A Day in the Life of a Wizard

This is one of those blog posts I never thought I’d do, but when Sam asked if I’d make it I was kinda tickled by the idea. My days are incredibly boring… and I didn’t think anyone would find it interesting. But if this post is here, it means Sam or someone else on the team thought it was good enough to go up, so here it goes!

My day starts sometime around 9:30am... I used to be incredibly nocturnal, but the demands of leading a team require earlier, somewhat extended hours. It has been an adjustment. I roll out of bed, sometimes literally, and immediately check in with the team, usually while drinking a cold coke and cursing the day star.

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This is my standing desk… I’ve got a lot of equipment on it, you’ll notice a host of peripherals for testing input and controls, microphones and recording equipment, a Kinect camera… some computers from the 90’s... I guess those require a bit of explanation: I have a pet project involving writing a Game Engine from scratch on 90’s hardware using period books, software, and resources… Programmers generally have weird hobbies.

Right, my Day...

For the next half an hour or so I can be found pouring over my notes from the previous night, touching base with a few team members or leads to see where they are on their task progress, and generally trying not to be grouchy. Then I set to work… Sometimes I’m working on a specific programming task, other times I’m doing a deep dive on various tools and techniques. I was an analyst in a former life, and can mine a surprising amount of information from the internet, or from playing games for research.

At around Noon, Alexa will remind me that the daily standup meeting is an hour away, and I’ll set to work arranging my notes for the meeting, getting my ducks in a row.

If it’s a Monday, I’ll remind folks to eat before the meeting starts, because the meeting will run a little long. Monday is our sprint start, where those of us who work over the weekend (I am one of these poor souls) check in with what we accomplished and we go over tasks for the week. The Monday meeting usually runs for about 45 Minutes, but on especially big weeks it runs longer.

If it’s a Friday, I remind folks to eat before the meeting, and then continue to remind them, because Friday’s End of Sprint Meeting is always long. We cover the weekly build target, see what tasks we hit, what tasks are pending, and where we can allocate resources to ensure we hit certain goals.

Any other day, the meetings are fast. 10-15 minutes assuming nothing funky. Once the meeting is over, I usually take a short 5-10 minute break, grab food, curse the day star some more, and get back to programming for the next few hours.

Around 5pm my wife gets home from work and we spend a few minutes catching up on each other’s day, then both of us get back to Game Development (her night Job). Most of the team is working part-time currently, so as they get home from work around this time, we usually have a flurry of activity, and I’m often needed in some capacity. If you’re starting to get the idea I don’t have much of a life, you’d be right!

This usually lasts for about an hour, then I work of the major programming tasks on my list, or several of the small ones. I work generally until about 11pm or so. Around this time I start to get a little fuzzy, so I start saving my progress, committing changes, and take notes for tomorrow for about an hour. This is also around the time where I say, “Gee, I should eat something”, and then attempt to cram 2 hours of self-maintenance into the 15 minutes immediately after midnight.

So yeah… My day is a bit ridiculous. I do this day in and out… have for the past few years or so for various projects.