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Being a Programmer – Part 2 Behind the Scene

Sometimes I’m in a reflective mood.   This time I’ll try to give you an overview of what my day looks like now, and what it looked like when I started.

When I first started:

It was a long time ago so I may miss some of what I did during a day.  Programmer/Analyst on Data3/RPG.

  • Get to work – pop my popcorn and sign on.
  • Check for any support things I may need to do.
  • Fix anything needed.   Transport it into production.   The code was either on the development box or in production.  And we were allowed to transport anything we wanted.  Whenever we decided.  It was up to us to make the decision.
  • If I was working on a project, then I needed to continue working on it.  Heads down coding.  That’s fun every once in awhile.
  • When finished, I would present it to the user who requested the change.  Usually it was just one person.
  • Make changes as needed.
  • Get my code review.
  • Determine when I wanted to move it into production.  Let the user know.  And then move it myself.
  • Start to work on my next project by setting up a meeting with the user.
  • Determining how I would attack the change/new project.  And then start back on the top.

Is anyone cringing yet?  No paperwork.  Usually just one user as the change didn’t usually effect the entire process.  And no one but myself knowing that it went into production.  Oh – and whoever I told.  The code reviewer usually knew as well.

My workday now:

  • Pop my popcorn and sign on.  I start about 30 minutes – 1 hour early.  I’m working at my home office so I consider it my drive time.
  • Check my e-mail for anything pressing.
  • If I don’t have something that needed to be done yesterday.  Skim through the blog posts here on the community.  Read the title and determine if it is something I’m interested in.  Sigh.  I haven’t been able to do that as much lately.
  • Get to work on any of the break/fixes first.
  • If there are none, or there aren’t any pressing ones, I usually open google and start my projects.   I find I go to google a lot.  I can’t remember everything, but I can remember enough to get the answer.  (Usually)  Also, there are times that I need it open because I don’t know something and I need help.  Most of the time, the question has already been asked.  If not, and I can put it into words then I post a question on the community.
  • Around that time, I crank up my music.   During meetings it is off.  🙂
  • If the project hasn’t been defined yet, I have a meeting on Teams or something similar.  There needs to be several people involved as the project I’m working on usually effects more than one area.  I do a lot of analysis.  I might ask clarifying questions.  When possible I put together a screen or two.  That way they can see how it is going to work.  It really helps to get that scope defined up front.  I do use the community.  I usually do a quick search to see if there are any blogs out there that can help.  Sometimes I just want to see if my idea is possible.
  • Test my project on the development box when it is complete.  Have my boss test my project.  I can move it to quality.  Then the testing starts again.  When we are sure we have what we need.   Another meeting is called.  We do a walkthrough to see if anything has been missed.  Usually that comes with some changes.   We try not to let them scope creep, and put some of the changes on a list for another phase of the project.
  • Get all my documentation around.  I’ll need a technical/functional spec, and testing documents.
  • Determine the risk associated with moving the project into production.  What are the hours/days when it could be moved, will it effect other processes.  Send an e-mail before moving it.  Make sure everyone knows when it is going into production.  Put together my request to give to our Basis person.   They move the development to production.  I usually let them know when it can go into production.  They let me know if it is possible.  There could be some background jobs running at that time.
  • Go into production and verify that everything is there.  If possible, do a quick test.  This is usually off hours, again it depends on the project.  Send an e-mail out to all the effected people.  It will let them know what has been changed.
  • Go into support where I stop what I’m doing an fix anything that needs fixing.  Answer all the questions that come my way via e-mail or Teams usually.
  • While this is going on, I can kick off a meeting for my next projects.  I might simply do some of the backlog work.  That really doesn’t have a set deadline that I could miss.  I would miss it if I had support issues.   Support issues do include some of the things they have to have, but haven’t mentioned.
  • While I code, I have my music on almost all the time.  I have a workspace.  It’s in a separate room where I can shut my door if needed.   I have two monitors set up and two printers.  Of course, a headset as well.
  • Meetings.  Biweekly meetings with the VP.   I’m working on a project for him.  Deadlines are tight, so this is a standing meeting.  Our consultants who are working on other things, also give an update.

As you can see, things were a lot simpler before I made the change to SAP.  And of course all the above is not done in one day.  One day may be all support.  Or sadly, one or more days could be in debug trying to figure where to put my enhancement.  Or trying to determine what the SAP program is doing.  I think I have all the things I do there…  But I probably missed something

Yes, my life was simpler.   But now I have more fun.  I am constantly learning.  And my day is rarely “boring”.

The rare times I am caught up, I read.  I read here on the community.  I read books I may have bought.  I do tutorials.  Take open sap courses.  Increase my knowledge as much as possible.

And – oh yes – I try to get back here and post a blog or two.  I am also in the coffee corner.  Those are almost always on off hours.  And yes, I try to help out with questions.  I will try to get back to anyone who contacts me.  I do not keep up with my twitter very often.  I go to champion meetings.  I will sometimes do a little meeting or host one or do a session.  That’s not really work.  It’s fun things.

My first blog in the series is being a programmer.  I give an overview on why I decided on this path.

What about you?  Do you have something that is common throughout your day?   It can be something fun like popcorn or my music.

 

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