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A day in the life of…

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Leidos

Jacqueline – Graduate Software Engineer
Bachelor Information Technology (I.T. Security)

6.00 AM
I’m awake… just. Don’t bother talking to me, I won’t give you a coherent response. I eat breakfast and drink tea. Tea is good. I spend too long savouring my tea and end up having to rush through brushing my teeth and getting dressed to get out of the house on time.

7.00 AM
I drive to the station. Because it’s so early, I can usually find parking pretty easily. I get on my train which is 3 mins late, find the last seat in the carriage, grab my phone and earbuds out of my bag and settle in for the journey to work with some head-banging tunes to get me pumped for the day. I’m looking forward to the day ahead.

8.00 AM
My train is now 10 mins late. I choose to take the stairs rather than the escalators to get out of the station because I like to pretend I’m fit. It’s a brisk walk from the station to the office.

8.10 AM
I walk into my office suite and greet the two guys on my team who beat me in. We like to make use of Leidos’ flexible hours and have more home time in the afternoon. The rest of the floor is very quiet as most people don’t get in until a bit later. I unpack my stuff and log into my computers. I check my email and see the weekly update from the Chief Executive with updates on the organisation as a whole. This is a good way to find out what’s happening in different parts of the business.

8:30 AM
My team is currently working on a Research and Development project and we use scrum software development methodology. Today’s the last day of our 2 week sprint and I need to finish off the story that I’ve been working on before 11 AM so I can get the new functionality into the release…

9.30 AM
I’m happy that my code has built successfully, my unit tests have passed, I have a running instance of my new feature in our Dev environment and I’ve documented how to use the new feature. I need to get my story and code reviewed before I can mark it as “Done”. I ask one of my team members to review it for me. I give him a demo of the new feature and explain how it works. He reads through my code and picks up on a couple of things that I could have done better. I go back and fix the minor issues, then he re-reviews my code and approves it. My changes then get merged and my story is marked as “Done”. 

10.30 AM
The Leidos office in Melbourne holds a morning tea every fortnight, and today’s the day. I get to the kitchen just as the food arrives so I can be sure I won’t miss out on a mini chicken curry pie.

11.00 AM
It’s sprint review time! This meeting only happens at the end of the sprint. My team gathers in a meeting room and we each talk through our moods during the sprint, what we think went well, what we think could be improved next sprint and people we’d like to thank.

11.30 AM
My team demos the stories that we’ve worked on over the sprint to each other. Some sprints, our client will come along to see the progress we’ve made, but this week it’s just an internal demo.

12.00 PM
Lunch time! Half of my team go out and buy food, the other half bring stuff from home. I’m in the “bring stuff from home” category because I’m trying to save a deposit for a house. I head to the kitchen to toast my sandwich and then bring it back and eat it by the window while browsing the housing market on my phone and chatting to my colleagues.

12.30 PM
We merge the code in our Dev environment to our Prod environment and check that all tests are passed. We deploy to Prod and ensure that everything still works as expected. We fix any issues that come up.

1.00 PM
It’s sprint planning time. This always feels like the longest part of the sprint, so I make sure I’ve made myself a nice cup of tea to get me through it. My team gathers in a corner and we sit down and go through each new story in our backlog queue. We vote on the number of points we think each story is worth based on how difficult we think they will be to complete. The higher the points, the more difficult the story. If there’s a large discrepancy between our rankings, then the people who voted for the highest and lowest number explain why they thought it was difficult or easy respectively. After hearing their explanations, we then vote again until we reach an agreement. Once all of the stories have points, stories are added to our next sprint based on how many points we think we can achieve over the next two weeks.

3.30 PM
Sprint planning is finished and as I don’t have any story currently assigned to me, I can pick the next one from the top of the backlog queue to work on. It turns out that the next story is to configure and install a new software that I’ve never worked with before, so I spend a bit of time doing some background reading to try and figure out how it works before I start attempting to write configuration and installation scripts.

4.00 PM
Yoyo time! It’s been a long day and we have a few Leidos branded yoyos in the office left over from the careers fairs. My team takes a quick break to show off our yoyo-ing skills.

4.10 PM
Back to work. I think I’ve got enough of an idea to get started on my story, so I start writing some configuration and installation scripts.

4.45 PM
Home time! It was a good day. I pack up my stuff and log out of my computers. I leave the office and walk up to the station to catch a train home.

6.00 PM
I arrive home, eat dinner, walk my dog, have a shower, catch up on some TV and relax.

10.00 PM
Bedtime! I’ve achieved quite a bit today, so now it’s time for a well-earned rest.

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