Life on Site with Gareth Andrews


So you’ve learnt about my past and my time at the academy, I think it’s now time for you to know about what I do on client site. I am currently working on a team focused towards delivering Microservices. Here’s a day in the life of me:

You start the day nice and early, checking all those work emails you receive a minute after you turn off your computer, and then you start by checking the JIRA board. Typically each day we assign ourselves a task and then get it completed by the end of the day, meaning each day we see progress both in the project and across the JIRA board.

Once you’ve started working away at your daily task you have a stand-up around half nine in the morning. In the next 15 minutes you hear from everyone in the team what they did the day before, any problems they had and what they are looking to do today, it is also the time when you learn about wide reaching factors that impact the project, such as changes to requirements or people being off on holiday for the next week. This means that once you’ve left the stand-up you are in the know of everything that should be happening that day.

So, back to the computer for an hour or so.

Seems like the team’s got a new piece of work coming up so it’s time for an impacting session. After reading through a document you’ve received a few days ago our product owner gives us a run-down for the reasons behind the new piece of work. It could be an extension of current work, or something completely different.

Everybody gets a chance to discuss their area of the project; for example what kind of code will be required, be it changing previous code or creating something entirely new. This impacting session will give the team an estimate into how much time it would take for the team to complete the project and its “impact” on the team.

12:00, time to go get some food for lunch. Remembering it’s Friday you head out the door instead of going to the canteen, laughter and chat following you as your team and friends grab a bite to eat for lunch. With full stomachs you return to work, mumbling about wanting to go back for dessert normally before returning to your task for the day.

Things don’t always go smoothly, and suddenly on your JIRA board there is an issue that’s affecting live. A bug has made it through the code!

Step one: investigate the bug. I run the code with the same data to try replicate the problem. At this point speed is of the essence, but you can’t make any mistakes either. With the problem repeated you notice that the error message is something you’ve seen before, and quickly find it in the code.

With a quick note on the JIRA issue and a phone call, you’ve already pushed the code through the continuous delivery environments, with all the automated tests running and checking that your fix won’t open up a Pandora’s Box of problems.

A few minutes later you receive a message saying that it’s been deployed to live and they are running the file again, with a smiley face and a thankful phone call confirming that the error has been fixed.

With that all done it’s time to return to your work for the day, finishing it just in time as you log your hours and move the task on the board to show everyone your progress for the day. Shutting down the machine and making sure everything is locked away, ready to repeat the process again tomorrow.

Join me next time when I will be discussing what comes next.

Life at the Academy with Gareth Andrews


Hi, my name is Gareth Andrews and I am currently work for QA Consulting as one of their consultants. Before joining QA Consulting I attended Hull University where I studied Computer Science with Games Development. 

After leaving University I decided to become a trainee Computer Science and ICT teacher, but I decided I wanted to continue using the skills I developed at University, so for me becoming a consultant was a logical conclusion.

In this blog I will be giving you a little insight into my Life at the Academy. From day one my experience was memorable, with both jokes and serious discussions forming the basis for our growth, both as people and professionals.  Treated as if we were in an office, we studied with growling levels of autonomy, eventually becoming independent in our development; from deciding the best way to approach a problem, to managing the teams work and personnel on a daily basis.

While at The Academy we operated as part of a team, working against (and sometimes with) another team, to produce several pieces of software as part of an interconnected project. We were in charge from the get go with initial designs and requirements being decided and found (or missed as it was in some cases), we quickly learnt where we needed to focus and develop.

Every day was different and how we worked changed on a daily basis; sometimes we would work in pairs using pair programming, and other times on our own. Helping us to adapt to the changing requirements and needs that we will face on client site.

During our time we were continually being examined, through a combination of workshops and presentations, all of which helping to prepare us for client site. 

Join me next time to find out about my experience at the QA Consulting Hackathon!.