March 14, 2022
So here it is, another day begins, another boring daily meeting, another task to finish… Is that how you feel? Well, then, let me tell you that probably it’s the place, not the work, that is bringing you down.
What makes me say that? Well, I used to change jobs once every six months looking for “the one”. When I got to Monterail, I felt that was the place for me. Immediately, I wanted to become a part of this amazing team. I saw how people can work together in a friendly atmosphere and how things can be made differently. Come and join me on a relaxed stroll, as I walk you through my ordinary day of a Python developer and show you the what’s what.
P.S If you're struggling with another boring and repetitive task, have a look a great piece of content prepared by my colleague about task automation with Python.
OK, so a new day begins, and the beginning is most probably very similar for both of us. Because let’s face it: everyone loves coffee. I can’t imagine starting a good day without a freshly brewed cup. Or two. Or five. Yerba and matcha are options too but one thing’s certain: we’ll pour something into a cup that will get us started.
After we prepare a life-giving drink, we are ready to go. Usually, we start with daily / sync meetings at around 9 AM. I know what you’re going to say “who needs daily meetings? It’s a waste of time!”. And here’s the first difference I found in Monterail.
I had the same opinion about dailies before I started working here. They were an unproductive litany of tasks that despite your best attempts could make you doze off. Not here.
Our daily meetings are fun and productive at the same time. We meet to talk about issues we had, to let other people in the team know what we are working on now, and to sell the most recent dad joke we heard the day before. This is honestly the reason why I am able to wake up so early in the morning.
Later on, depending on the weekday, we have planning meetings, demos with clients, retros… The typical Scrum stuff. But because of the team spirit, they all tend to be fun. Python developers are quite a small group within the organization yet, so we stick together. We meet once every week for coffee where we talk about fresh news (not only technical ones), our problems in projects or we simply discuss the weather over coffee (don’t tell anyone). It’s good to talk about some of the problems we encounter and find much-needed support.
Currently, there are 6 people that form our Python team and we are spread among various projects. Let me tell you a bit more about the project I am currently working on.
In Monterail, I’m working on an application that helps people treat their mental health by allowing them to listen to specialized therapists, chat with them, read articles, perform exercises, and much more. This project is super interesting and one can learn a lot working there: starting from custom serializer implementation and nested serializers, through optimization of database queries, ending with nonviolent communication with other members of the team.
A developer needs to think outside of the box most of the time, as the client is demanding, but understanding at the same time. So no worries, you can implement the code your way and the client may not agree, but as long as you have an explanation for your decisions, everything will be fine.
From the technical point of view, there are a lot of external integrations with tools providing video calls, chats, payments, calendars, user statuses. We use mostly Django and Django Rest Framework, so we need to closely work with the front-end developers in our team to deliver high-quality and bug-free features. Backend and Frontend go hand-in-hand and even if there is a bug discovered by a tester, there is no shaming or blaming, rather looking for the solution and praising. That really raises your spirit and makes you want to work on that project even more.
As for the team itself — it has been changing over time, but it was mainly: a Project Manager, a tester, two front-end developers, and 1-2 backend developers. This is a fairly small team, but working in such a team has a lot of advantages. You are responsible entirely for your code (and for most of the project’s code) and this teaches you how to become more aware of the code, focused on it, and lets you deliver a code of the highest quality. There is always at least one person that will check your code and you can be sure there is going to be at least one comment!
Working in a small team also gives you an opportunity to have a real impact on the shape and functionality of the application. You can always voice your opinions to the client and propose a different approach or persuade them to rethink the requested functionality. You can also gain friends very quickly — developers work closely with each other, sometimes we do pair-programming, so when you spend almost 8 hours with someone on a daily basis, you can get yourself a work spouse.
What I like about the whole company is the unique atmosphere that people working here create. And believe me, this is not just another “keyword” or “our motto”. Monterail is a Big Tuna here — people actually care about you as a person and a human being. Sure, work is important, but your mental health is even “importanter” (as some of the Instagram celebs say). You can always talk to your mentor, who is not just a leader that treats you like a record on an excel table, but rather like a younger brother/sister that they can guide and take care of.
Monterail emphasizes that everyone is equal and treats each and every person with the utmost respect. What is even more — the company stands for everyone that is being stigmatized and acts on the very first sign of aggression. There is a special group that works very hard to achieve that and the fun part is that you can join them anytime! Diversity and Inclusion play a very important role in the life of our company, so you can be sure that you will be welcomed here warmly.
Well, I guess I can write another 27 paragraphs praising Monterail, but it would be best if you came and saw for yourself.
I’ve been around, and maybe someday I’ll go on another adventure but I know one thing for sure: Monte will be in my heart — forever and always.
Curious about what it's like to be working at Monterail? We're sharing a sneak peek of our culture, processes, and values in a series of blog posts: