A Day With...
A Day With...
What does a typical working day at OPTANO look like? In our series “A Day with…” we spend a day looking over the shoulders of OPTANO colleagues from various departments to see what they do.
Lead Analytics Software Engineer and Project Manager
Stephanie has been working at OPTANO for 10 years now – as an OPTANO “veteran”, our team would not be the same without her. In addition to her specialist knowledge and cheery disposition, she has made her mark on OPTANO in a very special way: She is the one who brought our cherished BOB into the office and allowed him to remain with us. And so it was that, thanks to Stephanie, Bob became our cuddly team member and office mascot.
Now, upon her return to the office after having taken maternity leave, Stephanie is working in a project team and today we are glad of the opportunity to look over her shoulder while she is working.
The calm before the storm:
The first one at the office
I arrive at the office very early in the morning and most of the time I’m the first one here. I like being in our premises in the “Technologiepark” when it’s nice and quiet and nobody else is around. I grab a coffee and a glass of water and start to organize my workday.
The project team's Daily
The “Daily” with the project team is a fixed item on my agenda every day. Here the project team gets together and we brief one another on the tasks which have been completed, which ones are next on the list and whether there were any problems. We also discuss any updates from our project leader or if anything unusual has occurred. The daily only takes 15 minutes but it really helps me to organize my day and the project and keep everything in focus.
Getting down to the "real" work:
Developing, implementing and checking
As a developer I have a wide range of jobs to do in the team. One of these is implementing user stories for the project team. These can be data models, algorithms or validations – there is always a bit of everything. Testing is also an important aspect. Tests have to be written and then checked. Another important job is to check and approve solutions which other colleagues have implemented to be sure that nothing has been overlooked – two pairs of eyes are better than just one.
A walk around the block
Every Wednesday we go for a short walk after lunch. There may be just a few colleagues or a larger group, depending on who is in the office and has time. The fresh air, exercise and conversation help me to recharge my batteries for the rest of the day and week. I love these short office time-outs. They give me the chance to chat with colleagues with whom I don’t have a great deal of contact at the office.
The Developer Kaizen:
Sharing experience and knowledge
The Developer Kaizen is held once a month and gives all developers the opportunity to share their experiences and insights in the field of development with one another. There are basically no rules with regard to the topics discussed except that they have to have something to do with development and should be of relevance for most of us. Although the topic should arise from our project work, it should also be relevant outside of the project. By sharing information with the other developers, we can come up with new ideas to help us solve difficult tasks. And of course at the end we present our final implementations and any particularly elegant solutions. This allows all of the developers to benefit from the work and experience of other project teams. I was excited about joining the Kaizen again after my maternity leave and being able to find out what had been going on during my absence.
Time for a release
A release requires a lot of concentration and attention and is always a big deal for any developer. The latest software version is being built in BuildPipelines in Team City, i.e. the Client, AppServer, optimization as well as the script for the database update. It then has to be handed over to the customer for it to be rolled out. We have set up an automated procedure for some of our customers which assumes the entire roll-out. It all depends on what the customer would like to have and what the infrastructure and rights management permit. After that there is a final smoke test to see whether everything really does work as it should – and then the new version is released! If that isn’t a reason to celebrate, then what is? That’s why we blow a party horn upon every release. The “release horn” is a tradition at OPTANO and when we all had to work from home, we even set up our release horn channel in Teams. Blowing the release horn is a great way of finishing my work for the day – and now it’s time for me to go home!
In a nutshell:
My workday has exactly the right mix of fixed routine and varied tasks. It’s never boring and I always learn something new by exchanging information with my colleagues. The best thing about project work is that I know that we are meeting our customers’ exact requirements and that the results of my work are being put to good use.
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