Day in the Life: Computer Applications in practice

Untitled design (42)Cian Butler, a Computer Applications student at DCU, is completing a work placement in software engineering here at CoderDojo HQ. Supported by our tech team, Cian helps improve the usability and operations of our community platform Zen. He does this while communicating on GitHub with our community of open-source developers. You can see the projects Cian has been developing on his GitHub profile here.

Below, Cian talks about how he became interested in Computer Science and gives us insight into an average day working at CoderDojo HQ:


I didn’t always want to be a software engineer. I became curious in computers by building my first computer, as I was interested in electronics. It was through building electronics I learned to code. Once I learned how, I just never stopped playing around and changing how my computer worked. It was through this non-stop tinkering that I discovered linux and open source development.

DSC_83837:30: I get up and start the day by making a smoothie and get ready for work. I then cycle to dogpatch for nine.


9:00: Once I’m in I sit down with a cup of coffee and check the project’s github for new issues and pull requests. I’ll then review any new ones that have come in.

DSC_83729:30: I review my tasks for the day and see which has the highest priority and if nothing has changed I will continue working on my tasks from the day before. I’ll start by running a few tests to see how far I had got and then pick up where I left off. The type of work I do can vary from week to week. Sometimes I will be fixing a bug in the site and on other days adding features. I also work on developing workflow and testing environments to make deployment and development of the platform more easy.

11:30: After working for bit I usually review the work done so far and discuss with the technical lead what I’ve done and see if he thinks there’s anything I should do differently or or any glaring mistakes.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 17.31.1012:30 Working in Dogpatch Labs means there are a lot of great places to grab lunch nearby. The team will usually go to a sandwich bar or cafe to get food and then come back to the office to eat with friends from other organizations within Dogpatch. And of course to finish off lunch we normally play a game of exploding kittens which is great fun for all those involved.


13:30 I’ll be back working. I usually spend the rest of the day writing and reviewing code.


17:00 At this point I’ll finish up my work for the day. If I’ve finished everything I test the code and create a pull request to add the feature to Zen. Otherwise, I will give it a once over to see what I need to do tomorrow and save everything.


18:00: If the Local Bi-weekly CoderDojo is on in Docklands I will stick around to volunteer as a mentor.

DSC_8387Once I’m done for the day I cycle home where I usually work on a personal project to either test some new technology or learn how something works.

You can find out how others enjoy working at CoderDojo here, and more on Cian via his LinkedIn profile.

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