#TechTakeover - A Day in the life of Shaun Forde our senior software developer

NCFE is full of talented individuals boasting a whole range of skill sets across our various teams. Whether that’s excellent customer service, solving technical problems or brainstorming innovative ideas to improve our qualification courses, it’s never a dull moment. But what is it really like to work here?

As part of a mini-series, we’re shining the spotlight on our IT team as part of a #TechTakeover. The IT team are the backbone of NCFE and are involved in all parts of our business, whether that’s helping solve technical issues with coding or coming up with new and exciting tools to make things easier both internally and externally.

So first up, our senior software developer Shaun Forde is sharing what a typical day is like for him at NCFE - if you can say there’s a typical day here.

One thing I enjoy about NCFE is that each day is different. There’s always plenty to do and conversations to have within the IT department so it’s a great team to be in.

I usually start off my day by catching up with the other developers to see how everything is going, how their day was yesterday and to keep communications flowing. We have a flexible environment here so it’s good to have these catch-ups, especially if people are working from home, so that we’re all on the same page.

I’m not a morning person until I’ve had a minimum of two coffees, so after we’ve all caught up I usually get cracking by opening our Pull Requests. This often involves sorting out any merge issues and sometimes tasks like this can be left by the wayside, so I like to find a quiet spot and get through them.

At some point in the morning, the devs and I might also take time to grab a coffee and talk about what’s coming up, our next Epic and how we feel about our direction. There are days where we’ll work quite closely together to ensure we all reach the next stage of the task and to solve any issues together.

On a lunch time there’s surprisingly loads to do in the area and I usually go to the gym which is pretty much next door. But there’s plenty of walks around, food places close by and a small urban farm is only a short mobike away so you can get out and about from the office to unwind.

My afternoons can also be really varied and often involve working on a range of projects and tasks. Sometimes I’ll meet with our innovation team and go to a product demo as a tech advisor for both internal and external products which is really cool. They often come to our team for ideas and advice on the tech side of things and it’s always interesting to see what they’re working on.

We work within the Agile Scrum process in the IT team and there’s a chance we’ll have a sprint planning session and other review events. Again this can involve anything from coming up with ideas to tackling any issues that another developer may have.

Usually as the day starts to wind down, if there are no outstanding pull requests, I’ll pick up some objective work. It’s really flexible here in the way that the team can express their interests and work together on different solutions and new additions. For example, I’m really into graphs and maps so I’m looking at a data visualisation tool at the minute but the team have worked on allsorts from prototype apps that could assist the business, to making chat bots.

Overall I’d say that even though my days are usually different, they always involve collaboration, ideas and working on projects that everyone is enthusiastic about making a great job of.

Does NCFE sound like somewhere you’d like to work? We’re on the lookout for talented fullstack developers to work across both front and back end solutions. Send over your details to [email protected] to express your interest.

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