A day in the life of a Web Developer

In the latest installment of our ‘Day in the life’ series, Web Developer Adam offers an insight into life at Code.

Can you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and your role in the agency?

My name is Adam and I’ve been a member of the developer team for two years. My primary engagement is with backend .NET development and solution design; however, there are plenty of opportunities for client-side crossover particularly in JavaScript, and I do occasionally bridge over into CSS and the newer preprocessors such as SASS.

Could you describe a typical day in the office?

I’m an early riser so I like to take advantage of Code’s flexible office hours. My work day begins at around 8am — post morning coffee, I start preparing for the days tasks.

We work to a Code-flavoured Agile process, and the most common ‘ceremony’ we’ve adopted is the daily Scrum, where we allocate tasks for the day and discuss any sticking points. From there, we have freedom to work in the way that suits us best; I often like to separate the ‘thinking ‘from the ‘doing’, which can mean working through a solution with pen and paper before committing anything to code.

As teams, we manage ourselves and collate tasks on a fortnightly basis. These tasks are structured on a mixture of maintenance and new build projects which gives you the opportunity to work with a mix of people across the company — a definite benefit when it comes to developing your skills and building relationships with colleagues.

(And, as an aside, it’d be rude not to mention the obligatory Friday fry up I pick up from our excellent canteen.)

What key skills do you think are most important in a Web Developer?

As a Web Developer, you need to wholeheartedly adopt the idea of continual learning. Technology is developing rapidly and it is important to embrace this change and devote every effort to keeping up. This can take a certain amount of discipline (especially in a world increasingly full of distractions).

In support of continual learning, it’s also crucial to have a good sense of time management and remember that our best work happens when we are alert and focused.

Off the back of this, developers must be keen to share this learning with others too. The internet is a great resource, but its no substitute for first hand discussion and support.

Do you have a favourite part of your job?

I get satisfaction from applying my skills to new technologies and then seeing the culmination of my efforts realised in an end product.

As web technologies are converging at an ever more rapid pace with everyday consumer items, we’re working on increasingly diverse projects. Recently, pace has shifted to interesting possibilities within retail point-of-sale and bringing the web to life in new ways. I am particularly excited about the technology that is often more physical in nature such as the gestural interface, Leap Motion and the VR headset, Oculous Rift.

From my point of view, this means I have much to learn about and experiment with — and that I can play a key role in helping shape the ideas and possibilities behind future projects.

What do you find the most challenging?

I’d say one particular challenge comes from the temptation to work solo sometimes. It can often be easy to get tunnel vision and forget the collaboration element when your head is stuck in front of a computer screen. To avoid this, it’s important to take a step back and reassess where the days work is heading, which is best achieved by sharing with others – the more regularly we do this, the less risk there is of work going off on a tangent.

Is there a project that you are particularly proud of and why?

In terms of client work, I am proud of all the projects. I’m also very proud of the fact that we’re always pushing the new technology and methodologies within development team.

We’ve increasingly moved towards placing testing at the core of our solutions. We are constantly reassessing this and introducing new ways to ensure our products are of an excellent standard and have a code base that is scalable and a solid foundation for any future projects.

We have also made great strides towards improving how we deploy projects, and now have a robust automated deployment system with TeamCity and Octopus Deploy at its core.

How would you describe working for Code Computerlove?

Code is a great company to work for, where hard work is rewarded (and the many social events offer us the chance to let our hair down).

The working atmosphere is very much team focused, but there are also quiet spaces when you require individual concentration time. Overall, the environment is nurturing and promotes autonomous self management amongst the many teams. Self learning is encouraged, and the variety of work we do is rewarding.

As a Developer, it’s great to see that Code are always keen to stay ahead of the field with the exponential growth of web and the increasing number of user interfaces.

What attributes are you looking for in a new team member?

We’re looking for a strong work ethic and a passion for learning with a focus on testing and writing quality code. Collaboration is key to how Code operate, so new team members should fully embrace cross discipline working.

Within the development team, we ask that people are open with their projects and code — we promote sharing and in turn ask that developers allow themselves to be open to feedback in code reviews. New recruits are also in a fortunate position of seeing the company processes with fresh eyes and are encouraged to question what we do and help uncover areas of inefficiency that we may have become blind to ourselves.

Above all, we ask that everyone has an appreciation for fellow colleagues and take pride in the work they produce.