A day in the life of an R&D Software Engineer

Being part of a multidisciplinary team, I get to do all kinds of different tasks: discerning functional requirements on new features, implementing proof of concepts and improving our infrastructure and software architecture.

As a software engineer at a small but ambitious company you know your role is very diverse – ranging from the technical to the creative. Within our R&D team, we carry the responsibility of designing a robust, yet innovative product for our demanding international customers.

My morning routine starts at home, when I’m woken up by an attention-craving toddler. After giving him a much-desired bottle of milk, he becomes a lot cuter. During breakfast, I run through the latest headlines of several technology blogs and sites looking for relevant articles or looking through changelogs of the frameworks in our technology stack.

The workday varies, based on the current tasks and features we signed off on during or bi-weekly sprint meetings. Every day we have a short stand-up with the team during which each member summarizes what he did the past day and what he’s got planned for today. Being part of a multidisciplinary team, I get to do all kinds of different tasks: discerning functional requirements on new features, implementing proof of concepts and improving our infrastructure and software architecture. We constantly strive for a balance between new functionality and keeping our code clean and maintainable.

For the moment, I’m working on improving and optimizing our gamification layer, making sure the users of our web platform are treated and rewarded fairly according to their efforts in the game.

We’re making a simulator using anonymized game data so we can test and improve our algorithm’s efficiency and fairness. When designing the algorithms, the R aspect of the R&D really shines.

After hours, there’s trainings organized to get the entire team up to cross-speed on relevant topics. Lately there was an interesting training on personality types, on how to deal with different types of personalities. These trainings are optional, so you pick the ones that have added value for you. It’s a fun way to connect with colleagues to get to know them better.

Jonas