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A day in the life of a Developer (Richard)

Totally Team
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A day in the life of a Developer (Richard)

Do you have a favourite part of your job?

I’m not sure getting Totally to shout us pizza every other Friday counts as part of my job technically, but it’s certainly a favourite part of working here. As are Friday afternoon drinks every so often.

But from a work point of view, being able to hand work over to clients is always a satisfying feeling. Applying my skills to new technologies and then seeing the culmination of my efforts realised in an end product is what its all about.

And even if a client comes back with a long list of changes, it still feels like you’ve reached a marker each time you do it – and it’s always nice to be able to say ‘there you go’ rather than ‘shouldn’t be too much longer I hope!’.

What do you find the most challenging?

Sometimes you have days when things just don’t work. And you have no fallback examples to work from. Those days can be challenging, particularly when you have a tight deadline. But you just have to make it happen somehow!

With this in mind, another challenge sometimes comes from the temptation to work solo. It can often be easy to get tunnel vision and forget the collaboration element when your head is stuck in front of a computer screen. I have learnt with experience that sometimes it’s important to take a step back, reassess and share your difficulties with others – as that may be the quickest path to solving your problem.

Is there a project that you are particularly proud of and why?

Seven years is a long time. There have been many projects over that time. I still remember the first one and the feeling when it went live – that is definitely up there.

But I suppose bringing some semblance of order to the United Synagogue Intranet (a British charity) is worthy of mention as it’s a massive bespoke system, and a big development job. And finally, of course, the previous Totally website which won an award.

How would you describe working for Totally?

I wouldn’t dare try and describe it! I hear their spies are everywhere.

Oh go on then… It’s certainly changed a lot since I joined. It’s bigger, more vibrant and more fun. It’s also nurturing and promotes autonomous self management amongst all the staff. Self learning is encouraged, and the variety of work we do is rewarding.

That’s what you need when working for a technology company I think. So long as it changes for the better, then it’s all good.

What attributes are you looking for in new Developers joining the Totally team?

I think the ability to apply practically anything they may have studied or learned from elsewhere to the job is important. The work will be different from what they have done before, although there will be similarities too. But it’s marrying the two that is key to learning how we do things and how you can progress here.

After that, we generally find there is no limit to what a software developer can achieve for themselves, and offer us as an employee. In short it’s more about application of skills, than the skills themselves.


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