image

You wake up from a deep sleep, your brain swimming up through drowsiness as thick as honey. As you're coming awake, your thoughts collect into an idea. Maybe that error was because I hadn't emptied the test database. The code bug that had been frustrating you since the night before, when you had pulled out your laptop while watching Netflix on your couch, may have just been solved by your sleeping self. You're a full-stack developer, and you make your living translating real-world solutions to problems into a language that a computer can understand.

Your commute to work is taken up by listening to podcasts if you're driving, or catching up on tech blogs if you're using public transit. Typically, your mind is never at rest, and there's always a source of input that you're using to keep yourself current with tech trends. When you get to work, your coworkers get a greeting, a quick catch-up at the communal coffee pot. Then you are off to your workstation to test out your theory. Sure enough, you were right. The test data was causing the problem. A sense of exultation surges through you as the project manager calls for the morning stand up meeting.

The morning stand-up is one of the most important parts of your day. Every team member on your project stands together in a circle and catches the rest of the team up on the status of their tasks. One by one, each person reports on what they accomplished yesterday, what their priorities are for today, and if they're stuck on anything. Yesterday, you were stuck on the bug your sleeping brain solved. When it's your turn, your accomplishment of fixing it is met with praise and respect. Ten minutes later, you're back at your desk and you're working on the next challenge.

From there until lunch, your headphones are on, you're in the zone. You hit that state that developers call 'flow', where you are able to solve a couple of reported bugs, the code seeming to flow directly from your brain to your fingertips. You could be listening to anything. Classical, hardcore electric dance music, or even country pours out of your headphones and it helps you to focus. Before you know it, your eyes flick up to the clock in the corner of your screen and you realize it's lunch time.

Sushi with the other devs, chatting about the latest tech conference or JavaScript framework, and then you're back at your desk. Flow is harder to hit that afternoon. You're having to context switch a lot. A problem with the database backups, then some changes to the latest marketing e-mail that has to go out, followed by a business logic problem on the accounting server. Plus the PM messaged you, there were client e-mails, and Facebook reminded you that it was your sister's birthday. Each one is its own challenge, and addressing them brings you up to the afternoon planning meeting. Given that you work with all the parts of the company's product, you get to sit in on the product planning meetings, so you can speak to what is feasible and what isn't.

As you're grabbing your tablet and heading into the meeting to take notes, it hits you. They didn't hire you to write code. Yes, your job title is Developer, but they hired you to build product. They hired you because you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to make sure their product stays stable for existing customers, and grows to meet the needs of tomorrow's users. It's a good place to be. The meeting passes without much fanfare, though you were able to speak to a few key points and have your voice heard at the table.

End of the work day, you sign off of your workstation and grab your bag for the trip home. A quick game on your phone, some messaging with friends and family, and then it's home for dinner. Likely, a quick workout at the gym, a shower, and then ending the day with video games or Netflix, until that haunting voice in the back of your head reminds you of one other bug you saw today. Maybe it's the file server, you think to yourself as you open up your laptop for just a few more minutes' coding before you head to bed.

image