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November 14, 2016 | By

Eat. Sleep. Code. Repeat.

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Eat. Sleep. Code. Repeat.

Eat. Sleep. Code. Repeat.

Welcome to the life of a Jive developer.

We at Jive love what we do—it’s kind of a prerequisite to work here. We put in 50-hour weeks and pitch in during emergencies and outages, even when it’s not convenient. Life is intense, but it’s great. (For the record, we also believe in work-life balance and take the weekends off.)

Hearing this, you might wonder what a typical day looks like for our intense Jive development team. The rest of this article seeks to answer that (though I think the title does a pretty good job by itself). The following are descriptions (in various formats) of how Jive developers describe their average work day.

 

Free form:

That feature is already done? Booyah! I didn’t expect you to get that done that quickly!

Thanks for the lunch, Marcie! [free lunches: one of the perks of Jive]

I think it’s great working with a lot of really smart and passionate guys.

—Andrew Skeen, Product Manager

 

Schedule:

Wake up refreshed.

Get to work at 8:00, 8:30, or 9:00 (whichever suits me).

Check the sprint board for a refresher on the previous day’s challenges.

Dive In! Solve Problems! Create Things!

Eat lunch.

Solve Problems! Create Things!

And more . . .

10 hours from the beginning of work to the end . . . then go home!

Relax.

Have the best sleep of my life . . . again.

—Jonathan Aaron, Software Developer

Narrative:

Dawn breaks outside my window. It is early-ish and I beat my alarm by a minute. I spend a few minutes in my head, mulling over the fleeting images of last night’s dream, suspended somewhere between realities. My phone alerts me that the day has started and I roll out of bed. The commute is okay. I have a moment to gather my thoughts and think about my goals for the day. Daily Incremental value” is the name of the game, and it is up to me to make it happen. I get into the office, grab some caffeine, and transform from morning mode to dev mode. I join my partner and we begin.

 

The team is fluid, tailoring a pair of programmers to fit the problem. You and your partner explore the problem space until you hit a wall (and believe me there will be walls), and then you start asking the right questions. You question your preconceptions and your coding style. You look at examples on the web and the wiki. You get input from the team. From when you start to when you finish, the project name might stay the same. Or not.

 

My projects have a few things in common, the main ones being that they seem to run on some form of electricity and the internet. Whether I am implementing a new feature for our existing platform, monkeying with configuration, or trying to squeeze the last bit of performance out of our infrastructure, there is usually some knowledge waiting to be discovered. Does that intimidate me? Yes. Does it stop me? Never. The constant change and introduction to new technologies leaves me no options except to adapt and overcome. At some point you welcome it and make it part of who you are, like a viking searching for a challenge to lift him to Valhalla. Daily Incremental Value means that I deliver and bring us closer to our goal of world domination. I am a tyrant of technology, a badass of business communication, a sage of Session Initiation Protocol. There is nothing I cannot learn quickly. It is not if we reach our goals, but when.

—Zach Morin, Software Developer

 

Combination of Forms:

On a typical day I will:

  • Solve one of today’s problems in the shower

  • Plan out my day in my head on the way to work

  • Arrive at work and jump right into writing code

  • Attend a Lunch & Learn where I eat lunch on the company and learn from one of my peers

  • Interview a job candidate and possibly future coworker

  • Write lots of unit tests

  • Pair program with one or more of my peers

  • Help other guys on the team work through a problem to find a solution

  • Laugh out loud several times

  • Clearly envision our future greatness

  • Be surprised that the day is already over and that I’m leaving late

  • Review my day in my head on the way home

  • Send an email from home

  • Apply a sudden brainstorm to fix my code before going to sleep

 

The workday at Jive is fun, not hard. The extra hours are fun, not hard. You don’t even notice the time as the days race by.

Working on the team is fun. Everyone cares about everyone else; we know each other and have each others’ backs. We all get along and have a good time together. Winning is fun, and we win frequently. We win frequently by completing stories frequently, deploying frequently, adding value to customers frequently, and winning large deals and defeating our competition frequently. We have lots of victories at Jive.

What’s hard at Jive is solving problems that have never been solved before. It can be challenging to figure how to make something work when nobody has ever done it before. But when you do make it work? Well, that is the most fun of all.

—Matt Ryan, Software Developer

 


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