My Experience Job Shadowing a Programmer

As part of my planning online course, I was given a job shadow project. The objective of this project was to shadow a career we are interested in for one day. The career I decided to shadow was programming. I went to Industrial Allience to shadow a team of programmers.


(Click on image to see animation)

Programming and coding are both very similar. Programming is used when one wants to make an application do something specific. For example one can program an application to organize every file on your computer or summarize an entire newspaper into a short paragraph.  Programming works by writing code in a computer language (JavaScript, python, etc.), and the computer reads that code and follows it. Coding is what the the programmer writes to create an application. The average salary of a programmer is roughly $80,000 dollars a year.


When I arrived at IA at 7:00am, I went to the cafeteria first. I recived an IA coffee cup and proceeded to where the main offices are. There are multiple teams that work together to get their work done quicker and to the highest quality. Every morning at 7:30am, each team has something called a “stand-up meeting”. ┬áStand-up meetings are when each individual in the team updates their progress on their current project, and occasionally asks for assistance from other team member’s. Here is a picture of the stand up meeting that I attended.

After the stand-up meeting, each individual member returns to their office. For the rest of the day they work away at their projects.

An interest in computers is definitely required if you would like to become a programmer. I found it very interesting to watch the proccess of writting code, and watching that code come to life. One feels very proud of themselves after writing code for an application, and then watching that application being used by others.

(Click on image to see animation)
Here are the ten questions that I asked the team of programmers that I shadowed.

1) Q: What post secondary education is required to become a programmer.

A: I did a B.Comm Degree and computer programming courses over the years. I have completed multiple computer programming courses over the past few years to stay on top of new technology.

2) Q: How long did you go to school for to become a programmer

A: I went to University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa, for four years

3) Q: What is something you most look forward to in your day as a programmer.

A: Every day is a challenge, and most days when I walk out of the door I feel that I accomplished something. This is what I most look forward too.

4) Q: What is something you least look forward too in your day as a programmer?

A: I least look forward to all the meetings that I must attend as a Team Manager, and I also do not look forward to all the interruptions I get during my day.

5) Q: How did you decide to pursue programming?

A: To make me marketable in Canada, I was in search of a career that is in high demand in Canada. Programming interestead me, and thus I chose to pursue it.

6) Q: Can you lead me through your daily routine in this job?

A: I start off my day by catching up on emails. I then make a list of what I need to accomplish that day, and start with the high priority items. At 9:45 am I lead a team stand-up meeting, and then I start working on the items on my list. Before I leave, I do a code review with a team member to make sure we adhere to programming standards.

7) Q: How do you know what to put on your to-do list?

A: The business unit sends project requests to us, the developers. We the discuss between our team who will do what. Once I have the requirements, I can start.

8) Q: How long have you been working for IA?

A) Since 1998 untill now. 18 years

9) Q: What type of person would you recommend programming too?

A) I would recommend programming to someone that is thorough, analytical, logical, and interested in how applications are put together.

10) Q: Do you enjoy working in a team, or would you prefer to work solo?

A) I prefer working in a team because everybody comes up with their own ideas, which causes the end result to be greater.
Here are some pictures I took while on the job shadow.image