A Day in the Life

busy desk with laptops, coffee, and papers
Apr. 25, 2019

There are many different types of positions in a department like Systems Development and Innovation, and each day can look totally different for every member of a team. Here is what a day in the life is like for some of the people in just three of our positions!

A Day in the Life of a...Senior Applications Developer

For the Systems Development and Innovation (SDI) department, Matthew Bungard one of the Senior Applications Developers for SDI. Senior Applications Developers focus on maintaining the application portfolio as well as balancing other responsibilities, including meeting with individuals and teams to discuss the present and future behavior of the applications they manage, running debugging software daily, working closely with application owners, and more.

According to Matt, one of the biggest responsibilities includes dealing with the wide variety of problems that can arise within the applications. He will locate a problem, and then work backwards in the files and code to create new solutions. It can be difficult, because, “there is always the question of whether it’s a one-time error, and the device just needs to be reset, or if there has been an underlying problem in the code for some time.”

Matt has access to all of the files of the applications code history and current status, along with being able to see who made changes to it and when. This is crucial for understanding when something has gone wrong, because he shares that, “sometimes, when our developers go into an app to fix a bug or problem and rewrite a code, it can cause problems to other lines of code.” One of Matt’s jobs, then, is to be able to monitor and correct when this happens.

“It’s not uncommon for there to be 100 tabs or more open on my laptop,” Matt says, opening it up and to a screen with eight tabs across the top. He laughs. “This actually is a slow day for me.”

A day in the life of a Senior Applications Developer will look different for each person, but as a whole, they work together to maintain and develop existing applications in platforms such as Drupal, OutSystems and .net, as well as create innovative new products for SDI.

A Day in the Life of an...Applications Developer

Applications Developers make up a large part of nearly every SDI team. Walter Robbins, Eddie Zgonc, and Bryan Basset are all Applications Developers for SDI that focus on different areas of development, and they are just a few of many. Projects assigned to developers depend on factors such as whether they work frontend or backend development, what team they are apart of within SDI, and even their interests.

For example, Walter is an Applications Developer for the Architecture and Standards team. He works frequently with OutSystems, and describes his role as being “half developer, half administrative.” His daily tasks include a mixture of independent desk work and meetings with the team, working through bugs and coding problems, and often assisting other developers in fixing existing problems. He enjoys the variety he experiences on the job, and appreciates not having the same exact set of tasks to do each day.

“My position may not be for everybody - being a developer can be kind of unstructured work - which definitely appeals to some people, but not so much to others,” he says.

Eddie, on the other hand, is a front-end Applications Developer and works directly with the User Experience Design team. For him, most days include working on assigned projects with a concentration on the visual aspects of an application. Other daily tasks outside of project work include responding to emails and attending team meetings. He appreciates that his role as an Applications Developer for SDI does not strip him of creative freedom; he gets to work with design and create applications that he is proud of.

Bryan works primarily on the Drupal team and focuses on FlashLine and kent.edu, always has multiple ongoing projects with various teams, and emphasizes that “Learning as many softwares as you can and playing around creatively is the best way to develop your skills,” he says.

“It is really rewarding to watch stuff you made being used in this position.”

Although a day in the life looks different for each individual developer, the Applications Developer role centers around writing code for software, contributing to building components of applications, working through bugs and problems, and assisting other developers.

A Day in the Life of a...Quality Assurance Analyst

The role of a Quality Assurance Analyst in SDI is to test in-house software to ensure that products are as defect-free as possible.

Stacy Lease, SDI’s current Quality Assurance Analyst, explains, “The application developers compile the software to make sure it does what they want it to, and then I test the functionality.”

The testing process involves creating and carrying out manual and custom plans for each product, and documenting all findings for her assigned projects.

Stacy says that a typical day in her position starts with having meetings every morning for the with the teams she is working with to share her test findings and brainstorm solutions, or approve the product for deployment if it is ready to go.

She is often working on at least three or four projects at a time. Because of this, organizational skills are crucial.

According to Stacy, a day in the life of a Quality Assurance Analyst means, “Being self-motivating, managing time well, documenting everything, and being methodical.”