A day in the life of a software engineer

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If you are aspiring to be a software engineer, at some point or the other you must have wondered about the question – how does a software engineer spend his/her day or rather, what constitutes a typical day in a life of a software engineer?

First of all, let us break the myth that a software engineer enjoys a ‘typical’ day at work because when there are new issues cropping up by the minute, every day is a new challenge that you’ve to face head-on. Now that we’ve established that, let’s see how a software engineer spends his/her day.

7 AM: The day begins with exercise and coffee!

Getting up early and starting the day with some exercise ensures that your energy levels remain high throughout the day. Needless to say, software engineers require high levels of energy to be productive all day long. After exercise and the morning shower, it’s time to further boost the energy levels with coffee/juice and a healthy breakfast.

8 AM: Commute

This is the time when productive software engineers use to catch up on their daily work schedule by checking the mail for pending tasks, issues, meetings, and so on. Once he/she’s done catching up with everything they need to do throughout the day, they usually put their headphones on or play soothing tunes (yeah, you’re right! It’s almost always classic rock or soft metal or trance music!) on the car stereo and enjoy the ride to work. Since most software engineers have the ability to multitask, they can often find solutions while listening to music or at least chalk out the approach through which a particular issue can be solved.

9 AM – 10 AM: Strategise

The one hour after reaching office is a very crucial time of the day since this is the time to prioritize the day’s tasks and strategies as to how to approach each task. When it comes to pending tasks, usually a software engineer swears by the ‘cliffhanger’ wherein he/she makes a detailed note outlining his thinking process pertaining to that specific task. This helps one to start where they left off without hampering the flow.

10 AM: The actual work commences!

After the deliberating and strategizing, a software engineer gets into the problem-solving mindset and starts solving the priority issues first. It is important to coordinate with the product manager, team lead, and teammates to ensure that a project is complete in time and can run smoothly. After fixing the bugs and bottlenecks in code, it is essential to run and test them again for any possible errors. 10 AM to 1 PM is usually a very busy time for a software engineer since priority issues capture their complete attention during this window.

1 PM: The much-needed break – lunch.

Contrary to the stereotype that software engineers are total nerds and introverts, they often look forward to lunch break and other short breaks between work so they can socialize with other people in the office. Networking guys! Software engineers are strong supporters of networking and hence, lunchtime is when you’ll get to see them enjoying humorous and engaging conversations with each other over delicious food.

2 PM – 5 PM: Coding, and coding some more!

Lunch break is usually followed by client calls and office meetings. After meetings, software engineers return to what they do best – code. Most of the afternoon goes in writing code, fixing minor bugs, and dealing with day-to-day client support queries. If these problems are sorted out for the day (a rarity indeed!), a software engineer makes it a point to stay updated with the latest technological updates and innovations in the IT sector by reading up on informative articles, watching educative YouTube videos and tutorials, and so on.

6 PM: Tend to emergency issues.

The day’s far from over and emergency issues can always emerge out of nowhere. Obviously, they need looking after. Getting on a call with the client or the onsite guy/girl to learn about the issue and immediately start working on it.

7 PM: Call it a day!

After almost nine hours of slogging with codes, bugs, client calls, and office meetings, it’s time to call it a day and return home. If you’re living with your family and kids, great! If not, you’ll probably be cracking your head on what you’ll be having for dinner. While returning back after a tiring day, software engineers again seek refuge in music to get out of the work mindset and ‘switch on’ their personal life.

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8 -10 PM: Home sweet home.

This is the time for rest, catching up on that favorite Netflix show, or maybe spend some quality time with friends and family. Have a wholesome dinner and binge watch TV series or movies a little more.

11 PM: Off to bed!

Before going to bed, it’s necessary to check work emails and reply to important ones. Another productive day is over and it’s time to sleep for you need to get up rejuvenated the next day, ready to take on some new challenges!

So, that’s precisely about the day in the life of a software engineer. Although not every day is the same and not every software engineer spends his/her day exactly like this, but we hope this gives you a pretty much rough idea on how a day goes by in the life of a software engineer.

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