Agile Developer’s Journal: A Day in the Life

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5:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Pavel and I return to our individual desks to catch up on some email. I don’t get much of a chance to check email during the day, so I use this time to clear out my inbox.

I’m in a good mood and feel pretty relaxed. A nice part about continuous integration is that, at the end of the day, you either successfully integrate or throw the code changes away and try again tomorrow. Wait a minute. Throw the code changes away? That’s right. A rule is that you must always check in working code … don’t break the build. At the end of the day, if the integration fails and it isn’t readily fixable, take a step back by revisiting the problem tomorrow. Either check in working code or revert to the previous check-in. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t keep your non-working code local and see if inspiration strikes tomorrow. Why is this nice? Every successful build is an accomplishment, and by day’s end there are typically several. Sure, the failed build might require more work, but you’ve had so many successes today that one more makes no difference. Leave work with a clear mind.

5:45 p.m.
Time to go home. We work hard and consistently produce a lot. The intensity of an agile workday requires that we leave at a decent time and have a work-life balance, or else we run the risk of burnout. I say goodbye to a few of the SDLC team members and head to my car knowing that I had a successful and productive day.

Final Thought
We have walked through a typical “day in the life” of an agile developer, specifically at the midpoint of an iteration cycle. We have seen the developer’s responsibilities, challenges, and gratifications. Furthermore, we have looked at the different interactions the developer experiences, such as with the ScrumMaster, client manager, pair programming, and daily stand ups. Also, we have seen the reliance on continuous integration. The intensity of agile might seem foreboding, but the resulting quality, productivity, and satisfaction makes agile well worth it.

Bibliography
Brooks, F. P. (1995). The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Llopis, N. (2006, 02 06). A Day in the Life. Retrieved from Games from Within: http://gamesfromwithin.com/a-day-in-the-life

Manifesto, A. (2001). Manifesto for Agile Software Development. From The Agile Manifesto: http://agilemanifesto.org/

Schwaber, K. (2003). Agile Project Management With Scrum. Microsoft Press.

Shore, J., amp; Warden, S. (2008). The Art of Agile Development. O'Reilly.

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About the author

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne

Geoffrey Bourne has 12 years of experience in the financial IT field, successfully managing several globally distributed Agile teams in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.S. He has worked at J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and several start-ups. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Washington amp; Lee University and is a certified Sun Java Developer and PMP. Geoffrey is currently a Vice President at a major financial institution in the New York Private Bank and Personal Wealth Management divisions and can be contacted at gbourne@gmail.com

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