Welcome to The Work Day, a series that charts a single day in various women’s working lives — from gallery owners to stay-at-home parents to chief executives. In this installment, we hear from software engineer Adwoa Buadu, who recorded a workday in November.
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Name: Adwoa Buadu
Job title: Software engineer
Previous jobs: Before my current role, I was an engineering analyst, then an associate, at an investment bank for 2½ years.
What led me to my current role: I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started college. I was pre-med for about three semesters, but I ended up changing to computer science because I was really struggling with pre-med, and my roommate happened to be taking a CS class that semester. It was a pretty steep learning curve — I actually ended up graduating with a bachelor’s of arts in psychology — but I was lucky enough to be able to get a software engineer role after graduating.
I learned a lot in my first role, but the products I was working on were quite insular and specific to the company, and I didn’t have as much experience working on a more client-facing product. Additionally, after being Wall Street adjacent for a few years, I was ready to slow down and find a role with work-life balance better suited to my temperament.
How I spend the majority of my day: At the moment, I work from home, so Zoom meetings and coding take up the majority of my day. I’m hoping in the near future to start working on a hybrid schedule. I’m more introverted and like to balance multiple things at once, so there’s a lot I like about working from home, but I definitely miss the social interaction.
I’m also getting my master’s of science in computer science virtually, from the University of Bath. Our lessons are asynchronous, so I usually dedicate one or two evenings a week to classwork, and multiple evenings to any homework assignments that come up.
7:45 a.m.: My alarm is set for 8, but I’m a light sleeper, so some days I wake up half an hour to 15 minutes early. I give myself an hour before work to check my emails, social media, Slack messages from work and to have my daily quiet time, which involves a short Bible reading, listening to a hymn and a prayer.
9 a.m.: I get myself and the apartment ready. I brush my teeth and bring my headphones and phone to my desk. The mornings are cold now that fall is here, so I also put on a cardigan and slippers, and I take my morning magnesium supplement with hot water.
9:10 a.m.: I log on to my work computer and check the news. I have a series of online newspapers I frequent (including The Lily!).
9:30 a.m.: Because it’s Monday, my morning workout is a yoga session. My relationship with exercise used to be more fraught and more punitive. Nowadays, especially because I’m inside a lot (and I need those endorphins), I try to keep it simple but consistent. I aim for four days a week, and alternate between long walks, yoga and a short run. I tend to get bored of my exercise routine quickly, so I anticipate switching it up by next year.
10 a.m.: Quick breakfast before our team’s weekly standup. It took me a while to realize I don’t like to eat right when I wake up. When I used to go into an office, I would pack my breakfast with my lunch, so being able to whip up something quick in my kitchen is much easier to deal with.
10:30 a.m.: Weekly standup on Zoom with my team. This is where we catch up with one another, as well as go over what we’ve been working on and what we hope to accomplish in the coming week.
11 a.m.: Shower and put on my work clothes. I don’t dress up for work the same level I used to, but I feel better about myself the days I dress up a little more than the days I don’t. No more makeup for me, but I do like to wear earrings!
11:30 a.m.: Head-down coding time. I like to put on long-form YouTube videos or podcasts to listen to in the background while I do so.
1:30 p.m.: Lunch break.
2 p.m.: Back to coding.
3:30 p.m.: Pair programming session with a co-worker. I’m thankful we have Zoom and Slack to facilitate sessions like this — it makes me feel less isolated.
5 p.m.: Finish work and prepare dinner.
6:30 p.m.: Chilling out! I decided not to work on schoolwork tonight. I bounce around between listening to music, scrolling through social media, watching TV and reading various articles about things I’m thinking about. Other nights I may read, do some personal writing or work on a diamond painting.
11 p.m.: Tidy up the apartment a little before bed (cleaning dishes, starting the dishwasher, cleaning the living room, etc.).
12 a.m.: Short evening prayer and then off to bed!