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Software Engineer Day in the Life @ Pinpoint (UK startup)

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Whether we blame self-improvement, snoopiness, comparison, curiosity, entertainment, aspiration, or whatever, a lot of us can't help but peer earnestly into the lives of others. Be it a biography, a blog, a podcast or a vlog, we like storytelling, knowledge sharing and chronicling through personal experiences and anecdotes - the lure of candour and relatability entices audiences to find out more, straight from the horse's mouth.

Detailing the routine and minutiae of an average twenty four hours seems to be a generally popular way for ordinary folk to share the realities of their everyday encounters. So, does a day in the life of a software engineer really always tend to involve chic urban offices, sleek vertical monitors, and complementary canteen delectables?

Current Location? Jersey

No, this isn't Seaside Heights, nor can I see the Manhattan skyline from my garden. This is Jersey 1.0, a sunny spit of land located in the English Channel, renowned for its iconic golden cows, postcard perfect beaches, and of course its rather mysterious status as a leading international finance centre.

Company? Pinpoint

We're a SAAS company in the HR tech space. We deliver all-in-one talent acquisition software designed to make finding, engaging and hiring the right people simpler.

Office or Home? Both.

Over the course of the last year, working from home (WFH) as a topic has well and truly entered the public consciousness, en masse. I am pro-WFH pandemic notwithstanding, I think workers should absolutely be given this option, wherever possible. Many of us at Pinpoint have been WFH, or remote, long before the world was overwhelmed by the covid contagion - nobody minds where you're based, as long as the job gets done.

The Pinpoint office reflects our acknowledgement that everyone's preferences vary when it comes to working environments. As such, a great deal of thought has gone into workplace design here. However, there's also nothing quite like the comfort of your own home. I flick between the two quite regularly as I like the change of scenery.

Sum up a typical week day? Busy, inside work and out.

There's no sugarcoating it, this isn't an ordinary 9-5 job, and working here certainly won't be for everyone. This is a fast-paced high growth startup with steep expectations to push for the highest standards in every situation. Sometimes its overwhelming, as targets appear excessively optimistic, and you realise that everyone around you is a workaholic. However, we're all here, and we continue to attract incredible talent, because of the shared desire to do interesting work and build something we can be proud of.

06:45 alarm, 15 minutes to drag myself out of bed. This is undoubtedly the most difficult part of my day, I hate it. Read or watch some YouTube for a bit. I've decided I'm working from home today.

07:30 by now I've moved an entire 2 metres, and I'm sat at my desk. Typically I'll start by looking at open pull requests ready for review, or address changes requested on any of my own. If everything is however perfect - disclaimer: it won't be - move on to today's tasks.

09:30 morning standup with the rest of the engineering team. For the uninitiated, the purpose of this everyday meeting is basically to allow developers to communicate their daily commitments and identify any issues. We're all usually working on the same codebase, so it's helpful to co-ordinate our efforts such that we don't end up treading on one another's toes. It's also generally just a good opportunity to collaborate and/or chat with the entire team.

10:00 - 13:00 prime uninterrupted work time - there really isn't much more to it than that. Without delving into the specifics, this involves coding new features, addressing bugs, testing & documenting code, and of course trawling through Stack Overflow trying to figure out why Uncaught TypeError: undefined is not a function.

13:00ish time to get out and exercise. Cardio doesn't just reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases, apparently it's also supposed to improve brain function and memory. Be that as it may, I've just got to get some fresh air after staring at a screen for ~5 hours.

14:30 - 18:00 take some food back to my desk and get back to it. Poor sleep hygiene and that damn circadian rhythm absolutely will affect my afternoon productivity - burning the midnight oil has its pros and cons. More of the same work for the next few hours.

18:00ish depends on the day & weather, but usually head to the gym for an hour before meeting some others to go and do something from the following array: activities = ['paddleboarding', 'surfing', 'fishing', 'swimming'] Terrible programming humour aside, Jersey's coastline is difficult to beat.

22:00ish i'm back home and fed. I tend to spend the remainder of the evening addressing any loose ends from work that day. Or, I might just fall asleep reading or watching Netflix, because I'm a human being. Usually lights out by midnight.

No day is ever actually the same, and circumstances change, but this probably as predictable as an average twenty four hours in my working week gets right now. The workload is large, however the active lifestyle I crave isn't compromised - I wouldn't stay here otherwise. Some days are just more challenging, occasionally the evenings are much later, and sometimes the job eats into your weekend. Welcome to life at a startup.

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