Today is Monday and my alarm goes off at 8:50 a.m. (I have been working from home since I joined the Learning Locker team, hence this luxury). I usually brew a coffee ☕ as I log onto my MacBook.
Communications are very effective, so there aren’t hundreds of email threads to catch up on. Instead, it always takes only a few minutes to read through a couple of Jira email notifications and possibly a few Slack messages.
After checking communications, I start planning my priorities for the day and week ahead. I put things in the calendar and set Slack reminders for myself. I also take a quick look at existing tickets on our two Jira boards.
It’s 10:15 a.m. and our daily scrum starts. One of the team members will be leading according to a weekly rota. Each of us share what we worked on yesterday, plan for today and any blockers or concerns.
Normally the daily scrum takes around 10 minutes (max 15 mins). After everyone has had their turn, now is the time to raise anything else that’s more generic. We also might ask some of the team to stay afterwards to talk about an issue, or to schedule a meeting such as a paired programming session.
As a close-knit team, we prefer the meeting to be light so we can spend time doing rather than saying. We all very much value this little bit of “face time” from time-to-time and since we can’t be in the office in-person, we start and end each meeting with a friendly wave 👋. There are also efforts to keep meetings worthwhile, so we also have things like “no-meeting Wednesdays”
As we operate in two-week sprints, fortnightly on Mondays, we have a sprint planning session scheduled after our daily scrum. This is another short 30-minute meeting. It’s led by the Scrum Master and Product Owner, where we select the tickets that we will aim to complete in the current sprint.
Team members can pick up any ticket in the “To Do” column of our Jira board as the tickets have all been discussed and estimated beforehand. This means there is already a sense of priority and familiarity from our well-managed backlog.
In the rare case that it needs further scoping, I can ask questions in the ticket comments by tagging the Product Owner or necessary team members. This ticket is now my focus until moved to Code Review - then I can pick up another ticket.
On a Monday at 4pm we have our company-wide weekly all-hands meeting which lasts half an hour. It’s great to listen to updates from other departments (with a coffee of course). It’s also a chance to hear what's up and coming in Learning Pool and how our project and product team fits into the exciting big picture for the company's award-winning suite of products.
Afterwards I am free to go back to my dev ticket, check Slack or whatever else I have planned for my day. If I need a break from the dev ticket during the day I usually read some tech blogs or resolve a “Dependabot” security warning (if there is one). I also can visit our internal “fun” channel on Slack for some jokes, videos, memes or general banter with the rest of my team.
The day ends at 5:30 p.m. If I’m in the middle of the flow when writing code or a code review, I normally aim to finish those before I wrap up. We are trusted to get our work done and have flexible working times. For example, if I have a plumber visiting I can make up the time the following day or prior to the visit - this flexibility and trust from remote working is something which helps me to perform at my best and feel valued.
There are other ways we could have spent our days as a Learning Locker Developer. Learning Pool offers charity days for employees, where we can go out and contribute our time to a charity as a paid working day.
Every Friday is a Dev Day which we use solely for our self-development and training. This is luxurious! We are free to stay offline to focus on an area of our choice. There is a half-hour Game Time session 🎮 in the early afternoon on Fridays too, to help us look forward to the weekend and have some downtime with the rest of the Learning Locker team!
We’re often hiring - you can find all our job listings on our website.
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