Ever wonder what it’s like to work at Tandem? In this series, we’re taking a peek into the everyday life of Tandem’s team members.
I’m the ghastly “morning person,” so I get up most mornings between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. (without an alarm clock). It depends on which workout I’m supposed to do that day and how aggressively our cats decide they want attention. After getting a sweat in, I get a recovery drink, maybe a breakfast bar, catch up on last night’s scores, see how my wife is doing, and do a Sudoku or two to clear my head.
I usually get online early. I like having the first hour or two of my day free and clear to work uninterrupted. I prep for any meetings I’m presenting at, ensure all of my materials are in order, and follow up on any communications that need responses or that I need responses for.
First scrum meeting of the day. As the team lead for a large project with many stakeholders, I have to be available to multiple teams to provide updates on status and answer any questions or concerns. A typical day has 3-4 of these quick scrums to brief the client, brief the other contractors we’re working with, or connect with my team of developers to ensure we’re on track.
It’s time for a team lead meeting across the IT projects with the client. For MEPCOM we’re part of a bigger IT project team, so we hear from all the team leads to make sure we’re coordinated with our efforts.
Time for the Tandem daily standup, or Lightning Round. It’s a chance for everyone in the company to connect over all the projects and other work that’s in flight — and anything else that’s going on. It’s only 10-15 minutes at the beginning of lunch, but it’s a nice way to stay in touch and hear about funny pets, good recipes, cool new shows, or gadgets people have purchased. After that, it’s oatmeal, a bagel with cream cheese, or maybe a flatbread with some cold cuts for lunch.
Depending on where we’re at in the sprint, this is usually a time for sprint planning, requirements gathering & analysis, or design review. Collaboration with our client is incredibly important, and the times when we get to engage and gather input from everyone involved drive the success of our engagement. Client Success, Shipping Quality Work, and Opening the Door are among Tandem’s company values and we have to work to achieve them every time we interact with our client partners.
Some days this is a nice window to work on tasks in the Jira backlog, update Confluence documentation, or just tick items off the ‘to-do’ list. On other days, this is when we’ll have our sprint ceremonies like Demo or Retrospective.
Later afternoon is usually a nice break to have bi-weekly one-on-ones with my team. We may not always have something specific to talk about, but we make sure there’s a time marked out on the calendar for me to connect with each of the developers about what’s going on, any concerns they might have, their goals and how we can facilitate meeting them, and also to just shoot the breeze.
It’s never going to be the case that everyone on a project team will be best friends, but it is important to me to have some understanding of each person who I work with and to make sure that their work at Tandem is a positive piece in the rest of their life.
I try to wrap up by 16:30, doing as much as I can to clear the lists of all the pressing items so the next morning isn’t too hectic. My wife and I switch off cooking for us and our daughter a couple of nights a week. The rest of the time, everyone’s on their own to figure out dinner.
I settle into my recliner after dinner and usually watch one of our shows from the DVR or get caught up on YouTube and spend some time annoying our cats. If the cats give up, I might catch up on my reading list. Early morning person = early to bed person, so normally I’m in bed by about 21:30 to recharge for the next day.
Do you want to work with Brent and the rest of the Tandem team? Check out our Careers page to apply for our open positions!