Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Wonder what it’d be like to spend a day in the life of a Hong Kong Rioter? No matter where you sit, whether at HQ or in an office on the other side of the globe, you’re a Rioter to the core. But each office expresses its riotousness in its own unique way. Teng, a Software Engineer, takes some time to share a typical day in his life at Riot.

I’m mostly a morning person, but there’s at least one other in my house who gets up even earlier. Our dog Lynn always sits dutifully at the foot of the bed, waiting for me to pull myself out from under the blankets at 7am on the dot.

Whatever your morning routine, mine’s probably similar, so we’ll skip those 10 minutes and catch up once I’ve hopped on the metro. Depending on the day, I’ll either skim through last night’s emails, hack with some of the latest coding stuff I picked up recently, or hop into a game on my PS Vita or 3DS (or even, sometimes, on my phone). I’ve been on a bit of a Vanillaware marathon lately, including Odin Sphere, Oboro Muramasa, and Dragon’s Crown.

The ride usually takes a little less than 50 minutes, so I’m arriving in the office by eight.

With Hong Kong’s skyline in the background, I grab some breakfast and hand out digital fistbumps with folks in other regions (gotta keep up that synergy). We give each other visibility on where we are on project fronts, and discuss the opportunities for collaboration.

Morning syncs out of the way, I’ll comb through the backlog and bug list briefly before standup -- refreshing every morning helps me keep the work prioritized. If there are code reviews or easy fixes, I’ll nail them down before meeting up with the team.

We have a 10am standup; a quick huddle with the other engineers where we find out what everybody is up to and help out where needed. I give a brief summary of my project progress and map out my plan for the day before tossing out an architectural question.

The next two hours I’ll spend crushing some meaty portions of the coding work I’m currently doing, so I nab a double espresso from the coffee machine before settling in back at my desk. At noon, I duck out to one of the restaurants nearby. Today I’m feeling in the mood for a Hawaiian Poke Bowl, which means heading to Pololi, about five minutes from the office.

When I get back, it’s time to play some League. The best way to figure out what’s been happening lately in the game is to queue up with my colleagues (and there’s no better bonding than mercilessly killing them in lane).

Around 2pm, I grab a second espresso before plugging into the zone. It’s time to dive deep into the code ocean again. Two more hours fly, and I’ve got a bi-weekly dev retro. It’s a chance to reflect on ourselves, identify areas where we rock and where our chords are clumsy. We also generate action items (stuff we can actually do) to make us more efficient and effective.

By the time 5pm and the end of the day roll around, I’m ready to spend a half-hour or two playing around with interesting tech or game dev. Lately I’ve been trying to port my personal 2D multiplayer platformer to Unity.

Before I head home, one of the guys on the team sends over an answer to that architecture question I raised at standup. It’s a clever solution and I’m excited to work on it tomorrow. On my way home, I stop and soak my brain in a good meditation over at the yoga studio closest to the office (pretty much whatever I need to do, I can find a place to do it near Riot’s building).

When I walk in the door at 7pm, my beautiful wife greets me. We settle in for dinner, and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s problems and inevitably fun solutions.