Two Laptop Bag*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Typical day of a programmer Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Murach's Java Servlets and JSP this week in the Servlets forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Typical day of a programmer" Watch "Typical day of a programmer" New topic
Author

Typical day of a programmer

Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

Many people on this board wants to work as a programmer / developer. So they learn how to program, learn more and more components of the Java language. They come to this forum to ask questions: how to do this, how to do that, whether it be so, or perhaps otherwise. So they dream and dream, and they are learning. But they do not know one thing ... What is the typical day of a programmer. Therefore, they would be grateful for describe one typical day of your work. For example: "I get up early at eleven o'clock in the morning ..."
"My boss tells me to write a class named CleanUpUrDeskToday"
and so on and so forth.
But seriously, many will surely want to know how the work of the programmer really looks like. So, inscribe, lament, parade .... For us - the non experienced greenhorns
Thank you
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

Because every developer's day will be exactly the same...


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

Bear Bibeault wrote:Because every developer's day will be exactly the same...

Okay, so now we know everyday looks different, great. Now I feel super and even more dream about getting that job
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Not necessarily... Bear's day is different from my day. Which in turn is different from the day of those unfortunate consultants I met once who spent all day in project meetings hoping not to be asked any questions.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

The point is that there's no such thing as a "typical" day.
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

So there isn't any way to describe what are you doing at work? I mean like for example "My boss brought me those blue prints of a project in an UML for this company.... And I have to implement them within one day. Damn!" or something like that....
I'm sure there is a way to explain how does your work look. If not just give some example from lets say this week...
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Sounds like he/she is looking for things to say in his/her next job interview, i.e. wants to say something that sounds "natural."
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

Jimmy Clark wrote:Sounds like he/she is looking for things to say in his/her next job interview, i.e. wants to say something that sounds "natural."

He is looking for things to say in his first job interview, yes
To me it looks like you just don't want to share... Or maybe are afraid of something...
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Sounds good, Sir I wouldn't know how to respond. I'm a financial analyst and my day-to-day work deals with inferential statistics, standard deviations, probabilities, Minitab, etc. I pick up a few things at the water cooler and am able to share here at the Ranch.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

I don't get it. You are a programmer with no experience, and you are going to a job interview where you imagine the interviewer will ask you about the typical day of a programmer? I haven't had a job interview for a very long time but that sounds quite unlikely to me.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30057
    
149

I'll bite. My day wasn't terribly useful for someone to repeat at an interview. While there is no typical day - even for the same person, I think it is interesting reading about a day of others. (My company does this to help people learn about other jobs. They even use times to get a feel for the pace.). Times are estimates

7:45 - catch up on email
8:00 - write code as examples for a presentation I am giving Friday
9:15 - take two online training modules
9:45 - "part one" of lunch
10:00 - interview two consultants
11:00 - co-present to another team on testing
12:00 - moderate a lunchtime discussion on eclipse plugins
1:00 - status meeting with my boss who returned from vacation today
1:45 - "part two" of lunch
2:00 - meet with three teammates
2:15 - paperwork for project
3:00 - meet with teammate to discuss a task I gave him last week
3:30 - create slides for Friday presentation
4:45 - go home

By contrast, yesterday I did more coding and UNIX scripting.


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

Thank you Joanne.
Paul Clapham wrote:I don't get it. You are a programmer with no experience, and you are going to a job interview where you imagine the interviewer will ask you about the typical day of a programmer? I haven't had a job interview for a very long time but that sounds quite unlikely to me.

The main purpose of writing this topic was a curiosity. Many people simply do not know how it really looks "from inside".
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

Like folks here mention, there is no typical day. This was my day yesterday

Read email
Look into a customer's problem
Exchange emails/plans with the QA team
Remind developers about pending tasks
Meet with my manager
Interview
Meeting with the team on product release strategies
Go home

The other day, I spent my entire time releasing a product.


SCJP 6 articles - SCJP 5/6 mock exams - More SCJP Mocks
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

OK, I'll take Jeanne's lead; today:

8:45 Make coffee
8:50 Check email and JavaRanch from home, read an online article
9:30 Head to the office (after the majority of the traffic has cleared)
9:45 Arrive at office
9:50 Spill coffee on floor when coffee machine spits hot coffee at me
9:51 Split back of new pants while wiping up coffee
9:55 Use packing tape in bathroom to repair pants enough to attend meeting without revealing the color of my underwear
10:00 Prepare presentation for meeting
10:30 Present proposed API for a new application platform initiative to team
11:30 Go home for lunch and to change pants
12:30 Return to work, coffee machine shows error 14490, "reboot" coffee machine
12:40 Make refinements to API based upon feedback from team
2:00 Begin research on new build tools and system for app platform
2:30 Get more coffee, coffee machine is out of beans, refill machine
3:30 Fight with Perforce which refuses to let me log in
4:00 Bi-weekly status meeting
5:00 Head home
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5


9:51 Split back of new pants while wiping up coffee
9:55 Use packing tape in bathroom to repair pants enough to attend meeting without revealing the color of my underwear


That was a quick bug fix sir !


