A Day in The Life of a Software Engineer at FullStack Labs

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Charly Palencia is a Senior Software Developer specializing in React.js at FullStack Labs. As part of the software-development team in Colombia, he has over 9 years of experience and has been with FullStack Labs since 2017. Let's take a look at what one of his days is like as a developer at FullStack Labs.

Working as a software engineer at FullStack Labs Colombia, I’ve been fortunate to contribute to interesting, challenging projects across a variety of industries and types of organizations, from large firms like Siemens, where I helped build a marketplace for the power industry, to ClassicFlix, an app that allows users to rent DVDs of classic movies.

Depending on the job’s requirements, its team makeup, and the client, everything can vary from one project to another, including its technologies, personalities, and workflow. And given the respect and trust our managers have for us to complete our milestones and deliver for our clients, the rhythm of life can be distinct for every software engineer. Here’s what a typical day of mine looks like:

6:30 AM: Wake up and make coffee for my family.

7:00 AM: Have breakfast — usually arepas, maybe with some sausage and scrambled eggs and toast — and check Twitter for what’s new in software development and local politics, as well as see what suddenly turned into a meme while I was asleep. 

7:30 AM: Shower and get ready.

8:00 AM: Head upstairs to my home office with my (second) cup of coffee in hand and start the day. Normally, without the pandemic, I’d do this twice a week, while the other three days would be spent at the FullStack Labs office in Barranquilla’s WeWork.

The first thing I do is start my Toggl timer, which keeps track of the hours we’ve logged on client projects and connects to the project-tracking app Jira. Ultimately, this lets not only our managers look at how we’ve spent our time, but allows our clients to review our billed hours as well.

Then I get situated, start up Slack, and respond to any unread messages.

8:20 AM: After talking on Slack for a bit, I write my stand-up message on my project channel. The meeting is a quick check-in with all team members so that each person knows what the other is working on, how things are progressing, and if anyone is facing any blockers.

Now I’m ready to get to work. Right now, that means developing Procore, a construction management software application. The project is divided up into a few teams working on different modules. The app includes a feature to automatically generate PDF reports for users to see information about a construction site. I’m on the team that supports the architecture that allows the generator to work, building out the API and the microservices for the actual generator to function.

11:30 AM: Have a sync meeting with the Procore team and explain what we’re working on. 15 minutes later, I’m back at it again, working on the API.

12:00 PM: Eat lunch at my desk in 15 minutes or less. Taking less time at lunch means I can stop the workday earlier, and while many employees will take longer lunches, I’ve found that I can more easily maintain my work cadence until the day is done. 

12:15 PM: Back to work.

3:00 PM: Finish my development work for the day and start reviewing my team’s push requests on GitHub. My small team is only made up of two people, and between us, there are about 200 push requests made throughout the duration of the project. Reviewing my teammate’s code, and having him review mine, takes about an hour, and it’s my last task for the day.

4:00 PM: Turn off Toggl, shut down Slack, and start working on some of my hobbies. Lately, I’ve been working on designing 3D printed figurines from Among Us that are sent to a manufacturer and mailed to me for sanding, painting, and polishing. I’ve also dabbled in developing virtual reality games using the Unreal engine, but it can be hard to go straight from developing for work to developing for a hobby! Working on my figurines lets me shut my mind off for a bit and wind down.

6:00 PM: Go downstairs and check in with my wife to see how her day went and tell her about my own. 

7:30 PM: Finish off the night by watching something on Netflix or playing some first-person shooters (currently enjoying Apex Legends) with friends or my co-workers at FullStack Labs.

10:00 PM: Lights out! In bed and ready to sleep.

Not everyone at FullStack Labs is the same, and each person has their own style of working and living. If you’re a developer looking for interesting projects with a great team, we’d love to have you join us! Take a look at our Careers page and see if there’s anything that catches your eye. 

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