Day in the Life: Software Engineer in training

Untitled design (31)Adam Horrigan works as a Software Engineer Intern here at CoderDojo HQ, insuring the smooth running, adaption and improved usability of of our community platform Zen, while keeping in touch with our open-source developers through our projects on GitHub and crowdin.

Here he talks about his introduction to Computer Science and software development:

Naturally, as a child I was always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Luckily for me, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Be a pilot… or a software developer. Now I am lucky enough to be doing one of these and with a truly fantastic organization, which helps children bring their ideas to life.

While in 5th year of secondary school, I had to begin thinking about my CAO (application to college). It was at this point, I asked my uncle – who works as a Senior Systems Engineer for advice about computer science related courses. I was advised to download Notepad++ and begin basic HTML and CSS following guides from W3Schools and MDN. As soon as I began, I fell in love with the area. I can remember my first site, it was about soccer and had pictures on it. I was blown away by it at the time. I also had ideas of projects that I would like to do and with this, I decided to study computing.

Read on to find out more about what a day in the life of a software engineer intern entails:

7:00AM: I usually wake up at 7:00am and have a nice breakfast before leaving. Once I’m ready to leave, I head for my bus to get into work for 9:00am or thereabouts.


9:00AM: Upon arriving in the office, I like to get my laptop and development environment setup. This takes no longer than five minutes or so. Afterwards, I generally make a cup of tea to start the workday with.

9:15AM: At this point, I am at my desk, with my development environment setup and a cup of tea by my side. I tend to take a few minutes here to get up to date on any communications which may have gone on since I left work work the day before. This is where I also check if any new issues have been opened on Github / pull requests submitted. During this time, I may also be assigned a technical ticket whereby a user is experiencing a bug or having trouble using a feature.


10:00AM: By ten, I’ve finished my cup of tea, I’m up to date on all communication, I’ve responded to assigned tickets and at this point it’s ready to start coding. I like to review the code which I wrote the day before so that I can go back into the correct mindset. Reviewing the prior days code also always me the identify any small errors that I might not have picked up on at the time. From here on out, I continue coding. What I am coding depends, it could range from a bug fix to a new feature. A lot of debugging happens also happens during this time.


11:00: Working in a tech company, we like to share tech related articles among ourselves. At this point, I like catch up on those shared articles. There are constantly new advancements in technology and new ways to achieve goals. I believe it’s important as a whole to stay on top of the direction in which the industry is heading.

11:15: From here on out, I am usually coding for the rest of the day. This involves communicating with the technical lead and others for review of a feature up to it’s current stage. I consider the input from others invaluable as it brings more ideas to the table and better solutions.

12:30: The CoderDojo Foundation HQ is based in Dogpatch Labs, which is a coworking space. We usually go for lunch and hang out with friends from others organizations at this time. We also love to play a card game called ‘Exploding Kittens’ at this time. Everyone around Dogpatch seems to love it and it leads to great lunch times.


4:00: By four, I will usually be assigned another technical ticket to investigate. Depending on the issue, this could be a simple reply letting the user know how to correctly achieve what they are trying to do. Or, it could be an actual issue – in which case, I would debug the issue to find the root of it. Once I find the issue and can reproduce, I can validate it.


4:30: I usually make a last half hour coding push at this time.

5:00: Typically, I review code at this time. Throughout the day, pull requests are usually made to Zen. I like to checkout these pull requests and confirm that they are working and not breaking anything else. Once confirmed, I let our technical know and he can merge the changes. Once the changes have been merged, they can then be deployed to Zen. I also review the work I got done today here so that I know what I will be doing the following day.


6:30: In winter, it does still be dark so I usually visit a friends and we go to the cinema or play games. Now that it’s bright and even super sunny, I like to go and play soccer with my friends and do more outdoor activities. I love to learn new things so I often start a passion project during this time to learn / pick-up a new programming language. I also mentor bi-weekly at my local CoderDojo, Dublin Docklands, where I help inspire the next generation of tech innovators!


If you are interested in a software engineer position at CoderDojo click here.

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