A day in the life of a Software Engineer
If you thought that engineers spent all their time coding, like this cat, think again!
We collected the daily routines of various software engineers from here, here and here to create this sample representation of what a software engineer does on a day-to-day basis.
Just like there is no single recipe to make spaghetti, even a “typical day” in the life of software engineers always comes with new twists and interesting problems to solve.
7:30 am – Wake up
Not all software engineers wake up early. But most, especially those with families, prefer to spend early hours in the office and have the evenings to themselves. For those working from an office, arriving early also helps beat rush hour traffic!
8:30 am – Reach office and check email
Especially with today’s global teams, there is almost always someone working on or using your product when you are asleep. And if new tasks come up, or something breaks during the night? You know about it the second you check your email.
9:00 am – Start coding
Writing code can be as creative as writing a story, and requires intense concentration to work effectively. This is why many developers wear headphones when working – to cancel out external noise and signal that you prefer not to be disturbed.
11:30 am – Daily / Weekly standup meeting
Many effective engineering teams use the Agile method of development, where teams meet regularly to discuss their tasks and requirements to keep forward momentum. These meetings last between 15-60 minutes, depending on the team size and frequency of the meetings.
12:15 pm – Hunger strikes!
Whether you work for a large corporation that offers catered lunches, or a small startup where you leave the office to grab lunch, engineers find it important to take breaks to eat and rest during the day.
1:30 pm – Back to coding, usually with coffee/ tea
This is the part where the engineer goes back to coding or solving bugs. Again, it is usually a long time before the engineer resurfaces.
4:00 pm – Collaboration meetings
Technology is constantly evolving and improving, so even when products are “complete” they must be constantly refined to fit new user needs, the latest in cybersecurity, and the latest technologies. Building software with a team requires meeting with clients or teammates – something that many software engineers detest, but a necessity for getting the job done.
6:00 pm – Send emails and wrap up for the day
Usually, engineers send emails to their counterparts about what they completed that day, reply to any another email that may have come up during the day, and then close their computers to enjoy the rest of their day.
It’s not all coding!
As you can see, a developer spends time doing many other tasks than just writing code. According to a survey conducted by Electric Cloud, developers spend up to 54% of their time on non-coding tasks.
While the exact time spent on these tasks varies based on the development phase, the graphic below depicts what software engineers do in an average week.
Image Source: Infoworld