My name is Rishabh Jain and I’m a Software Engineer at SocialCops. I’m a Data Parser – which means my day to day involves everything from parsing locality level shape files to scraping household level data from open government data sets.
It is really hard to describe a typical day as a Software Engineer at SocialCops. Because when your daily work is creating products that can solve problems for millions of people across the globe, you cannot have a “typical” day. I can assure you, every day here will be a new challenge.
Yet, I’m going to try and decode what a typical day looks like in the Software Engineering Team!
9 am: Fall back asleep 😉
My day usually begins with waking up at 9 am, expressing gratitude for not having a typical corporate gig and falling back asleep to the rising sun.
10:30 am: Arrive at work
11:00 am: Get started with work
After that, I get started – I plug in my headphones to some Linkin Park music and open my code editor to build something that will potentially help people all across the world. Today, I’m working on some amazing mapping technology that will help policymakers visualize their data geographically (at the most granular level) to make decisions that are best suited for the people of that region.
We don’t have a fixed desk policy at SocialCops, which means we end up interacting with different people everyday. Sitting around me today are:
- One of our Android developers, who has built an Android app for data collection for the next billion.
- A full stack developer who is working on a tool that allows one to visualize their data in the most concise and easiest way.
- One of our engineers working on a Natural Language Processing engine that can be used by policymakers to understand problems faced by people everywhere in a way that has never been done before.
Since we are a full-stack data startup, I get to learn so much from the engineers around me. Given the nature of the data platform that we are building, we are all working on incredibly varied things that lead up to our mission.
2 pm: Have a doubt about my work
One of the biggest advantages of working at SocialCops is that I am answerable to no one except myself and my work. With the level of team that we have, everyone gets the full freedom to make their own design decisions. And when I have a problem, I just slide over to the guy sitting next to me and we solve our way through it.
3 pm: Learn something new (Teach on Tuesday time!)
Every week, We have a ToT (Teach on Tuesday), one of the most joyful and unique parts of working here. We make sure that we never stop learning new things and, with that in mind, we have weekly sessions where someone from the team teaches us something new.
Today, a backend engineer who recently joined us is teaching us about Functional Programming Principles with Scala. So here I am, learning about how functional programming transforms your computation to a mathematical model that can be parallelized into various independent sub computations.
Once a week, there will be a meeting with the team called “Standup” which is a short 10-15 minute meeting, wherein we discuss some road blocks in product implementation. Everyone at SocialCops makes sure to only be in meetings where they can make productive contributions and, more importantly, have fun while solving the problem at hand, so its only those of us involved in building the scalable map infrastructure who are around.
4:30 pm: Grab a Quick Lunch
4:30 – 9:00 pm: Developer Zone 2: Headphones. Chai & Code.
After lunch with the energy levels soaring, the evenings tend to pass by pretty quickly. After all, time flies by when you’re having… okay, you’re right, that’s too cliché.
9:00 pm: Break!
By the day’s end I’ve had 3-4 cups of chai and and it’s time for a break. So begins our daily series of basketball/FIFA matches. Yes, we have an actual basketball net and an Xbox in the office. And let’s not even talk about the host of games that we have invented to keep ourselves busy during the break.
10:00 pm: Dinner (and some interesting conversations)
10:30 pm: More work?
After dinner, I decide on whether to call it a day or hack the world problems during the night.
More often than not, you will find our office full during the night. This is because part of SocialCops’ mantra is “Innovate in the night and execute during the day”.
At night, the code practically writes itself. And if it’s a Thursday night, the teams make sure that their code is working (by hook or by crook) for our Friday demos. At the demos, everyone presents what they have worked on during the week and gets input from the rest of the team, because everything can be made faster, better and prettier. The team that innovated the most that week gets the coveted “Showdown” title that we yearn for!
Happy Engineers Day from SocialCops!
— SocialCops (@Social_Cops) September 15, 2015
If you’re the kind of engineer who executes during the day and innovates at night, we’d be interested in speaking to you. Think you’d be a good fit? Check out our open positions here!