Day In The Life Of: Lara Salameh
September 21, 2023 by CLG Team
Welcome to our new Day In The Life Of series where we take a detailed look at how some of the best tech professionals structure their day. First up is one of our favourites - our very own front-end dev Lara Salameh, reporting remotely from a beautiful Greek island.
Sit back and let Lara take you on a European getaway, taking in time for coding and dips in the bluest ocean imaginable.
Good morning! I’m starting a lot earlier than usual because I’m lucky enough to be working from Greece. (I have so much appreciation for working at Code Like a Girl and for flexible workplaces.) At this point in my trip, I’m travelling with my best friends and my brand-new baby niece. I like to start early so that I can cross over with my team and so I can enjoy that warm European sun with them in the afternoon. The best of both worlds!
Normally when I’m working in my hometown of Melbourne, this is when I would do my before-work-morning-funtime-activities — I really think this sets my mind up for a great day ahead. I take my dog for a quick lap around the neighbourhood, then hop on my bike and wake up my body with a pilates class before riding to our office share space to start the day. It’s the best, you get to feel all smug and active and energetic for the rest of the day.
Because I’m on holiday though I just start my day with a shower, stretch and a wake-me-up coffee. I cannot start the day without coffee. When you’re waking up at the crack of dawn in a small Euro town, your only option is the “delicious” instant stuff… but, I really am enjoying my low-grade Nescafe with a dash of creamy Noy Noy.
I sit down with my Noy Noy Nescafe, a delish Kytherian paximadia and catch up on the emails, Slack, GitHub and Jira updates my colleagues have left me overnight.
I’ll then assess my capacity for the day and figure out what tasks need to be done next. We’re lucky with how we structure our day at CLG, and I can cherry-pick tasks that are suitable for today’s conquest.
If I know I’m going to have the space to focus on something really creative, I might do one of the bigger coding or design tasks but if I know I’ve got meetings or perhaps I’m just not feeling 100%, I’ll tackle the jobs which feel smaller but would make a great deal of progress.
Jump onto a team meeting — We keep each other updated on our progress throughout the day and with team meetings. Usually around this time I’ll pop onto Zoom with the team- getting me on a call before 8am isn’t easy but laughing with my colleagues is a great motivator.
After a great warm chat with the CLG team, it’s business time. I’ll down another coffee and get stuck into it.
I fire up VS Code to continue building out the front-end of a new feature on one of our upcoming internship projects - an MVP for our interns, students, partners and more.
Despite being one of the curriculum creators, I still make mistakes and inevitably get frustrated with my code, just like everyone…By now, I’ve been staring at a screen for too long and keep getting blocked by errors. I decide to take a brain break by closing my tabs and venture into town to get a frappe and a bakery treat.
I’m back at my desk with fresh eyes, a fresh mind and fresh pastry. Now I open up Figma and pop on my UX designer hat.
We are revamping our School of Code user experience for current and prospective students and I’m in the process of redesigning the course selection process to ensure it’s easy to understand and engaging.
This work involves analysing data, reading student feedback, researching, scrolling through the web for inspiration and even checking out how our competitors operate.
Then it’s sketching time! I may be showing my age here but I always start out with a pen and paper to get the ideas out. It’s then back to Figma for some wireframing.
The afternoon hits and gyros is calling my name. It’s tempting to lay in the European sun here but instead, I opt for a quick walk and some fresh air. I know I can get more work done if I stay in my flow state.
Back into the swing of things and resuming the front-end development work I was looking at earlier, bugs and all.
Whenever I get stuck on a problem I find talking to a colleague helps me work out where the kinks may be. Something about explaining a problem out loud makes it so much clearer what needs to be done. Otherwise stopping myself from going any further and coming back with a new perspective is the best bet. This is so hard to do for a stubborn person like me, when I’m in something deep, I just want to be able to solve it. But if I can’t get a second set of eyes, I’ll try a fresh set of eyes and that usually does the trick.
I wrap this task up by opening another pull request, complete with notes for clarification.
I’m feeling good with the amount of work I’ve tackled today. I might leave a little stand-down message for a smooth handover.
In doing this, I review my weekly to-do list and highlight what I think will be the next task to tackle - being in a different timezone though, I am leaving space open for tasks that may pop up overnight (while I’m the one sleeping!)
2:30 pm - time to hit the beach!
It’s not lost on me how lucky I am to be in this position. My one piece of advice: if you’re in a workplace that allows for remote work and you have the means, go for it.
Perhaps it’s not as far as Greece but I can wholeheartedly say it’s great for team culture, creativity and inspiration, personal development, and productivity - I’m telling you, you work harder when you know there’s clear fresh water waiting for you to dive into it. It’s improved my time management skills, flexibility and of course increased job satisfaction! It’s honestly the best. I’m so grateful to have these opportunities and I hope you reading this get to have an experience like this as well. Noy Noy coffee and all.