A typical day of a web developer
Hi, my name is Jonathan, 24 years old and I work at a small company located in Sweden. Our business is mainly web development but we also work with various other web services such as hosting and newsletter management. I have been working as a web developer at the company for about two years now and in this article I will take you with me on a typical working day of my life.
First of I will write a little bit about myself so that you can get a better feeling of who I am. I studied Computer Science at Malmö University Sweden with focus on handeling information on the web.
When I was done there three years later I started looking for work as a web developer. Since I had no prior real world experience it was kind of hard to find a company willing to give me a shot, so I ended up working three month as an intern. After three month the company decided to hire me full time (jippie!).
We don't just work with small websites but also large projects ranging all the way up to thousands of hours for a single project. When it comes to more complex systems we build everything from the ground up using the Laravel framework. This framework is a truly a joy to work with as a PHP developer, if you are working with PHP I do recommend trying it out!
The typical day of a web developer
I arrive at work around 07:30, the official hours are 08:00-16:00 but we can flex a little and I value my time after work higher than my time in the morning so I try to be there earlier when possible. Most of the time I am the first one to arrive, so I sit down at my desk and go through the day as my computer is starting up.
Since I work at a small company we don't have very specific positions for each employee, instead we try to help out where ever we can and in time we find that some people are better than others att a certain task and then we tend to split the work load according to this. This means I have to handle support at some times and other times I handle customers directly. If you work at a large company this might not be the case.
So I start off by going through my e-mails (yes I know it is bad to start off your day going through e-mails, it kills productivity) if I don't find something critical there I continue to our internal support handling system for our customers. Once again most of the time I don't have to do anything here unless there are any critical issues.
Now is the time to start working with actual web development, I start up the projects I intent to work on for the day and start going through what I want to work on today. Normaly we prioritize customer projects and when ever we don't have anything of that sort queued up we work on our own systems such as the newsletter management service I mentioned earlier.
When the clock is getting close to 08:30 most of my colleagues gave arrived and we gather for a meeting, this will be repeated every monday and thursday. During this time we go through what we have done, are doing and are going to do for the next few days. We also bring up ideas and/or issues with projects so that if needed we can help each other get through the more troublesome parts of programming.
Once the so called morning meeting is done everyone return to their desks and we start working on our tasks. I normaly start out by checking Git to make sure I have everything up to date before I start working on a new feature.
If I get stuck on something I normaly turn to Stackoverflow, great place to find solutions on more or less any problem you can find as a programmer in any language. If that doesn't work I turn to Google, normaly it is the other way around but this is only because I know that Google will point me to Stackoverflow before anything else. We also have a rule going around the office, if you get stuck on a problem for more than 15 minutes, turn to a colleague. Another pair of eyes can in most cases help alot when you are stuck.
We gave our lunch at 12:00, so if I brought frozen food I try to grab one of the microwaves 5 minutes early just to make sure the food is ready by 12:00. During the lunch I try to relax, do stuff that is not work related. Checking news feeds, twitter etc.
When lunch is over, half an hour later we all return to work. If we have any meetings planned for a specific project we usually start them around 13:00, if not I will just return to what ever I was working on before lunch. When one task is complete I continue with the next one.
When the day is about to end, at around 15:00 I try not to start anything new. When I say end I am talking about my focus, since my work day ends at 16:00 if I came in early. When the time passes 15:00 most of us start losing focus, at this time I try to get smaller things done so I don't have to find a bunch of small stuff the day after. Another good rule is to not start anything that I won't have time to finish that late on the day.
When my day is over I pack my stuff and start moving to the bus station and that is the typical day of a web developer from my own experience.