To give you an idea of what it’s like working at Bespoke, in particular within our Business Intelligence team, we asked one of our Lead Power BI Developer’s to walk us through what a typical day looks like!
8:45am – Log on
I start by logging on a little early to check my emails and Team’s messages – did anything come in overnight? An issue on a report? A refresh error? Anything that needs immediate attention is addressed before I formulate my tasks for the day in order of priority – most of the time we have multiple projects and responsibilities at once, so understanding what the priorities are is key. This also prepares me well for the stand-up that kicks off the day.
9:00am – ‘Stand-up’ Teams call
Every morning the project managers and developers jump on a stand-up call. At Bespoke we have adopted an agile approach to development and these calls are a fundamental part of this. Everyone has a moment to describe their tasks for the day, any deadlines approaching, any blockers, can another member of the team help? My tasks and priorities often change after stand-up, but that’s why we have them. Now everyone is synchronised, and we get stuck in.
9:30am – Presales call
One part of my job is to get involved in the presales and scoping side of projects with the account directors. The aim is to understand the client’s business model and needs so we can recommend how they should move forward and how/if we can help them. Sometimes these calls are routine, discussing problems you have come across before. However, they can also be eye-opening, presenting new challenges and discussing parts of the platform you don’t know much about. As it turns out, this morning’s call fell into this bucket. This helps develop our understanding of the platform and keeps our knowledge current. In such a rapidly evolving sector, this is so important.
10am – Training project presentation
When you are new to a software, the best way to learn is to do. We challenge our new developers to build reports on matters they are passionate about by finding public datasets. Let’s be honest, it’s way more fun learning this way than reading about the software online! During these ‘training projects’ I have meetings with the developer(s), reviewing what they have discovered and completed, providing feedback, advice, and resources to aid their development. Once ready, they present their solution internally to other developers, project managers and directors. This morning’s presentation had around 10 team members who had all come to see the work a new developer had created. There was some fantastic feedback, both positive and constructive and I look forward to seeing what they do next!
11am – Interview
It’s not rare for me to help in an interview but it doesn’t happen every week! It happened all but one day this week… Me and my projects director are reviewing candidates for a new junior developer role. What’s been great about these interviews is how different everyone was – bringing their own set of strengths and interests by showcasing some work they have completed. It’s exciting to see the trajectory Bespoke are on and I am lucky enough to help shape that future.
12:00pm – Lunch break
In a job that requires you to look at a screen for most of the day it’s important to take breaks. Give your eyes and brain a rest, and your legs a stretch at regular intervals. I like to do this by cooking. However, today I went back to the classic sandwich – the contents not so classic: Mexican chicken, guacamole, sweet chilli jam and cheese (wow). I find having a good lunch and break really helps set a good precedent for the rest of the day.
1:00pm – On-going client development
I am currently working on a few different projects that are on-going. It’s rare to just build a report and it’s done. Part of what we do is try to develop client relationships so we can ‘upgrade’ their reports with new needs, new functionalities, and new data over many months. Building a good Power BI report is not about nailing it first try, it’s about creating a good foundation which will then be built on over the next few months/years. This afternoon’s report required some currency conversions and conditional exports to be added. This involved using Power Query, data modelling, DAX calculations and testing on both Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service.
3:00pm – R&D
As mentioned earlier, we work in a rapidly evolving sector, which means it’s vital to stay up to date with new functionality in the software as well as learning about other software. I have recently been tasked with learning about Azure Purview – a data governance & compliance tool that can allow end-users to search a ‘data catalogue’ and view the lineage of data, all the way from an SQL database, through Data Factory and into a Power BI dataset. I hope to present my findings to the CTO next week.
4:45pm – ‘End of Day’ Teams call
A lot can happen in a day. Sometimes I look back and realise I didn’t get around to anything I had planned. You must be able to move with the flow and demands of the day. So, to sync the team back up, we jump on an end of day where we review what happened and if we need to make changes to the schedule for tomorrow.