5. December 2023 By Sebastiaan Draijer
A day with our adessi: Sebastiaan Draijer
Hi there! My name is Seb and I'm working at adesso Data & Analytics, through which I'm working as a Data Engineer at Booking.com. In this blog I'd like to take you through a typical workday.
My day as an adessi starts at about 7:45 AM. After waking up, I make some delicious omelets, do a quick workout, and then hop in the shower. At 9:30 my workday begins. Yesterday I deployed a new workflow, and hopefully it was able to run without problems. After logging in to my work laptop, I am delighted by the sight of nothing but green boxes - everything went well! I inform my team about the results and create a Git pull request. We mostly use PySpark in our workflows, but sometimes we use pure HQL.
At 10:00 I have a half hour meeting with Arjan (manager of adesso Data & Analytics) and the other adessi currently working at Booking, followed by a half hour one-on-one with Arjan. The first meeting is mainly to give a quick update - how is everyone doing, are there any blockers, etc. - and to give Arjan an opportunity to share some feedback he received from his main point of contact at Booking. The second meeting is, of course, more personal. We don't just talk about the contents of the work that I'm doing, but also about if I'm doing all right in general. If I want, I could even discuss some things that are happening in my personal life, whether they impact my work or not.
Just past 11:00 I hop on the train and I'm on my way to the Booking.com office. Normally I do some more Booking-related work while on the train, but today I'm doing something different: writing the first part of this blog! The rest is written in the train ride home. The commute itself is very simple, since the Booking.com office is about a 10-minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station, and the train from Utrecht to Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes.
When I notice that it's almost time for lunch, I decide to kick off a new "test" workflow that's probably not going to run without errors, but that's fine, after lunch I have a meeting with the team for which I'm developing this workflow. Running it will probably take an hour, and I don't really want to be a sitting duck. But first it's time for one of the things that makes my job as a consultant at Booking so amazing: the FREE lunch that you get every single day. And no, I'm not just talking about a sandwich: every day a couple of chefs prepare a few delicious meals for everyone. The fact that I don't have to worry about lunch is so amazing, as it allows me to easily rejuvenate. After eating our meals, we often go for a short walk.
After lunch I look at the test workflow, and indeed: after 15 minutes it crashed. With the help of another data engineer I figure out where the problem lies, which I can then discuss in the meeting with the team for which I created the workflow. After the meeting, it's time to do what I love most: programming! Just a few hours of non-stop programming later and all remaining issues with the test workflow have been resolved. I can discuss this result in our "team collaboration" session, which is a short meeting held twice a week where each member can talk about some problems they may be facing or simply give a status update. The meeting is optional, which is great if you really don't want to break up your programming sessions, but nevertheless most of the time everyone attends the meeting anyway. After informing the team about my results regarding the test workflow, our Team Lead asks me if I can pick up a ticket that has been on the backlog for some time.
The rest of the day is spent mostly on either this ticket, since it's quite a big one and I have to talk to a lot of different stakeholders, and an ad-hoc tax request, where the tax authority of a country has requested some information regarding transactions. Usually, the requested data is generated by firing up a Jupyter Notebook. For the big ticket I haven't done a lot a lot of coding yet, but I did initialize a new workflow that will eventually contain the not-yet-written code, so that tomorrow I can make a flying start.
At 6:00 PM I grab my bag and head for the train, finish writing this blog, and then it's time to relax. Most of the time I'll either go to the gym (if I didn't do so in the morning) or play some videogames, but up until recently I sometimes did a few lessons from a Docker/Kubernetes course. But since I've just finished that one, maybe today I'll start playing that new game I just bought...