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IT Guy

If you’re beginning your career in software development, you may wonder what your typical day as a programmer or engineer might look like. Of course, a lot of factors impact the average day for a software developer—are you a freelancer or a full-time employee? Are you working for a start-up or an established corporation?

It is really hard to describe a typical day as a Software Engineer because when your daily work is creating products that can solve problems for millions of people across the globe, you cannot have a “typical” day. Every day is a new challenge.

Yet, @ Toppr, we are going to try and decode what a typical day looks like in the life of a full-time computer software developer in a corporate setup.

8 am – Wakeup

First cup of tea of the day, and the start of many…;-)

9.30 am – Head to work

A software engineer needs to come in late or leave early, so they can start the day pretty much when they like. They can also work remotely from home if we need to. So, depending on the travelling time, reach office in a bus, car or train.

10.00 am – Arrive at work

Grab a cup of tea and head to the desk. If it’s Friday; then it’s just the tea and an impatient wait for some celebration cakes to arrive. No wasting valuable cake space with healthy food on a Friday.

Then, switch on the PC, log in and then check if any urgent emails need dealing with. For this profession, it’s important to stay on top of technical happenings and news, so engineers usually catch up on a few RSS feeds that they subscribe to during this time too. There is always a new or better way to do something in software development.

10.30 am – Start work for the day

  • Get together with the product manager and go through the list of tasks that are to be completed on that particular the day.
  • The team leader calls for a last-minute meeting.
  • Return to the desk and work. Intermittently open Gmail, Facebook, Twitter. (companies generally don’t allow it, but why forget those smartphones?)

1 pm – Lunch

Lots of food options are available in IT companies. So, an engineer may either eat in the cafeteria or get together with colleagues and go out for lunch, especially if someone new has started or there is a birthday to celebrate. It’s good to get away from your computer when you are struggling with a programming issue.

Read about super foods that boast your brainpower here.

2 pm – Back to work

Back to more of the same – cup of tea and writing code to accomplish the task or perhaps fixing bugs. Deal with day-to-day support queries from the clients. Time goes really quickly when you’re writing software as you’re so engrossed in what you are doing.

Quite often software engineers work alongside the designers. They create the HTML code (which gives the website its look) and then they connect it up to the back-end code, the bit that makes the site work.

4:30 pm – Developer meeting

Every couple of weeks all the developers get together to talk about what developments are going on, any interesting future work coming up or someone will give a talk on something they’ve learned which might benefit the rest of the team.

5:30 pm – Snack break

Go for a quick walk with colleagues or munch on some snacks from the cafeteria.

6 pm – Return to the desk

  • Find the onsite guy’s mail in which he/she has blamed the offshore team for everything.
  • Panic session; immediate conference call to the client with various misfires; finally one code gets through.
  • The team listens in silence as the onsite guy plays the blame game.
  • Mudslinging match starts as anyone and everyone does their utmost to defend themselves.
  • Pin drop silence as the client doesn’t mince his words and raises doubts over extending the contract. The team lead and project manager promise to complete the work.

9 pm – Home time

Done for today. Check e-mails one last time before unfolding the scooter and heading back home. Take a bus/auto to reach home. If you are privileged, drive back home.

10 – 10.30 pm – Dinner Time

Eat a wholesome meal with the family.

11 pm – More work?

Coding, again. But stay relaxed by playing computer games, having more coffee or reading a magazine to sleep. After dinner, a software engineer needs to decide on whether to call it a day or hack the world problems during the night.

Computer software engineers spend a lot of time fixing bugs, compiling code, and bitching about software 😉 In addition, they may respond to technical questions from clients and other staff, and may help with testing and installing for clients.

Obviously, not every computer software engineer’s day will look just like this, but there are some consistent themes: short meetings, some brainstorming time, and lots and lots of coding.

Are you a software engineer too? What does your typical day look like? Share with us in the comments. We want to hear from you!

Hungry for more knowledge? How about reading through our articles A Typical Day in the Life of a Doctor and A Typical Day in the Life of a Scientist?

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