Day in the life of a front-end developer
July 28, 2022
Meet Samantha Ponce, a front-end developer at NordPass, and take an insider’s view on what it's like to build leading cybersecurity solutions from our office in Berlin. She’ll lead you through her typical workday and tell you more about her team and work challenges.
Wake up time
WFH: 7.30 AM
Office: 7.00 AM
My usual routine is to wake up, shower, get dressed, and maybe fix my hair or do my makeup. However, that depends on my time and or my mood. Since I’m located in Berlin, and most of my team works in Lithuania, I’ve chosen to work different hours from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM from the rest of the company (9.00 AM to 6.00 PM). It allows me to be more in sync and have more free time in the afternoon.
WFH: 8.00 AM
Office: 7.30 AM
I usually have German bread with cheese and ham for breakfast during the week since it’s fast and easy to prepare. And, of course, a nice liter of tea. I would say a cup, but I like to drink lots of tea. Not a fan of coffee, unlike most of the developers that I know.
Head to work
When I go to the office, I usually take public transport because it’s better for the environment, and we have a monthly ticket compensation as a benefit.
It usually takes 20 minutes to reach the office with the U-Bahn.
Welcome to the office
Two things that I do when I get to the office - wash my hands (crucial after the public transport) and get another cup of tea (also crucial for a productive day ahead).
First work portion
WFH: 8.00 AM - 2.00 PM
Office: 8.00 AM - 12.00 PM
Daily standup: 9.30 AM (5-10 minutes)
NordPass Update/Meeting: 10.00 AM - 11.00 AM
Normally I don’t have a lot of meetings. I know - the dream of every developer. I usually have my daily standup, and on Mondays, we have an update about what’s going on in the company or any other relevant theme.
Guild meetings happen once a month, where all the front-end developers from NordPass get together and talk about things: from cool tech we just read about to important information about upcoming changes.
So I usually check my emails and some merge requests before my first meeting. And afterward, I just work completely on any task or bug I choose from our sprint board.
WFH: 2.00 PM
Office: 12.00 PM
My lunchtime normally changes a lot when I work from home because I like to cook and eat with my husband. Therefore, we must agree on a time that suits both of us. We take turns preparing the food, but it normally happens after 1.00 PM.
We like to eat Mexican food because we’re from Mexico, so we try to include tacos and other foods with lime and chili on our menus.
WFH: 3.00 PM - 5.00 PM
Office: 1.00 PM - 5.00 PM
After lunchtime, I prefer to finish up my tasks and start testing and fixing anything that’s not working properly. If I haven’t finished my tasks, then I continue working on them, maybe pausing for a couple of minutes to stretch out and eat a snack. Especially if I’m at the office, where I get the chance to talk with people from other teams.
Getting my sweat on
My ideal schedule would include going to the gym after work every day. However, currently, I go only once a week or less. But it’s good to have a goal for improvement.
Sprechen sie deutsch?
I’m learning German because I want to be able to communicate better in Berlin. Even though almost everyone here speaks English or even Spanish, I still think it’s important to know the local language.
The classes are held online on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6.30 PM until 8.00 PM. At the moment, I’m learning B1 level - so not a complete beginner.
Both my and my husband's family live in Mexico. Therefore, we have to wait until they have some free time to talk with us. We aim to have long video calls with everyone at least once a week.
Light dinner (mostly)
I usually have dinner around 8.00 or 9.00 PM while talking with our families. It makes me feel as if we're sitting down together for a meal. I prefer something light for dinner, like cereal, but sometimes we spice it up with pizza or some Korean chicken.
I mostly go to bed around 11.00 PM after washing the dinner dishes and making all the preparations for the next day ahead.
Which one do you prefer, working from the office or home? Why?
I prefer working from home because I like cooking my own lunch. However, sometimes taking a break and going for lunch with people from the office is also nice.
At what time of the day do you feel most productive, and what tasks do you do then?
I think the time after my daily stand-up and before lunch is my most productive time - I do most of my work then. After lunch is more for testing, fixing, and other pending things.
Things that you like most about being a front-end developer at Nord Security?
My teammates, hands down. They are supporting me at all times and encourage me to learn more and be better.
Things you wouldn't miss being a front-end developer?
The fun issues with CSS.
What are the front-end stereotypes that you’d like to break?
That we don’t know anything about the back-end. In fact, I worked as a full-stack developer before. And, of course, we need to know how the back-end works to do our jobs better.
What challenges are you currently working on, and what have been the most interesting ones you had to deal with at Nord Security?
Developing new features is always challenging, but it’s the most interesting part of the job. So figuring out how to implement new stuff while ensuring everything else still works fine is the most stimulating thing about being a developer.
Also, migrating to newer versions of libraries and other tools is always a way to keep learning while suffering a bit. However, when everything works in the end - it's truly awesome.
Please, briefly describe your team? What kind of people work there, and how do you collaborate?
My team is the best. Everyone is always eager to help. We always have the best team buildings. And even if we’re located in different countries, we still keep in touch and are close to each other.