Today I Learned

TIL, 2018-01-01, Hugo Disqus

Senior devs, what do you do on a daily basis?


  • When reviewing code from juniors, I try to think of ways I can get them on the correct path.
  • Hobbies in physically crafting things.
  • Thinking up my own designs and coding are probably 3 to 4 hours a day. Also included in that time is working with product devs to see their schedules of when work will be completed so I don’t try to automate testing of something that’s about to majorly change.
  • Morning and evening routine these days mostly revolve around my wife and 9 month old son. No extracurricular CS for me, which is relaxing. It’s nice to be done with work at the end of the day.
  • During work hours it varies by season, these days I’m mostly writing design docs for 2018’s projects. During coding intensive periods I’ll write max about 6 hours of code during work hours. Outside of work hours I try and do at least one Haskell exercise a day ~40 minutes.
  • The ability to influence people without invoking authority is the single most valuable skill you can have. I taught myself programming when I was 12 and more often than not have the right instinct when it comes to evaluating technical solutions to a given problem. But that instinct doesn’t help if you’re not able to convince people what they’re doing is not good for them, the team or the company. This includes being able to vocalize vague concerns into specific design anti-patterns, and bonus points for mapping them all onto a pre-agreed set of coding/design tenets. Having said that, there is a tendency for all devs to be a little too dogmatic when it comes to given design patterns so it’s helpful to emphasize the philosophical underpinnings of patterns every now and then.
  • Chess is great for exercising the ability to imagine a situation that could exist and evaluating its pros and cons without committing to it. Reading fiction is also crucial for maintaining the ability to imagine things that do not exist – this is useful when looking to solve problems for which solutions do not readily exist.
  • I work on projects on my house and help at my church. Find non-coding hobbies that force either problem solving or communication. Both of those types of hobbies will help with your career without giving you a case of burnout from coding day in and out.
  • Food is in there somewhere (/r/keto), making dinner if I’m at home or getting it on the way. Whole Foods and its great hot food bar is by C&S and my gym, plus some other healthy local options.
  • Actual coding per day? Maybe 2-3 hours on a regular day. I’m early in a project doing green field development so a lot of what I’m doing is research coding and architectural design. I suspect that once the design is more finalized and my team is fully in sync, we’ll all be coding a lot more.
  • Most underrated skill-set? Writing.
  • My hobby is event organization. I build communities and conferences. I’ve met a ton of people and made some great friends because they’ve attended my events or I’ve attended theirs. Networking is the best way to get a (new) job.

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