Ever wondered what a typical day of a Web Developer looks like?
Whether you’re considering a career in the digital industry or just want to find out more about what some of the IGOO team get up to on a day to day basis, we caught up with our Senior Developer Andy to provide some insight into his daily routine.
Andy returned to IGOO in October 2017, after working for a Manchester-based ecommerce agency; he’s the brains behind many of our brilliant ecommerce sites and definitely knows a thing or two about coding…
Here’s what he got up to on one sunny Monday in January, based at our Studio in the Baltic Triangle.
It’s Monday morning and I’ve decided to get the train to work. I always find that driving takes up a large chunk of my concentration when I could be catching up on the latest industry-related news. As part of my commute, I have time for a quick browse of what’s going on in the world of Magento (an ecommerce platform that a number of our clients use). Turns out, there wasn’t much going on apart from the usual updates about Magento Imagine since Adobe took over, it’s now part of Adobe Summit.
From the moment I get into the studio, I catch up on my emails and instant messages, so I can make a note of anything that requires immediate attention. I then pick up a task from the previous week which wasn’t completed, where I’m looking to fix an issue migrating data from Magento 1 to Magento 2, specifically, products on the new site having no images attached because of a problem with Magento 1. I look for an effective way to pick out which products are affected, so I can restore the images. In order to do this, I use PHP Storm (a code editor) to traverse the code in Magento 2.
I’m always cautious when trying to Google a quick solution to problems like this – there’s lots of bad advice around! I also use a really helpful platform called Github, which allows me to keep track and review codes I’ve previously used to solve an issue.
Every Monday morning, we have a team meeting which usually lasts for around half an hour. We all discuss where we are up to with our clients and what we have planned for the week ahead – the Web Development team, Digital Marketing team and Project & Account Managers are all present.
Following the meeting, I grab myself a coffee from the machine – after all, ‘coding requires coffee’!
I continue to work through my to-do list – I start writing a small script to get Magento to load every product and provide me with information about each media gallery into a spreadsheet. This will hopefully provide enough information for Project Management to try and forecast what should be done next.
Keeping our Project Manager informed is an essential process for our Development team at IGOO. We use Harvest to track our time, and while it doesn’t come easy to us all, it’s really advantageous in terms of reflecting on productivity.
Talking of project management, I catch up with Tony, our Delivery Director to discuss a particular client’s site that has complicated integrations and explore what this means for the website going forward.
Straight after the meeting, I continue with my ‘images problem’ task from last Friday, as I crack on with writing a script to solve the issue.
This is the time when the whole team comes together for Happy Monday. Each week, two members of the team are picked at random to prepare lunch for everyone based on a theme from countries around the world. This week, it’s Gav (Managing Director at IGOO) and Mark’s (UX Designer at IGOO) turn to bring a little bit of China into the office with their very own ‘Posh Noodles,’ which were delicious, I must say!
Straight after lunch, I’m finishing off part of the script (for my product image problem) using XDebug which assists with debugging and development. It allows me to halt the script, so I can explore what’s going on step by step.
After trying to find a pattern in the error, it’s beginning to look like there’s an issue with the file format – where the original image is. I log my progress in Github and report back to the Project Management team. This helps us to determine whether we continue to try and solve the issue ourselves by uploading the images manually or pursue an alternative route.
3pm – 5pm
After catching up with a few members of the Development and Project Management team, we’ve decided that there’s no obvious problem with the site’s data and it might be easier to try and resave the images.
I then get alerted to a problem with a different client – which now takes priority. Again, using Github, I can see that our Front End Developer, Simon has recently made modifications to the client’s checkout system, so I can review these changes. If needed Github also allows you to reverse changes made to a code – we developers are only human and (sometimes) make mistakes!
Later, Simon messages me on Slack (an internal messaging system we use here at IGOO) to let me know he’s found a way to resolve the checkout system error. But during this time, I’ve found a new issue that needs my attention…
I use this time to make sure I’m completely up to date with everything, checking there’s no high priority work I’ve missed, and wrap up on the work I’ve been carrying out. This involves clearing my inbox and getting an overview of the projects that have been completed across the team. Being a senior, I like to keep up to date on what the other Developers have been working on. So we can all push together and get things completed before we head home.
Once I get home, I have dinner and try to relax. Then I get to thinking about cache warming and making the process of generating reports for our marketing team easier (a Web Developer’s mind never switches off!).
Currently, our Digital Marketing team use SEMrush to audit clients’ sites. So, I have a read of SEMrush’s API documentation to see if we can use site deployment (powered by BuddyWorks) to trigger an audit automatically. This would also have the bonus of warming a site’s caches which get cleared after deployment – killing two birds with one stone!
Being a Developer can be tricky at times, filled with its own unique challenges and problems, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! It’s fast-paced and constantly evolving – I love it.
At IGOO, every day is different and as we continue to grow, we’re constantly working on more exciting and unique projects. If you would like to be one of them, get in touch today and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.