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INSIGHTS A day in the life of a...Back End Developer

29 Apr 2021

4 minute read

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Welcome to our 'A day in the life of a...' series.

Over the next few weeks you'll be getting to know our talented Escapees (we're talking strictly professional here!), as well as having a sneaky peek behind the curtains of agency life.

So meet Tomasz Kwiatkowski, our incredibly talented and slightly sarcastic Head of Development...

I’m still fairly new to the Head of Development position and definitely identify myself primarily as a developer, the generic developer no. 4 at The Escape as we refer to ourselves! A question I get asked a lot is ‘what does a developer actually do?’ Other than being socially awkward, and wearing bulky headphones on all the Zoom & Google Meets calls, we developers pride ourselves on transforming ideas into digital products, the things you use every day when browsing the internet, shopping online or talking to your digital assistant. We connect all the digital dots of the internet with complicated algorithms so you don’t have to.

The typical day of a software developer looks slightly different now than in the pre-pandemic world as most of us don’t have to commute to the office at the moment. And, it’s because we’ve already built this part of the internet that lets us communicate with other coworkers from the comfort of our bed, ahem... desk, that we can continue to work almost without interruption..

Morning


We always kickstart the day with a board meeting, all teams together, to ensure everyone knows what they’re doing and if we have all our ducks in a row. To be honest, without these meetings and our Friday 'huddles', we could sometimes go days without seeing all of our co-workers if our projects don’t overlap, so it’s a great opportunity to catch up with everyone and showcase your personal collection of coffee mugs. 

Now depending on the day, we normally have some small support tickets from clients to go through or some other fairly simple tasks, like for example installation of the SSL certificate or fixing a bug or two on a website. I  usually tackle these first, just so I can get them off my mind and focus on the big projects, one at a time. Most of us developers are pretty good at getting our heads down and immersing ourselves in a project.

At the moment we've just started building a brand new shiny website for DX Delivery Group, and whilst it’s still early days it's beginning to take shape and looking awesome! We also love working with Infinity Motorcycles as they throw many exciting challenges at us when we least expect it, for example, the other day we were helping them fight The Bad Bots in almost a hand to hand combat.

If you like working out solutions to problems then web development is very fun. Most of our days are spent planning, writing code, testing, doing code reviews, refactoring, writing more code, oh and the daily stand-ups (or sit-downs, depending on if you’re Agile or Lean).

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Lunch

It’s time for lunch. Back in the pre-pandemic world, we would have a trip to town with the team to Wagamama…okay that’s a lie, we would go to KFC or McDonald’s because we’re frugal, okay another lie… we’re just gluttons. Anyway, we’re now working from home and we spend our lunch breaks with the family, on a school run or a walk. And then we have a quick pizza for lunch after lunch.

Afternoon

I try to touch base with the team regularly on Google Meets to check that everyone is managing the work they’ve got on, although this isn’t usually a problem at all actually because our development team is the best team in the world and our project management team is the second-best team in the world so we’re always hitting the deadlines! After the video call, we’re back to coding and solving problems for the rest of the day. 

By the end of the day, we update Project Managers with the progress of work. This is also the perfect time to make sure we’ve got everything we need for the next day's tasks. 

Bonus round

What do you love about your job?

I love problem solving and learning new stuff, it really keeps my brain stimulated. 

What qualifications do you need to succeed as a developer?

If you are looking to make this a career there are some easy to pick up languages, loads of courses online, and lots of job offers compared to this time 10 years ago! Personally I have a degree in Computer Science, but in many cases, you won’t even need a degree anymore, as long as you can showcase your work and prove that you’ve mastered the necessary practical skills.

Your one piece of advice?

One piece of advice for any newbies is don’t try to build the next Facebook as your first project. The chances are you'll quickly lose interest and never complete it. Start small and keep it simple. 

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