A Day in the Life: Dave Draper

Blog Post created by kgastaldo Employee on Dec 13, 2016
Since many of you already know our Alfresco employees and their backgrounds, I thought we would stray from the Featured Member interview, and instead share what they do on a day to day basis. Today, we're featuring Dave Draper, Senior Engineer:
I usually start my day by going through my e-mails - usually to see what issues have been raised on the Aikau in GitHub or in JIRA. I will usually then review the previous day's IRC logs for any interesting conversations and browse all the new questions that have appeared on the Alfresco Community Platform and Stack Overflow. I do my best to answer any questions to the best of my ability and will often reach out to other members of the Engineering team if I see a question that they are better placed to answer.
I also check any new conversations that occurred in the many Skype groups that I’m a member of as well as checking for anything relevant to me on Twitter. Quite often there will be one or two interesting blog posts that have been shared so I will read through them as I like to try and keep my knowledge of what’s going on in the industry (and in web development in particular) current.
I always try to finish each day “cleanly” so that I don’t spend my evenings thinking about unfinished problems. This means that I’ll usually be making a start on a fresh feature or bug fix. I’m simultaneously active in two sprints - one for Aikau and one for Share - although there is usually considerable overlap. 
I try to follow a Test Driven Development approach as best I can so will always try and write my tests before I write the code. Once tests are passing I will create pull request and which I will get reviewed and merged. 
If Aikau is ready to be released (I try to ensure that there is at least one release a week) then I’ll run a full regression test, update the release notes and use our Bamboo servers to perform the release and updates to the JSDocs and Sandpit applications.
When I’m not fixing bugs or working on features I’ll most likely be writing up something in a blog post and increasingly I’ve taken to recording video posts (because I feel like I can convey more information in less time that way).
In the very rare moments when I have something approaching free time I will try and spend some time working on specific areas of Aikau that need to be pushed forward - the forms runtime service for example or looking at ways in which to increase performance. 
Fortunately I have very few meetings each week, but there is always a daily scrum call for the Share project and occasionally I will have a 1-to-1 meeting with my manager or some other such thing to attend.
When I’m working from home (which I do 3 days a week) my day is broken up with school runs and dog walks. I find that the time I spend walking my dogs can actually be very productive to problem solving - stepping away from the keyboard into the fresh air and getting my body moving helps me to think clearly through any tricky bugs that I happen to be dealing with. 
When I’m in the office my day is broken up with my 2 hour commute on the train. I’m usually able to work effectively on the train despite an occasionally patchy 4G service and find that getting stuck into an interesting problem makes the journey fly by. My days in the office are also valuable as this is when I can most effectively network with my colleagues - although I would say that on the whole I’m probably more productive working from home as there are generally less distractions.