Credit: http://askbobrankin.com/myspace_salute.jpg
Joanne Neal
Rancher

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 3415
    
  12
Slawomir Wieczorek wrote:Thank you Joanne.

You're welcome. I love taking credit for stuff I haven't done.

Bear Bibeault wrote:9:50 Spill coffee on floor when coffee machine spits hot coffee at me
9:51 Split back of new pants while wiping up coffee
12:30 Return to work, coffee machine shows error 14490, "reboot" coffee machine
2:30 Get more coffee, coffee machine is out of beans, refill machine

Ever thought of drinking tea ?


Joanne
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 37884
    
  22
Joanne, you daft girl, how on earth could a programmer drink tea? Coffee is even required for the standard GridBag tutorial!
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

Joanne Neal wrote:Ever thought of drinking tea ?

The coffee machine delivers hot water through the same mechanism and so the outcome would likely have been the same.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

So far today:

(1) Co-worker is getting JSP exceptions from new code I wrote. I don't get those exceptions, and he just got my code from the repository. His configuration must be different somehow. Nothing visible is different. Send him off to clear his version of the RAD project and reimport everything from the repository.

(2) Get tea from lunch room without incident.

(3) Discuss testing of acknowledging JMS messages with second co-worker. Features unrelated to message acknowledgement seem to be causing problems with acknowledgement. Seems bizarre. Second co-worker goes off to do more testing.

(4) Drink tea and eat mince tarts left over from Christmas.

(5) Second co-worker has to go and pick up his son from the school because the son apparently has pink-eye.

(6) Start on JMS testing. My test data from the other day has disappeared (deleted by scheduled historical data purge). Make up new test data.

(7) Check e-mail about last night's support calls. Nothing relevant to my areas of responsibility in that e-mail.
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

See? Nothing is impossible to the willing mind. Thank you
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

2:00 Returned pants and got a new pair in return -- different color though
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30057
    
149

I like how Bear's day prominently features coffee. And thanks for posting. It is interesting to read about other's days. Shows how different our days are and how there isn't a typical one. I'm going to post one more day (today) to show how different two consecutive days can be.

7:45 - catch up on email
8:00 - paperwork
8:30 - more online training modules
9:00 - meeting
9:30 - review presentation for Friday and make some changes based on online training modules. handle formatting in presentation
10:00 - investigate a performance problem in Java
10:45 - read about a UNIX problem
11:30 - meeting
12:00 - walk to Toastmaster's meeting
12:30 - Toastmaster's meeting
1:30 - walk back from Toastmaster's meeting
2:00 - catch up on what happened over last two hours of work
2:30 - pair with a co-worker on an accessibility change to show her how to do it and test my solution worked
3:00 - explain the accessibility change to another developer so the three of us can split the work
3:15 - make coding changes for accessibility change in four applications and test through browser. this involved writing a unit test to make sure the problem doesn't show up in future JSPs which is always fun
4:45 - read about a UNIX problem
5:45 - end of day
Sai Surya
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 457

Here is what I was doing from last 2 months in my new job.

1. 9:30 Come to office.
2. 9:30 - 10:00 Read online news papers.
3. 10:00-10:30 Javaranch.
4. 10:30-12:00 Read technical books (PDFs).
5. 12:00-12:30 Lunch
6. 12:30-1:30 Reading news updates
7. 1:30-2:30 Facebook
8. 2:30-3:00 Linkedin
9. 3:00-5:00 Reading process oriented stuff (RUP, Agile)
10: 5:00-6:00 Javaranch
11. 6:00 Go home

I am really bored of this schedule and I haven't given any serious work until now.
I am about to ask my lead for any contribution I can make.

However, people around me also seems to be having same schedule like me. Trying hard to keep my mind out of rust.


Sai Surya, SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 5.0, IBM 833 834
http://sai-surya-talk.blogspot.com, I believe in Murphy's law.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I like how Bear's day prominently features coffee.

