A day in the life of an eLearning Systems Developer

Leopold Ramutsamaya PhotoAs an eLearning Systems Developer in a dynamic small team, my role revolves around creating custom web applications, university-wide platforms, and extensions for the central virtual learning environment, Blackboard Learn. With over 20 applications under our belt, each presenting unique challenges and varying complexities, my days are a blend of technical expertise, collaboration, and continuous learning.

The day kicks off with catching up on both personal and team support emails. This ensures I am aware of any potential challenges or issues that may shape my workday. Whether it’s a student seeking support or a system alert for an application running out of storage, addressing these promptly ensures a smooth workflow. Following this, our daily team scrum meetings provide a platform for brief but vital discussion on completed tasks, ongoing work, and potential roadblocks. These meetings help the team keep on tabs on all the work at hand and the progress being made, as well as offer help on any issues you are facing – more often than not, someone else may have faced similar issue and already have a solution or a way to handle the issue.

With the morning meetings concluded, the day unfolds into a solo venture of coding and project planning for the rest of the day – the ability to manage and prioritise your own work becomes very crucial. Working with sprint tickets, our team follows a meticulous process that includes peer code review and writing of automated tests. This not only enhances code quality by minimizing errors but also provides a unique opportunity for professional growth as different viewpoints and solutions emerge during code reviews, creating a fertile ground for the exchange of ideas. Writing automated tests ensures that new features align with specifications without disrupting existing logic.

Reflection becomes a crucial part of the daily routine, providing insights into lessons learned, challenges faced, and opportunities for improvement. In the ever-evolving realm of software development, challenges serve as stepping stones for professional growth. Crucially, the supportive ecosystem within the team and the section at large is the cornerstone of our success. Knowing that assistance is just an inquiry away fosters a collaborative spirit, making the complex web of software development more manageable.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the opportunity to work on a multitude of applications, employing various technologies and catering to different stakeholders across the university. This diversity exposes me to processes beyond my immediate scope, allowing me to contribute to the resolution of challenges faced by staff and students throughout their daily routines. Each day is a unique opportunity to shape the digital future of education, one line of code at a time.

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