Tackle the complicated issues until I go home.

I know, it involves slacking off a lot, but it honestly helps me find creative solutions. I tried just to "work" 100% for a month (which means lunch and going to the toilet were my only breaks) and it was a disaster.

 

Homemade IoT wakeup light dims on at 7:45am.

Ask Alexa for the news while I slowly get ready for work.

Put on a tech podcast in my headphones and leave house at 8:45am for my 40 minute walk to the office.

Arrive at 9:30am, plug laptop into workstation and boot up.

Grab coffee and ice water, glance over emails and group chat.

9:45-11:00am is when I do my "deep thinking work". Crunching on a really hard bug, researching a new technology, clarifying work that needs to be done for a feature, etc. By 11:00am stand up I know what I need to work on for the rest of the day.

After 11:00am standup, raise my sit/stand desk to standing, grab more coffee and code furiously for the few hours.

Somewhere between 12:00pm and 1:30pm, lower my standing desk to sit, heat my lunch up and eat it distractedly at my desk while working.

Usually have some meeting or other to go to after lunch.

Mid afternoon and onward is when my brain usually starts to get tired, so I schedule this time for "stupid work" - answering emails, writing documentation, coding features that have already been defined, talking to coworkers about issues, etc.

When I spend the afternoon doing "stupid work" I try to keep my desk in standing mode for at least an hour and leave around 5:30 so that I don't end up working late.

If I'm on a roll and my "deep thinking work" carries over into the afternoon, I'll usually leave the office after my last meeting to work at home for the rest of the day. The open office usually becomes too loud for concentration in the late afternoon.

Put on a news/culture podcast in my headphones and walk 40 minutes home.

Once finished with work, straight to the gym for an hour.

Come back from the gym, shower, cook dinner and prep lunch for the next day.

Read, stream TV from my HTPC or pursue a hobby for a few hours.

Meditate.

In bed by 10:45pm.

My life is simple and I like it that way.

 

I had problems to realize when I get mentally tired, how do you "measure" it?

 

For me it differs from day to day. Some days I'm just on a roll and end up coding until 8 or 9pm. But most days my brain gets tired, and there are certain red flags that help me realize when this is happening:

  • Making no progress on a problem for over 30 mins
  • Trying code changes randomly instead of carefully debugging
  • Reading my company's internal wiki / Stack Overflow / documentation and having to reread paragraphs because I'm not absorbing the ideas the first time
  • Finding myself switching back to Twitter or IM every 45 seconds

These are just some examples of red flags I often notice that signal my brain is getting tired. You have to find what works for you.

 

Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late. I use the side
door, that way Lumbergh can't see me. Uh, and after that, I just sorta
space out for about an hour.

I just stare at my desk but it looks like I'm working. I do that
for probably another hour after lunch too. I'd probably, say, in a
given week, I probably do about fifteen minutes of real, actual work.

 

I start my day in email and Slack to make sure nothing requires my immediate attention. Then, I switch gears to customer support for a predefined amount of time, usually 90 minutes or so. Then, I look at what PRs are waiting for review or bugs that have been reported. I check in with my team to see if they need anything from me or if I can help with anything they're working on. I don't usually jump immediately into coding because by this time, it's nearly lunch time and I won't be able to find any groove to work in. If I can't think of anything else, I go to lunch early.

After lunch, I may have meetings or something like that, but otherwise, I get into coding mode. I usually have some larger task that is spanning more than a day that I need to pick up, so I launch into vim and get to work. Seems like not too long after that, time has usually flown by and it's time to stop for the day and do it again tomorrow.

 

Context: Industrial Chemist with a strong informatics and dev focus. Last one standing out of an original team of 5-6 people in this particular function for our team.

All of the below goes out the window if there's a critical breakdown or instrumentation failure in which case 100% of the next week or so will be focussed on that.

Get in ~0645

  • Check instrument KPI's a Tableau dashboard.
  • Check wunderlist for the planned tasks for the day.
  • Deal with critical / dangerous instrument issues.
  • Face to face with the technician team to see if there's anything else floating around.
  • Do routine maintenance and checks around 0830

Settle into project work around ~0900, being a variety of:

  • Project planning for commissioning or analytical improvement work
  • Development of statistical or integration / automation apps (Golang, C#, VBA, Powershell mostly)
  • Capital applications or proposals, procurement as required.
  • Org / functional structure and planning for our team (undergoing massive change at the moment)
  • Stats and exploration work in Tableau.
  • Working through issue backlog (either physical issues with instrumentation or systems performance issues).
  • HR planning and org stuff.

Break around 1230 to do instrumentation checks.

Settle back in around ~1300 to either further project work or a run of meetings and catch ups with internal customers and external suppliers.

~1530 email catch up, research, proposal reviews and documentation / wiki updates.
~1700 touch base with boss for a quick catchup, check with technicians that they're setup for nightshift, check that everything is racked, shut down, and safe to park up from day activities.

~1740 bail out home.
~1800 do some basic task planning and prioritisation for the next day.

 

Alarm goes at 5:30 am

Get up, shave, shower, dress...

Work on the Blog or private projects until 6:30-7:00 (ish)

If at hotel (traveling a lot) get breakfast there, else get it on the way to work and eat when arrived there

Arrive at the office (company or customer's) between 7:30 and 8:30, depending on the morning and commute times

First thing at the office: Get some coffee!

Open personal "weekly TODO" Trello board

If it's Monday, organize the tasks for the week

Start working on the highest priority cards for the week. Can be documentation, organizational stuff, development,...

Interruptions due to more urgent tasks are common

Maybe a meeting (online or in person)

Also: more coffee

If at the company office, maybe a break for foosball with colleagues

At about 11:45-12:00 off to lunch break (~30-45 mins)

Some coffee, some chitchat, some reading on the webs until 1 pm

Daily standup at 1 pm

More cards, more coffee. Maybe another match of foosball

Maybe more meetings, e.g. backlog grooming

If there's time, some more reading

If it's Wednesday and I'm at the customer's office, get to the train home at about 4 pm

Else work until 5, 6, rarely 7 pm

If at the hotel, more personal projects, then some chatting and maybe a movie

Else get home or some spare time activities

To bed at about 10 pm (ish)

 

6:40 - wake up, take a shower and eat breakfast
7:15 - gym!
8:30 - back at home, another shower and eat a little more with my family
9:10 - Wake up computer at home, go through Slack and quick glance at emails
9:30 - daily meeting with teammates
9:40 ~ 12:00 - collaborative work, pairing, meetings, planning, chatting.

12:00 ~ 14:00 - lunch time, always different (family, friends, alone). Also use this time to study, watch twitch and stuff.

14:00 ~ 18:00 - uninterrupted work (mostly)

That's how many hours I am able to focus on work. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

I work as a remote front-end developer with teammates in many timezones, so the day may change along the year.

Pretty happy with how this is looking like.

This also changes when traveling as I prefer to enjoy while the sun is up.

 

Arrive around 9. Chit chat for a few minutes, sometimes 1hr project meetings. Check with PMs or kanban for tasks. Assess workload, get some things done. Take lunch at noon, get back and hit the coding hard (front end web dev, using mostly Brackets with CodeKit and Safari). Hit 3:00 slump -> buy Mountain Dew. Get hit by thunderbolt of inspiration at 4:30. Wife wants me home at 5:15. Rinse, repeat.

 

I show up at a specific building around the same time each day. I come up with ideas, and nobody uses them. Then I do whatever I want to do that gives me a sense of achievement.

 

Wake up (hopefully)
Go to University
Lectures
Review Code for our Satellite
Write Code for our Satellite
Go Home & do some work for my own small company
Sports (Acrobatics, sport shooting, karate and standard/latin dance)
Write code for personal Projects/open source Projects

 

Roll in, grab either a coffee or a soda, talk to desk mate. Hop onto hangouts, check work email, fix issues that are out standing on GitHub, do some easy Asana tasks, eat lunch, finish more Asana tasks, leave.

 

My typical day starts with checking my emails, but first: coffee. We do a ton of automation/integration work, so my first order of business is to check for any alerts.

After that, I go through any new email, and flag anything that will require my attention or a followup.

Once I'm done with the emails, I build a list of stuff that needs to get done. This includes any of the flagged emails, and any important bug fixes. I'm a single programmer supporting 100+ applications/integrations/automations, so there's always something broken or that has a new requirement.

Finally, once all fires have been put out, I can focus on my current project(s). I work on these until more fires break out, at which time I need to drop what I'm doing to put them out. Welcome to my personal hell ;)

 

Arrive

Open a red bull

Talk to co-workers

Check for any explosions \ critical pending issues

Follow up with PM to see any changes or things needing my attention

Tackle any other issues from staff

Follow up with team to see if everything is moving forward or if they need assistance

Start working on my own code

Standup

Lunch

Continue working on my own code or go to meetings

Code or plan with PM

Go home.

 

Red bull first thing in the morning cannot be good for you bruh

 
  • Make my instant oatmeal, then check my email and HipChat for anything important.

  • Daily stand-up (via HighFive, as our team is in multiple locations)

  • Based on stand-up discussions, start/continue working on something, maybe pairing (via ScreenHero) or not.

  • Gym/Lunch

  • Maybe review someone else's Git pull request

  • Based on JIRA tickets and HipChat conversations, figure out what to work on next, pairing as applicable.

  • Insert regular and ad-hoc meetings, questions from Product, QA, or Implementation, etc., anywhere and everywhere in the above.

 

Actual work:

Start/continue tasks assigned to a weekly goal.

Weekly goals in turn may be chunks of larger activities.

Most actions are around code and testing, closing the PDCA cycle.

Breaks:

At least one break in the morning, and another one in the afternoon, preferrably to do some walk to stay healthy.

Micro breaks to alternate grabbing water and some healthy meal (nuts, or some fruit).

:)

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Ben Halpern profile image
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.