A Day in the Solstie Life: Nacho Brik, Technical Consultant

I love creating things in the most efficient way possible, or at least the most efficient way I can think of. That’s one thing I’ve always known for sure.

About ten years ago I was working at one of my first jobs in the electronics industry and my boss asked me where I saw myself in the future. I said precisely what I just mentioned — creating new things and finding better ways to do existing things. He was not satisfied with my answer.

– “What do you mean by things?” he said.
– “Things, whatever it is. I like to be part of the design, part of the solution, figuring out ways to solve problems and to challenge the status quo — it can be about anything.”
– “Will you work on making chairs?” (Laughing)
– “If I find a new better, more efficient way to make chairs, absolutely!

Through the years, I've been able to better define that passion — it's called innovation. As a software developer, I’m fortunate to have a vast array of tools at my disposal that allow me to innovate quickly and efficiently.

One of the things I’ve learned while working at Solstice is that innovation is not just about the code or the programming, it’s also about the people, the culture, and the methodologies that help deliver a better product. At Solstice, innovation is at the core of what we do. I learn new things every day and am given the freedom to push the boundaries of my capabilities.

7:40 AM: Wake Up

Wake up, take a shower, skip breakfast. I then get my gear ready for my after-work exercise.

8:10 AM: Drive to Work

Commute to the office. The drive to the office takes me about 20 minutes. It’s not that far, but traffic at this time of day can get heavy. I tune in to a radio program that I like to get my mind off of the traffic.

When I get close, I spend about ten minutes trying to find a good parking spot on the street (which reminds me why some days I prefer to take the bus). Luckily, I spot a parking spot in the same block as the office so I quickly grab it. It’s not a big victory but getting a spot close to the office is a good way to start the day.

8:30 AM: Welcome to Solstice

I arrive at the office early,  say hello to one of my colleagues who is already here, prepare some coffee and get to work. I work as a developer on a FleXP project, a methodology that combines the functional framework of Scrum with the technical expertise of XP to bring flexible programming to life. One of the XP practices we follow is pair programming, but since it’s early, I have some time until my pair arrives.

I spend time doing code reviews and reading the user stories we are going to review with the team during backlog refinement today. Once I’m done with that, I’m ready to keep working on my pair and our in-flight story. Since we are in different offices, and even in different time zones, one person typically stays later and sends an update at the end of the day when the work is completed so the person arriving the next day knows what to do next right away. This helps us maintain a continuous flow of tasks, along with the ones given to us by our Test-Driven Development (TDD) tool.

10:00 AM: Stand Up

It’s time for our first meeting of the day with the team. We have team members dialing in from all over — a few in Buenos Aires working from home, a few in our Chicago office, and even a few with the client in their offices. We really take full advantage of this collaborative time together, but always make time for something fun to share. Today, we remember the time we all got cold brew in my last trip to Chicago. 

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10:15 AM: Start Pair Programming

Now is when we start remotely pairing. First we share our calendars to make sure we have enough time during the day to pair as much as needed to ensure the quality of our work. We agree on lunch time. Today I have a meeting in the afternoon so my pair, Arthur, accommodates my early lunch schedule.

I update him with the changes I made this morning, and we decide who drives first. In pair programming, the driver writes code while the navigator reviews each line of code as it is typed in. My pair is less familiar with the code we need changed, so he starts driving. Since there is never a lot of time on the same pairing role, we follow a ping-pong technique, where every time you write a failing test, you change to navigator. This back and forth method works well for us. It also improves my focus and helps keep me on schedule in terms of what to do next.

11:30 AM: Backlog Refinement

We sync with the entire team during this meeting. We have a few stories to review that we are planning to work on in the next sprint. We task as a group, we estimate as a group, we deliver as a group.

12:00 PM: Back to Pairing

More pairing time. During this sprint I'm pairing with Arthur and now we have a decent amount of time to keep going with our story. My team likes to do this thing where we make up names for the pairs, so Arthur and I have been called 'Nachur'.

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1:30 PM: Lunch Time

Today is sunny and warmer than it has been so I'm going to the terrace to have lunch with the group. Most of us do this. The lunch hour offers some great moments to chat and socialize with colleagues.  

Card games are a common activity during this time and today is no exception. The one who loses first has to wash the dishes so you can imagine that I'm doing my best here. You can say that I'm pretty good at it since I'm not the one doing the washing today.

2:30 PM: More Pairing!

Pairing, pairing, pairing. And that is how you finish a user story. So now we put our code up for reviews. And we are ready to move on to the next one.

5:00 PM: Engineering Circle Meeting

Now it’s time for an internal meeting with the rest of the engineering team. Our engineering community has grown by sharing both what we have learned since the last time we met and also the challenges that we face every day and how to overcome them.

6:00 PM: Leave

Once the engineering meeting is over, I pack my stuff up for the day. I have a little conversation with my pair to sync on what's next and then I'm out.

7:00 PM: Work Out

After work is the best time for me to work out. Today, I’m going to a cycling class with some other Solsties. It’s a hip-hop themed ride. Once we’re done, I take a quick shower and head for home.

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8:30 PM: Arrive Home

I get home and feel like cooking. Tonight it’s steak and some veggies in the electric grill. Then a little TV and it’s off to sleep — re-energizing for the challenges that lie ahead.

 

Want to work alongside Nacho? Check out our careers page for more information and to apply.