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Day in the Life
October 22, 2020

A Day in the Life: Mina Slater

Mina Slater Engineering

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 product designers and software engineers. 

Morning

Insomnia hit hard last night and I didn’t get to sleep until 3:30 a.m., so even though I wake up with my 7:30 alarm this morning, I stay in bed until 8:45. At that point, the puppy starts whining for attention by making the most pitiful squeaks at the edge of the bed.

9:30 a.m.

I log in for the workday around 9:30. First I check my calendar so that I know when I have meetings and conversations scheduled with other members of my team. Today, I only have a couple of meetings spread here and there throughout the day, so I’ll get to fill the time in between with pairing and writing code. I always take 5-10 minutes to make my to-do list for the day. I’m working with a system right now where I write down all the tasks I can think of that are on my plate, then I go through all of them and mark them either Urgent, Normal, or Low Priority, so I know how to divide my attention.

10 a.m.

My project team has Lightning Round at 10 a.m., where we get together to quickly update each other on our plans for the day and raise any blockers or issues to the team. Usually, I start the day by reviewing any open pull requests in our codebase, but we currently don’t have any so after Lightning Round, I get coffee quickly and sit down to start pairing. We have a strange authentication bug that only happens in our lower deployed environments and I’m excited to start digging.

Noon

I log in at noon for our company-wide Lightning Round, where, like the team Lightning Round, everyone gives a quick update about what they are working on for the day. When we were in the office, it was the perfect segue for everyone to gather and take off for lunch together; while we are remote, it provides much needed face time with my coworkers on various other projects. It’s the only time during the day I get to see and talk to some of my coworkers.

Today is a bit unusual as I have a phone screen with an engineering candidate scheduled at 12:30 when I would usually be breaking for lunch. Our engineers are full participants in the interview process. This helps us best gauge and hire folks we want to work with who are technically suited.

1 p.m.

I just finished writing up the evaluation for the candidate I interviewed over the lunch hour and will be stepping away to eat! While we collaborate closely with others on the team and work fairly regular hours, we do have the flexibility to adjust when needed. Like today! I wasn’t able to take a lunch break in the noon hour like normal, so I’m shifting it an hour later.

3 p.m.

At 3 today, my project team has a meeting between some engineers, designers, and product managers to work on documenting some feature requirements for designs that are about to be finalized. This document holds all the required functionalities of a given feature, data requirements, and design screens/prototypes. It is then sent to the client for verification and approval, and once it’s approved, it is deemed ready for Jira card generation and development. As an engineer, I love to be included this early on in the process of defining a feature. It gives me an opportunity to give my input and ask questions about the requirements and designs before they are finalized with the client.

5 p.m.

With remote work’s tendency to blur the separation between work and home, I try my best to stop working at ~5 p.m. I make sure that all the work I have done for the day has been committed to version control and pushed to the cloud in Code Commit (AWS’s version of GitHub). This way, if anything happens to my computer, my work won’t be lost.

Evening

Lately, my husband and I have been working out right after work, but today is a rest day so I won’t be doing that. Instead, I’ll be playing some Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch before making dinner. Since I had lunch late today, dinner will likely be pushed back a bit to 7 or 8. We’ll feed the dogs at 6:30 and take care of their evening needs: walks, playtime, etc. I also just fulfilled a lifelong dream of having a reading nook with an armchair so will hopefully be spending some evening time there.

This day was pretty balanced, in that it’s got a little bit of everything that I can be doing in a given week!


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

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