A typical day in the life of an engineer on the Gymglish Tech Team

So you’re a computer guy or gal. You’ve been communing with them ever since you popped out of your mom’s front-end. Got your first PC at age 2, hacked your first government at 8.

Your first mobile app, a revolutionary system to track pigeon migration patterns in real-time, was bought by Amazon for a cool 10 mill. They’ve sidelined it since, but we know it’s only because they’re scared of what it could do on the open market.

You’re on the fast-track to dev heaven, and now it’s finally time to put your skills to the test: Full-stack, Python, Django, Angular, Github, Linux and Gameboy Advanced. You have what it takes, and now you are “sprinting” towards your next employment opportunity. 

Gymglish is here to help. Let’s take a look at how an engineer at Gymglish, maker of online language courses, spends a typical day, even if we all know there’s no such thing. Hopefully, it’s compatible with your vision board.

8.30 am: Nothing is happening because you’re still at home, frantically pounding on the snooze button for the fifth time. You take a deep breath and relax, knowing that the Gymglish Team won’t arrive at the office until 9. Grab another coffee or tea, consider taking a shower today or doing some light stretching. It’s going to be a good day. There may be a commit or peer review in your future.

9.45: You’re at the scenic Gymglish office in the heart of Paris’ most happening district, the 12th arrondissement. You’re waiting on a coffee and rubbing elbows with your fellow Gymglish colleagues, many of whom you don’t recognize because they are all wearing face masks. No, not because COVID is still going on, but because it’s “Mask Monday” and someone forgot to add you to the group text chain. You’re justifiably pissed off. An intern puts his hand on your shoulder, and knowingly says “Hey, I’ve been there… let me add you to the group chat on Telegram”. You reluctantly give him/her your number and download an application called “Telegram”. “I thought this was only for terrorists,” you mutter, and the intern smiles knowingly. 

10.15: You’re at your desk, which seems to have been hastily assembled using two mismatched bricks and a door that apparently fell off its hinges. You fire up Basecamp, Jira, and something called VS code. A senior engineer explains the Sprint planning, and promises you a real desk if you make it past your probationary period. You learn about the division of the workday: “Focus” and “Team Time”: Focus for coding and advancing on issues in the current sprint, Team Time for meetings, discussions, email, resolving issues and preparing for the next Focus block. You feel energized, ready to help your non-developer colleagues, while preserving time for coding. It’s all coming together nicely.

1.15 pm: Your brain is the size of a watermelon, having performed a morning’s worth of extreme programming in Focus mode. Very cool. You check with your colleagues to see what the plan is for lunch. Your engineer buddies let you know that eating is for the weak, and the strong must stay and code for the benefit of the hive. You can’t tell if they’re kidding, but the marketing team kindly invites you to grab a salad, kebab or poke bowl, whichever sounds more appealing to you, dear job candidate. Gluten-free options are of course available upon request.

2.30pm: You’re back at your desk, stomach full of poke and heart full of joy. Someone offers you a Gymglish water bottle, encouraging you to hydrate while promoting the company. Again, you can’t tell if they’re serious or if this is a weird initiation thing. You move back to one of your five screens: It’s Team Time. You eagerly check your emails and Basecamp chats, hoping to eliminate some pesky bugs for your adorable but technically inept colleagues. You’re in luck: bugs galore. You exterminate with prejudice, surprising yourself at your capacity for violence. You need a breath of fresh air, so you decide to peer review a fellow engineer’s commit. You’ve never felt closer to god.

4.45: You’re still knee-deep in Team Time, but you’re thinking that variety is the spice of life. You start planning for tomorrow’s Focus block – re-reading specs that the “client” has prepared for you, and consulting with your fellow fellows. You also use the bathroom, because that is very much allowed at Gymglish, nay, even encouraged. On your way there, you brush up against none other than Antoine Brenner, aka Brinx, co-founder of Gymglish,  legendary long-hair open-source developer, Board Game enthusiast, VLC contributor,  Scuba instructor, and Linux cluster aficionado. There’s no way not to be impressed. You manage to flush the toilet without incident.

6.15: The workday is coming to a merciful end, and you, friendly dev, killed it. Your teammates invite you to an impromptu apéro in the kitchen, and you’re not one to say no to an apéro. “Code hard, play hard,” that’s what they taught you at Code school, and what you had tattooed on your lower back in Japanese Kanji. This is an offer you can’t refuse. With a frosty beverage in hand, a smile on your face and a large dose of hand sanitizer on the table in front of you, you reflect on the day’s events. You laugh about the PHP meme circulating on Basecamp, and pat yourself on the back for the dope MySQL search you executed around noon. In the words of Ice Cube, today was a good day.

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