Life as a Software Engineer

David joined Skyscanner in 2011 with 6 years’ experience developing websites and web applications. He enjoys football and watching Formula 1.


 What role do you perform at Skyscanner?

I am a Software Engineer. I work mainly on the code for the website itself. This includes user interaction and interface design, controller logic and interaction with the back-end services and databases.
Jobs range from small enhancements to bigger changes that need to be converted from requirements into design. There are a lot of general BAU activities such as optimizing performance in specific markets.
What technologies do you develop in?

I use Visual Studio with ASP.Net MVC. The website uses  HTML5, CSS3 and lots of JavaScript. We have done some work in jQuery  and YUI and are evaluating a number of other JavaScript libraries to decide the best way to go.
Do you have a typical day?
When working on a project you become part of a cross-functional project team. Your team has a stand-up meeting each morning next to a card wall. Some teams have physical card walls, others use tools such as Trello - it depends on the team's size and preference. During the meeting we share progress and raise issues, bugs and blockers. The rest of the day is spent developing.
In addition to your project work, you remain responsive to other requests or important site issues that might arise.
How you test your code?
We write unit tests for both the .Net and JavaScript parts (using N-Unit and Jasmine).  We uses the developer tools built into most browsers to profile requests and check what is going on under the bonnet. A project team normally includes a test engineer so that new features are independently verified, and there is a standard suite of regression tests that are executed before anything goes live.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Fitting everything in. There is plenty to do and you don't work in isolation; collaboration and human interaction are vital. This is a positive thing as it gives you a good understanding of other departments, where your stuff fits in and how it affects other people.

What do you enjoy the most?
The other day, as part of my appraisal, I reviewed all the major jobs I had delivered in the last few months with my manager. It gave me great satisfaction to realise that I have delivered so much and that it is out there live on site - making people happy and making the company money at the same time. This is what motivates me.
Where do you see yourself going with Skyscanner?
I will become more senior. I get a lot of ownership at the moment, but I will see the projects I own getting larger over time. I want to stay technical and luckily Skyscanner has plenty of options to progress my career  that mean I don't have to stop coding any time soon.