Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the team here at Front Page? Well now, you don’t have to, as we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at Front Page Towers in our brand new, day-in-the-life series! This time, we delve into the wonderful world of coding with developer, Saeed
Name: Saeed Dickie
Job title: Developer Team Leader
Sum up your role in three words: Solving computer puzzles
How did you get into computers and software development?
Tracing back my memories, I recall being handed down an IBM XT computer when my father upgraded to a Windows 95 machine and – as a kid – the concept of using a command-driven operating system (MS-DOS) to boot up games fascinated me. The interest in computers stayed me with me through high school and university when I graduated with a degree in Software Engineering. I had a stint at an IT corporation that’s often confused with a traditional British table condiment before I arrived at Front Page.
What’s the best thing about it?
That “Eureka!” moment when you’ve spent a good few hours wondering how to implement a requirement or why that code fix you thought would work didn’t. Understanding the problem, fixing it and then sharing it with your work colleagues feels remarkably rewarding. Truly defining the idea of learning while you work.
And the worst?
When websites and/or servers decide to all go stroppy I suppose, but then again, that just adds excitement to the job. Trying to get them working again as quick as possible. I guess it depends on how you perceive it.
What’s your career highlight so far?
As simple as it sounds, getting acknowledged for completing any assignment successfully feels like a highlight to me. If I had to choose a big one though it would have to be hearing all the feedback about the sound-responsive light show I co-worked on that was used in the Front Page 25th anniversary party. There’s something genuinely special about seeing your work up on a projection display illuminating an entire room full of people. It’s certainly different from normally seeing your finished work on a computer screen or mobile phone.
What would you be doing if you weren’t software developing?
Maybe do something with music. I took bass guitar lessons during high school and I still jam at home when I get the chance to but I just never really had the time to take it any further.
What’s your morning routine?
Taking a shower and consuming a tasty bowl of porridge followed by a brisk 10 minute walk to work while listening to music.
First thing you do when you get to the office?
Check my emails and make sure every website is still functioning.
What’s a typical day like?
Finish off any outstanding job tasks from the previous day, keep an eye on the servers and databases, reply back to emails, attend meetings and brief John (our joint MD) about any important updates, scribble down some diagrams and pseudocode, pet Stan, write code, drink coffee, pet Stan, check if it works, find out it doesn’t work, pet Stan, debug it, celebrate when my code change works.
And, most importantly, what’s for lunch?
Depends on what I cooked for dinner the previous night. I always end up making too much so I keep some aside for the next day. Chicken Thai curry with noodles, perhaps some onion soup or make a roast chicken sandwich.
Home time! What’s on the agenda?
If it’s a Thursday then it’s baseball practise. I play for the Glasgow Comets and we tend to run around a field, bat and catch balls on that day. For every other day, I’ll probably be just playing something random on the Nintendo 64 or watch a movie with friends. Unless it’s a sunny day of course, that’s always reserved for a walk around the beautiful streets of Glasgow city.
And finally, what time are lights out?
Typically around 10.30pm, the days of staying up until the birds start chirping are behind me. Well, weekdays anyways. Can’t say the same about the weekends…
Find out more about Saeed and the rest of the Front Page team.