​Day in the life of a Front end developer

Martin Blackburn, Front End Developer
8 October 2015

TL DR: It's hectic and most of the time you never really know what you’ll be working on, despite the best of plans. But I like it.


It’s Friday (no need for singing that stupid song) 9AM, and I’m looking at all the requests from clients and working out how long each one will take, so that we can put a cost to them and plan who will be doing the work and when. I usually do this every morning, it’s a quick job and helps ease me into the day.

Now to do what we call fast-track work, anything that will take less than an hour. This can range from changing a link in a nav to restyling part of the site.

Today is my favorite day. CAKE DAY!
Every Friday we get food delivery to the office, it rotates between cake, cheese and salad (in order of my personal preference).

While stuffing cake into my face, like there is no tomorrow, I tend to have a quick read of the latest front end techniques. It’s a nice little break from day-to-day work and helps keep me up-to-date.

Sites all read, and cake has all gone :( back to work.

By this point, clients have usually started feeding back on work from the day before. So now it’s a juggling act of replying to them / completing their requests / doing new work / assigning things to other colleagues.

Every now and then someone will come over to my office, by which I mean desk (there are no offices here, it’s all open plan as far as the eye can see) with an urgent request / question / asking for advice (mostly work related) / a friendly chat. Which can disrupt the flow of work, but I’m too curious to know what they have to say.

Lunch time, today there has been a video lunch organised. Where anyone can suggest a video to watch and over lunch we all get together in the boardroom. Today's video is "Bringing Change to Life" by Bill Scott. A really good watch and had lots of little bits to take away and think about.

During a quiet time, I notice that my colleague has left their computer unlocked. As I watch them walk out the office, with a little smirk on my face, I start thinking of all the computer related pranks I can do to them. After a few minutes of thinking, I decide to go with making their mouse cursor massive (top-tip: on a mac it’s under system preferences -> accessibility).

Next up is a sprint planning meeting. Making sure my computer is locked, especially as my colleague will be looking for a little revenge, I head to the meeting. This is the weekly meeting where we plan next week's work, for which I am the representative for the design team.
The meeting requires us to take all the tasks and put them in priority order and assign it to someone to do. I look after the design side of enhancements, which is updates to existing clients sites and the occasional bug fixing. So I take on board all the tasks that need design work and work out how much time we have based on who's in the office and how busy they are, then assign tasks to different team members.

There will always be work, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but as work can be broken up with quick games of ping-pong (something that I’ve noticeably got better at since working here), cake and other unhealthy treats (there are healthy ones, but they don’t taste as good) it doesn’t really feel too much like work.