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Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Chris Tretola

Chris Tretola Client Engagement

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. 


6 a.m. 6:30 a.m.

After a half-hour of hitting the snooze button, I wake up at around 6:30 a.m. I get out of bed, and urgently make the very important first coffee to survive the day. While having a Larabar for breakfast, I chat about news and day plans with my husband, get some good kitty cuddle time in, and, of course, check my morning turnip prices on my Animal Crossing island before taking a shower. Because my office is currently in my bedroom, I try to make it feel different while I’m working vs. not, so I also set up the workday lighting.

8:30 a.m.

My workday starts by receiving an automatic Slack notification that displays all of my meetings for the day. I go through the meetings and begin thinking about questions to ask, concerns to raise, and priorities of each. Around 9, I start to look over my to-do list for the day; I use TeuxDeux, so any unfinished tasks from yesterday roll into today. I then begin creating a new To-Do list for each meeting, and add these morning ideas to each one as reminders of what to cover.

10 a.m.

At 10 every day, we have our project features team sync, where the UI-focused team gets on a Google Meet and quickly shares what they are working on today, and highlights any blockers they are dealing with (if any). It usually takes 10-15 minutes to go through everyone on the team. We’ve been working remotely since COVID started, and this is a good time to get some face-time with both Design and UI Engineering teams (and their pets). After today’s sync, we had a quick whole team sync to discuss general approach, messaging, and scope.

Noon

At noon every day, we have our company-wide Lightning Round. Most of the week, this sync takes place in Google Meet, but, on Thursdays, a day we have a lot of internal meetings, our sync takes place in a Slack thread. Everyone at Tandem writes up a short few sentences or bullet points about what we are focusing on today. Around this time, I’m starting to dig into requirements, questions from developers and designers, and having 1-1 ad-hoc chats in Slack with our client. This is also when the very critical second coffee occurs.

Lunch today was a bit of a slapdash effort. I made myself a matpakke (“packed lunch” in Norwegian; also known as the “most boring sandwich” according to Vox). I also checked in with my husband to see how his day is going, checked in with my cat to see how his day is going, and spent a few minutes away from a computer screen.

1 p.m.

At 1 on Thursdays, Tandem has our Thursday Shares meeting where one (or more) of us presents on a topic not necessarily work-related, but something that interests us. Today’s presentation was from Katie and Gwen about what it was like to volunteer at a polling station during the general election, which was really interesting insight into the inner workings of how the process works.

3 p.m.

I’ve wrapped a UAT discussion with the client and I’ve begun to look at bug prioritization in Jira. I also have continued planning and scoping out a testing framework, which is kicking off tomorrow. Now, I have a sync with one of our developers, Mina, to discuss progress on a specific feature in development. Today ended up being a three-coffee day, and Coffee #3 happened here.

4 p.m.

My work day usually ends around 4, but today, I had a quick sync for a volunteer bench project I’m collaborating on with Taher, Julia, and a couple of non-Tandemites. After that, I took one last look through my lists in TeuxDeux to gather my thoughts and add items I want to take care of tomorrow. Once done, I unplug my MacBook, turn off my monitor, and change the lighting in my bedroom/office to be more evening-focused. Remote work can be difficult, especially working out of your bedroom, but changing the lighting has really become a great way for me to transition between work mode and home mode.

After Work

After work, I have to check my evening turnip prices on my Animal Crossing island (of course), but after that, I usually relax without a screen for a bit, and hang out with my husband Patrick while he makes dinner. After dinner and watching some YouTube/Hulu, I usually start playing a video game to end the evening. Lately, I’ve been writing a strategy guide for a video game I’m playing through (for the fourth time), so that’s admittedly been taking up a bit of my after-work time.


Do you want to work with Chris and the rest of the Tandem team? Check out our Careers page to apply for our open positions!

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