Day in the life
“I normally start at about 8.30am when I grab a coffee and clamber into the loft where I work. I start with a series of regular stand-up agile meetings across several projects – they’re usually short although I can have between 10 and 15 meetings a day. That reflects the spread of projects at the moment. It’s a busy period.
“We work in an agile way across our internal as well as external projects, and it’s the perfect framework for keeping up the engagement levels and momentum. Regular meetings are important but they need to be for something, not just to say hello. Architectural considerations come into project planning, requirements gathering, decisions on core business functions, sales opportunities and everything in between.
“I also attend client architecture meetings and discussion forums at senior management level, and I also have to find time to oversee design work – and to do some of my own.
“Opencast is a remarkably friendly and supportive company and there’s a lot of social and techie chat on Teams throughout the day – jokes, a ‘mixtape’ group, special interests, tech support queries and discussions, plans for weekend company hikes in Northumberland, plant growing competitions, pet pictures, art history and more jokes.
“Afternoons will usually be longer discussions arising from issues on the regular calls that typically fall in the morning, and I tend to finish between 5.30pm and 6pm. You need to be quite flexible and respond to the company’s workload, but there’s rarely regular weekend working and Opencast is good at promoting no emails at night or weekends.
“We’re experimenting with ‘precious’ Wednesday afternoons during which we don’t have any internal meetings so we can just get on with work without any distractions. They’re working well so far, though the external and client meetings still find their way through into any space I carve out.
“We also fit in personal development meetings during the week, and we attach a lot of importance to the ‘buddy’ sessions we have for new joiners, especially in these surreal and often worrying times.
“Outside of work I enjoy reading, drawing, walking, cooking and during lockdown I’ve got into fixing old toys. Most of the toys I work with are older than me. It’s a mindfulness thing, I suppose.”
Software Architecture Zen – blog by Peter Cripps
UK Geospatial Commission.