Before joining CodeClan Chae had worked in a variety of different settings from corporate finance to being a strength and conditioning coach for high level athletes.
He was one of the first people to sign-up for CodeClan and was duly part of our first ever cohort, which finished in February 2016. Upon completing the course he went into a job within our employer network by joining SIMUL8 as a Software Engineer.
We recently paid him a visit at the SIMUL8 office in Glasgow to find out what an average day looks like for him in his new career.
6:00 AM: Wake-up. I’ll do some exercise and reading, then usually a little bit of programming or study. Don’t worry – early morning coding isn’t necessary for a career in software development, but I’m at the point where coding doesn’t feel like work and I always like to play with new ideas and build things for fun!
Often I’ll explore new areas of programming that may not be directly related to my work, but help to develop my wider skill set and approach to problem solving in general. Part of the reason I got into software development was the chance at a career that can not only support, but encourages life-long learning.
8:30 AM: Sometimes I walk when it’s nice or otherwise I’ll get a bus or train to work.
9:00 AM: Arrive at the office. I usually have breakfast at work while I plan my day. One of the great things about SIMUL8 is the calibre of people you work alongside and the responsibility expected of everyone. There’s a very autonomous environment which means I manage my own workload and have the opportunity to decide how to approach tasks.
9:30 AM: Scrum Time! This is where the team get together and catch up on the previous day’s work and share our plan going forward. It gives us the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other, to catch blockers early, and to make sure we’re all happy and on track with our current tasks.
The daily scrums at CodeClan really helped me prepare for this and ensured I was used to the format, so I felt comfortable contributing from the start. It also meant that when I started I was technically prepared and able to provide valuable contributions, despite being the newest member of the team.
10:00 AM: Getting into the serious work. My work load and what it consists of can be highly varied depending on the day. Since being here I’ve had the opportunity to develop a large number of features for internal and external systems and products, both web and desktop. I’ve worked across a variety of languages, frameworks and technologies, and even had the chance to experiment with new ones and pitch them to the team.
I’ve taken charge of tasks across the full development cycle – from conception, requirement gathering and planning, to release and user feedback. I’ve also been involved in devops, deploying code to production, helping with server and database management, configuring VMs and so on. It’s been a fantastic continuation to the CodeClan learning experience.
That was one of the reasons that I chose SIMUL8’s offer – they told me that from the outset I would be expected to take on serious projects, not just filler tasks and they didn’t disappoint! The first day I arrived I was presented with the challenge of developing a new feature for one of our systems and it was hugely satisfying seeing it released and being put to use at the end of my first week. That really set the tone for how things were going to be.
1:00 PM: Lunch Time. There’s a great team atmosphere, so we’ll usually eat out together once or twice a week – Italian or Sushi are favourites! If we’re not eating out I’ll go to the gym at Strathclyde University which is only five minutes from the office or grab a bite to eat with everyone in the social room.
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Back to work. The afternoons are just as varied as the morning; it could be more coding or maybe be a meeting or two. We have a great team of consultants in-house who use our simulation products daily and are always around if we want to run an idea past them. This makes taking an agile approach to development very easy – we can rapidly gather requirements and receive feedback from power users of our software.
Communication is something that SIMUL8 values highly so we also have regular meetings between developers, users and product managers. Right now for the product I’m working on these are held monthly and we plan future development, discuss improvements and allow everyone a voice in the process.
There’s also a weekly company-wide meeting where we get updates on everything from strategy and finance to customer success stories, and we have an afternoon out once a month so everyone in the company can do something fun together in a more informal setting. This can be anything from ping pong to a bite to eat, but it means you get to know your colleagues well, and it makes the product meetings easier!
5:15/5:30 PM: Finish up for the day. Our working hours are fairly flexible and the company trusts employees to use their time wisely, so I finish when I’ve achieved my goals for the day and head home.
In the evening I’ll relax with my girlfriend, meet up with friends and usually play around with whatever side project I’m working on or studying at the time. I think when you code there’s always more you want to learn and create than you ever have time for!