What does an average programming day look like…?

… if there is any.
I was wondering if people at McNeel have a certain habit with coding. For example do you start your morning with solving bugs, or maybe with brewing new things and bugs in the afternoon?

Hi Gijs - if there is an answer to that, you might or might not get an answer here… =) but I sent out the call…


I’ll jump in. I start the day by checking my email and bug list to see if anything urgent has come in overnight. If not, I carry on with whatever I was doing yesterday. Everything I do is considered a ‘bug’ because all my tasks are on the bug tracker. Fixing a bug can take 15 minutes or 15 days, so the time of day has no bearing on that. If I happen to finish fixing a bug towards the end of the day, I’ll use the last hour to clean up old code branches or merge some new external changes into a long-running branch.



Hi @johnc,

If I may ask one additional question.
How do you deal with the decision when to “call-it-a-day”?
I don’t code regularly but sometimes it happens when I cannot solve an issue to simply not being able to stop until it is done, or until I prove to myself what I do is not possible.

Also I mostly write scripts and testing is easy. I wonder how it is if compiling is involved. If you feel you’ve come close to identify the bug are you tempted to continue an hour or two?

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Hi Ivelin.

There are times when I’m just on the edge of solving something but it’s approaching 18:00 and I get called for dinner by my wife. When that happens I call it a day even if I am tempted to continue. I might make a few quick notes in the code about what I was doing, but then I’m done for the day. As for compiling, these days it’s so fast that it’s often faster to compile my changes than it is to run Rhino. The only time compiling is slow is if I change a file that causes a full rebuild. I try to work in a way that avoids changing such a file unless it’s really necessary. Since I work from home, I use these occasional long compile times to get something else done like taking out the garbage. Also, if I get stuck on a problem, I prefer to stop and do something else for the rest of the day. I find sleeping on problems often solves them for me so it’s best to not try and force it.



Thanks a lot.

Thanks @johnc for sharing!

@ivelin.peychev I know what you mean being tempted: It’s causing late nights sometimes.

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Being able to stop @ 18:00 even though you are close to solving something is probably what makes a pro! :slight_smile: We amateurs get addicted and burned out too quick while trying to code, not knowing you have to pace yourself to last longer in the world of coding. Thanks for sharing.


Oh no, it is well past 18:00 and I’m working. John’s wife needs to tell me to stop😀


And who needs food and sleep anyway?


Wait, Nathan - let’s not get carried away here, Bob reads the forum, you know.



Hopefuly only till 18:00. After that you should be safe.


That fact is a lot of us do this because we love it. Programming (at least in this realm) is a nice mix of scientific and creative work. There are so many interesting things that can be done that we haven’t even barely touched, it is mind boggling.

An average day for me is probably not very different than yours. There are a ton of problems to solve and I need to figure out what one is the most important (sometimes easiest) one to solve that day while also considering what brings the most value to my “customers”.

i.e. juggling


I can imagine most programmers work from home, since you don’t need physical inspection. There was a period when I was also working from home as a consultant. This tempts me to ask. How do you deal with the distractions? Kids?

PS: I have to say that I do not work with Rhino, so pretty much all the scripting I do after work.

anything specific worth mentioning or open for discussion?

I don’t think there is anything specific since there are many of us typists with each their own interests. Therefore: there are so many interesting things… :slight_smile:

On the average programming day in my case I don’t separate much work life from personal life, since typing code is a big chunk of my conscious life. Personally I wake up thinking about code, and going to bed I think about code. Code is work, and code is hobby.

Currently most of the day goes to whittling down my todo list. Sometimes some bugs appear on it, and I try to handle them as soon as possible. As @stevebaer said it is all a balancing act. Lots to do, but priorities have to be set.

I like to peek at the forum a lot, tend to type quite a bit as well. But I don’t like unsollicited interruptions much, though.

I work quite fluidly between office and home. It may sound (and sometimes look) like I don’t do anything else but work. Family generates enough distractions to not get locked into the one thing only :slight_smile:

I guess to sum it all up: if one thing is on my mind, it is on my mind all the time, until satisfactorilly solved.

It doesn’t necesarily mean I am at the keyboard banging keys. But I most likely am mulling over stuff while shopping for groceries, or walking outside, or… you name it, probably thinking. I feel it is something creatives do all the time anyway.


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Well, that is what @johnc does, except his astral projection doesn’t get up and start typing :wink:

A related question I’ve wondered about for quite a while is: do ANY of the developers work at the McNeel office in Seattle? If not who does?

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I guess Bob and the accountants :smiley:

McNeel does look like a great working environment. Anyone hiring? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: