LIFE @ BIOS: DENISE D’SOUZA
Updated: Jun 24, 2022
Long before the pandemic and the wider introduction of hybrid working, BIOS understood the benefits of giving our employees freedom to manage how and where they work, without compromising on the positive impact that regular in-person interactions can have on our team dynamic. Encouraging a healthy "life : work" balance through hybrid, flexible working is key to enabling motivation and empowerment in our colleagues. Here's a peek into how this ethos has benefitted Denise D’Souza, our newest software engineer to join the team.
08.30 – 09.00
BIOS’ flexible working really helps with organising my day. If I’ve got a lot of coding to write, then it’s good to focus on it at home away from any distractions. But then when that setting gets tedious it’s nice to come into the office and connect with colleagues.
On the days when I go in, I’ll start early (usually 8.30am) because I like to beat the traffic. While the office is nice and quiet, I’ll grab a coffee or tea and plan out my day, which often varies. Sometimes I’ll have a lot of tasks and sometimes I’ll work on a single big project, so I try to break it down into manageable sections.
09.00 – 12.00
Because of the way BIOS is structured, most of the team aren’t in meetings all day, which gives me the time to spend on fixing bugs or adding new software. At the moment I’m working on the new UI [user interface] for the iOS Remote Health app, which is a medical device platform capable of collecting biomarkers and other core cardiac metrics to help deliver personalised and responsive neural digital therapies.
The code-base I’m working on [SwiftUI] is new to me and BIOS has supported me to take a couple of days out to complete mini-courses and learn new skills to help with my professional development. The challenge here, is that I’m learning as I’m building. So to double-check I’ve thought of everything and not missed anything I regularly ask my team to help me test my work, find bugs or break it! – That’s usually our delivery lead Susie!
“BIOS has supported me to take a couple of days out to complete mini-courses and learn new skills to help with my professional development.” Denise D'Souza
The office is laid out with lots of different workspaces, hidey-holes and meeting rooms, to account for individual working styles. It’s a great place to grab a colleague and a whiteboard to work something out together.
12.00 – 13.00
If it’s a sunny day, a bunch of us pick up lunch from one of the many cafés or shops near BIOS (my favourite is the Norfolk Street Bakery, or on Fridays the food trucks by the station), and then head out to the Botanical Gardens for a stroll. It’s just a few metres up the road and BIOS has complimentary Garden tickets for employees to borrow. Being so close to such beautiful scenery and yet still in central Cambridge is amazing – you just don’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city!
13.00 – 17.00
Early afternoon is scrum time. It’s a good opportunity for everyone to touch base and check-in. We go through everyone’s targets, and generally review our progress on the current Sprint (this is a bi-weekly plan of work for the Tech Team). If anyone is blocked in their work, we’ll discuss that and split up into little solution groups if need be.
We’re not micromanaged here but we have an overall goal and it’s about how we all fit into that. The other thing I’ve never done before is collaborating with contractors. Last month our contractor and I worked to spin out a new version of the Remote Health app. Being given ownership over a project after settling in and the trust to work with software contractors has been a confidence boost. And it’s nice to know that the tasks that I take on and the decisions I’m making as an independent engineer are having a positive impact on projects.
17.00 – 17.45
When I travel to and from BIOS, I often listen to murder, comedy, or current debate podcasts. The one I’m loving at the moment is a podcast that empowers diverse voices, called ‘I Weigh’. It challenges societal norms and celebrates progress through some hilarious and vulnerable conversations.
And if all else fails, the commute is a good time to talk to my parents!
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