So one of my friends sent me this article today and I was reading through it and spiraled into the rest of their blog posts and found this Q&A style blog post about one of their engineers' day in the life. So, in the spirit of Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V, presenting my version!
Hi 👋 My name is Preet Patel and I'm a Software Engineer working at MATTR. I've just graduated University (Nov 2020) and MATTR is my first full time venture into the world of tech companies.
What time do you wake up?
Oh jeez. Weekdays I try to get up at 6:30 am but on the weekend, its anyone's guess. Sometimes its 2pm, and other times I can be weird and get out of bed at 5am.
What’s the ideal way to start your day?
GYM! I've been getting into the habit of going and getting a good sweat out super early in the morning. I feel like it helps me get into a better mood for the day and keeps me energized.
What is your morning routine ?
Get up. Gym. Drink a nice protein shake. Play some great hype music while I shower. I get to work on my scooter if I'm travelling into the office. It takes me 8 minutes to cover a journey on my scooter that would otherwise take 40 minutes on the public transport!
How soon do you begin doing work-related things each morning?
I look at Slack as soon as I wake up - just to see if someone's needing some urgent reply. Otherwise, I usually am on by 8:30 if I'm not travelling to work. You know the saying - early bird catches the worm.
What’s your media consumption or interaction like?
Ever heard of the YouTube rabbit hole? It consumes many and takes no prisoners. So yeah I'd say it's a split of: 70% YouTube, 10% Twitter, 5% Instagram and 15% Tiktok (Yes I know. Lets pretend that you didn't see that).
What would you do during a typical day?
Currently I'm in the process of transitioning to a more community focused software engineer so its a lot of reading and learning. However prior to this, it involved task planning during our daily standups and then looking at getting my tickets done. I don't know how many of the readers are working but let me tell you that 70% of a developers time is spent waiting for PR (Pull Request) approvals. The other 30% is spent on Stack Overflow. I try and help my peers with any challenges they might be facing as well and I aim to help at least one person every day.
Where do your best ideas come from?
I think my programming decisions are based quite heavily on my observations from big tech companies and how their developers work. I love to read the engineering blogs from companies and try to see how I can implement their techniques into my workflow or in general at MATTR.
What does inspiration look like for you?
I'm strongly inspired by people who defy odds and achieve what others claim to be impossible. It comes from people such as my hard working parents, as well as giants like Steve Jobs who empowered people through the adoption of household computers, as well as people like Elon Musk who defy public belief and only limit themselves to the laws of physics.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The communication channel. I feel like its easy to say that the work I do is fulfilling. And it certainly is. However, I much more enjoy the fact that I can talk to like minded people and gain insights into what their vision is as well as learn from their experiences. I think I'm quite fortunate to be the youngest person at MATTR. It keeps me humbled because I know that I can learn from literally anyone I turn to.
What about the least enjoyable?
The horrors of crashing prod (Jk we thankfully crash our Dev channel first). It's the most gut wrenching feeling and I've only ever done that two times so far, but it still does suck. The other thing would be the fact that because we are super young, we are yet to develop a culture. And COVID-19 certainly did not help in that. But I'm optimistic, we've got insanely talented and amazing people who love the work that they do.
Do you have any side hustles you’re juggling?
This blog that will never take off? Ha! I've got a YouTube channel that I'm trying to revive. I also have a few more ideas I'm not ready to share just yet but yeah, my mind is always on the move. I just want to be cautious not to exploit anyone and always be on the side of giving.
What’s your best productivity hack?
I'm the worst to ask this. My best work comes out under pressure. So I'm very much inclined to say:
If it ain't due today, don't worry about it.
Well it's not as dumb as it seems. I said not to worry about it. Didn't say that you shouldn't be working towards it. If you have a plan and are actively working towards something, then I don't think you should worry about it until its due because you'll always be on top of it 😊 <= This probably has to be the worst worded thing I've put out on the internet.
Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it?
OOOOH YEAH! Stress is my middle name. Kinda counteracts what I just said above about not worrying. However, I'd like to claim that my mind is almost always on 4th gear. It never goes below it and occasionally throttles to 5th. I'm the most impatient human you're ever going to meet and I guess I'm working on that. Whenever I'm stressed, I just call my mum and dad. Seeing them almost always makes it all go away. If that doesn't work, I take my AirPods and just go for a walk towards mission bay.
What is your evening routine?
Netflix and chill baby! Jk, I'm single. I do watch Netflix though. Right now I'm watching Modern Family. I try to read before I go to bed but more realistically, I end up on TikTok for 1 hour.
Any food and drinks that help you throughout the day?
Coffee! Is this even a question for software engineers.
What time do you go to sleep? How many hours sleep do you aim for?
I get into bed at 12am. And I try to sleep for 7 hours. Add 30 more minutes to that if I've earnt it. I don't like to sleep for 8 hours because I don't like the fact that everyone else tries to sleep for 8 hours. I have no clue why thats a trait of mine.
Well folks, that's it. I hope you've learnt a bit about me through this and to the 2 people that make it to the end of this blog post, Thank You. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.