My tag line has long been: "Turning coffee into quality software since 1976."
Slawomir Wieczorek
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 07, 2011
Posts: 20

Bear Bibeault wrote:
9:50 Spill coffee on floor when coffee machine spits hot coffee at me
9:51 Split back of new pants while wiping up coffee
9:55 Use packing tape in bathroom to repair pants enough to attend meeting without revealing the color of my underwear

Ever considered waterproofs? You could save few minutes
Janeice DelVecchio
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Posts: 1659
    
  11

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:.... to show how different two consecutive days can be.


Heh.... I agree that no two days are the same. Espescially the difference between days when I have to go to the office vs days I work from home....

Here's an example day.... and this will be really good to use for an interview
5a - wake up / get ready / get dog situated
6a - leave for work
9a - arrive at work, listen to jeanne talk about weekend, get coffee
9:30 - try to do work while someone stops by my cube asking for jeanne
10 - get more coffee
10:15 - try to get work done
11:30 - get lunch / bring back to desk
11:45 - realized I screwed something up, wait for jeanne to come back from lunch
12 - jeanne back from lunch, she puts up a do not disturb sign, I get more coffee
12:30 - realize my screwup was from something dumb, spend rest of day fixing it
4:30 - leave for home


When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Janeice DelVecchio wrote:6a - leave for work
9a - arrive at work




Luke
Janeice DelVecchio
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Posts: 1659
    
  11

Luke Kolin wrote:
Janeice DelVecchio wrote:6a - leave for work
9a - arrive at work




Luke


It's only 2 days a week, thankfully.
Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Currently am working on researching a product using python, so coding has been drastically reduced, but user requirements are tried upon.
My present schedule :
10 : Be there at work (surf internet for news/tech to get myself simulated)
10:30 : look into problem at hand
10:30-2:00 : Code and sleep in between
2:15-2:45 : Have lunch and talk with fellow devlopers
2:45-7:00 : Code again (intermittently reading technical books)
7:00-8:00 : Fix the loose ends and make sure day's requirements are met/shipped.

p.s. In a rush as today's friday, but will relax this evening!
Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Sai Surya wrote:Here is what I was doing from last 2 months in my new job.

1. 9:30 Come to office.
2. 9:30 - 10:00 Read online news papers.
3. 10:00-10:30 Javaranch.
4. 10:30-12:00 Read technical books (PDFs).
5. 12:00-12:30 Lunch
6. 12:30-1:30 Reading news updates
7. 1:30-2:30 Facebook
8. 2:30-3:00 Linkedin
9. 3:00-5:00 Reading process oriented stuff (RUP, Agile)
10: 5:00-6:00 Javaranch
11. 6:00 Go home

I am really bored of this schedule and I haven't given any serious work until now.
I am about to ask my lead for any contribution I can make.

However, people around me also seems to be having same schedule like me. Trying hard to keep my mind out of rust.

I envy you!
Why don't you try spending some more time on github. It would suit you, perhaps.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11150
    
  16

7:30 - get to work
7:31 - read email, check ranch, a few tech blogs
8:00 - start working on my work
8:01 - get interrupted by someone who needs me to "Look at this RIGHT NOW"
8:06 - get interrupted looking at whatever that was by someone else who needs me to look at THEIR problem RIGHT NOW
8:09 - get interrupted by someone else...
8:17 - resolve one of the issues.

random 5-10 minute intervals throughout the day - do my own work on my projects
repeat similarly all through the day

4:00 go home

Weeks when I carry our PRODUCTION pager are even worse


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Vishal Hegde
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 01, 2009
Posts: 1055

fred rosenberger wrote:7:30 - get to work
7:31 - read email, check ranch, a few tech blogs
8:00 - start working on my work
8:01 - get interrupted by someone who needs me to "Look at this RIGHT NOW"
8:06 - get interrupted looking at whatever that was by someone else who needs me to look at THEIR problem RIGHT NOW
8:09 - get interrupted by someone else...
8:17 - resolve one of the issues.

random 5-10 minute intervals throughout the day - do my own work on my projects
repeat similarly all through the day

4:00 go home

Weeks when I carry our PRODUCTION pager are even worse


You are pretty much dedicated to your work you dont go out for a half hour walk just to get relaxation??


http://www.lifesbizzare.blogspot.com || OCJP:81%
Chad Patrick
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 01, 2003
Posts: 11

All of my jobs have been a real life incarnation of a Dilbert cartoon or the movie Office Space.

I'm currently working on achieving my dream of doing nothing....
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60741
    
  65

Wally, is that you?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Typical day of a programmer
 
Similar Threads
American Dream
Astrology
WebLogic / WebSphere experience..?
comments in Java Class
Approximate time taken by an average programmer to complete the assignment?