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A day in my life as a Junior Programmer

So, I’ve been working in industry for about 6 months now and I wanted to go through the process of what a day in my life is currently. Now this is partly to share what it is like and partly for myself to look back on down the line. Mostly to see how my workflow and work day changes throughout the years. I currently work full time, fully WFH as a Junior Programmer at Fumb Games. Now, in these posts I won’t be disclosing any specifics about the stuff I work on. I also won’t be naming anyone by name as NDA’s exist and I respect people’s privacy.

Start of the day

So, I have a pretty good body clock, so I naturally wake up around 6-6:30am, with my alarm set to 7:30am. Normally I spend the hour or so in bed just catching up on the world and watch some Youtube. I get out of bed when the alarm goes off as a get out of bed notice. I would get up and do something earlier, but I’m living with parents. To keep the noise down I don’t really get up until the alarm. Once up I go and eat breakfast and get to my desk, which is on the other side of my bedroom.

Before work

Before I start my work day I have around an hour or so to do my own thing, usually I spend the time checking emails & my Carter Games side hustle to make sure everything is good there. That usually only takes a few minutes but sometimes there are things that need my attention instantly. Once it gets to around 20 or so minutes before I start work, I get dressed into some casual clothes as if I was going out to work, even though I work from home. This is mostly for psychology as I tend to work better when dressed properly compared to wearing lounge wear which I tend to wear in the evening and weekends.

Starting the work day

The work day starts at 9am with the daily stand-up, this is led by a senior member of the team. Just before the daily stand-up starts I login to my work profile on my computer. This is a separate local admin account on my computer that is just for work. This is the same with the clothes as it helps me focus on the work with none of my personal accounts logged in. I setup my station by starting up Notion, Unity, Rider, Github Desktop & Slack ready for the day.

As I work for is a small studio, more or less everyone who in the company attends this meeting. It works like any software company stand-up where you take turns to summarise what you worked on the day before. Then what they are going to be working on that day. This is also a time where people bring up any questions on concerns on what they are working on. Its possible to arrange to have chats after the stand-up if needed. As we’re all WFH this is all done in a zoom call so I’m on mute 95% of the time. Once We’ve all done our updates we all sign off and start our days.

The work day

After the daily stand-up I get to work on my tasks for the day. This depends on the project I’m working on and what needs doing. This can be anything really as I tend to be working solo or with 1-2 others on a project at any time. In Merge Conquest, I was the sole developer and worked on every aspect of the project. Dependant on the day I may have a call or two to attend about the project(s) I’m working on. Mostly to clarify parts of the design or next steps for the project. Most of the working day is spent on my tasks, occasionally taking short video clips to show my progress on slack. Usually to give the team so they can give their thoughts and feedback.

Breaks

As we all WFH we get an hour in the day off for lunch etc. We can take when we like. I split this up into 3 sections to spread them out throughout the day. With a 10-15 minutes at 11am and 3-3:30pm and a 30-40 minutes break for lunch starting from 12:20-12:40ish.

End of the work day

I sign off work at 5:30pm on the dot. This is to keep my work life balance consistent. I don’t work overtime and by bosses are super flexible when it comes to deadlines, a rarity in the industry. This allows extra time if needed to get the project done right. Sometimes there may be a set deadline. 99% of the time its just whenever the project is ready. Because of this there is no real crunch or overtime making the work day end at a consistent time each day.

Around 10 minutes before the day is set to end for me I finish up anything I was working on. This includes committing any changes I have made that are not already committed or making a build for the team to test. I then spend the rest of the time figuring out what I’m going to be working on the next day so I know for the stand-up the next morning and write it down in Notion in note form as a prompt for when I speak the next day. I then sign off of my work account at the end of day. If I know that I need to respond to a message I can use my work phone on the Wifi to check. But I don’t check it unless I’m expecting an important message.

The evening

Dependant on the day I spend the time relaxing or working on smaller tasks on my side hustles in small steps. I normally feel really drained after a work day as I put most of my energy into making good progress on each project I work on. I don’t really have any friends to talk to on a daily basis. This is mostly due to some bad moves when I was younger, my social anxiety and just general shyness. I don’t like interfering with other peoples lives unless I have to, so I keep to myself.

I often spend the evening playing some older video games titles such as TF2, Minecraft, OSRS. If not, any of the many games I’ve yet to play in my library. Some days I go for a run after work, this is usually a 5K and is run right after I sign off for the day. This is because it is the only good time that fits in with my parents. So not to be too disruptive to their schedules. I would really run early morning or later in the evening. But where I live it isn’t really safe or ideal to run at these times as the traffic in the village is very busy.

End of day

I go to bed at a respectable hour, around 10pm. Which is about the same time as my parents go to bed as well. Going to bed at this time is good as it allows more than 8 hours before my alarm. So, I get a good nights sleep while also allowing for rough nights to not interfere too much when I get them.

That just about raps it up! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

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