Freedoms of working at CQSE

Martin Pöhlmann

After several technical blog posts I think it’s time for something different: I really enjoyed yesterday’s work day—Why? Because of the freedom I have to manage and arrange my work time at CQSE as I like. I’ll briefly recap the whole work day in this blog post, explaining to you what this exactly means.

At first glance, it looks like there is nothing special in working at CQSE. We have a 40 hour week and I have never run out of work in the last six years. I also have a few hours overtime which I’ll of course consume as time in lieu. The biggest benefit, however, is that we have no mandatory office hours meaning that as long I don’t have meetings I’m completely free in choosing when and where to work. Approximately one year ago we have even consolidated internal meetings on two days, which usually leaves 2-3 days without meetings.

7:30 AM – Start work at home

Usually I start my work day with roughly two hours in home office. Yesterday was not different. I poured a cup of coffee and prepared the dependency refactoring I’ve done the day before for peer review. Then logged remotely into my virtual desktop at a customer to check mails and perform some small Teamscale project administration tasks.

My regular work continues with monthly code quality assessments of several .NET and SAP applications of our customer. This is usually a good task for the morning hours when your head is still fresh.

When I was finished my colleague was already done with reviewing my own code changes. So I’ve opened these and pulled Git to have everything on my machine when commuting.

10:00 AM – Commute to the city center

Yesterday was a bit different than other work days. I was not commuting to our office but had a lunch date with a close friend. At roughly 10 AM I stopped working, took a quick shower and walked our dog. Then I took the train to the city center.

I often use commutes to perform tasks that can be done offline. This time I’ve opted to resolve the review comments of my colleague. The 30 minutes train journey allowed me to work on most comments and prototype one larger suggestion of him.

11:30 AM – Lunch in the sun

Lunch with my friend was great—had one of the best Piri Piri Chicken so far! Moreover, it was a very warm and sunny day in April, so we enjoyed a chocolate ice cream in the sun as well. After the extended lunch break I was recharged and commuted to our office.

As you might already suspect I took the time in the metro to finish work on the code review. The commute took a bit longer than expected due to some issues of our local transport company, so I cleared up my mail inbox as well.

1:30 PM – Back in the office

In our office, I first took a cold Club Mate as refreshment, bringing my caffeine level back in balance. Then, I committed the review changes and had a quick conversation with my colleague about his review comments so everyone knows how to proceed.

Now it’s time for experimenting with something new: One of our customers is migrating several business applications to Microsoft Azure. They use Test Gap Analysis in Teamscale to monitor their manual testing process and we plan to extend the monitoring for their Azure Web Apps.

Until our 3:00 PM coffee break, I created a free Azure account and deployed a .NET Core web application for testing to Azure.

3:00 PM – Coffee break

We have two coffee breaks each work day: One at 10:00 AM and one at 15:00 PM. Most of my colleagues join these breaks, so we can have quick chats for work-related topics without the need of a explicit meeting. This time I consulted the colleague who had a look over my code quality assessments from the morning and checked whether everything sounds reasonable.

Of course, we’re also taking these breaks to relax and having non-work-related conversations.

After the break I wired up our .NET Profiler to the Azure web app. After some struggles and debugging, I finally managed to get the desired execution trace files on my file share—yay! That’s a good reason for ending today’s office hours.

5:00 PM – Commute home

I picked up the Amazon package that we are allowed to deliver into our office and took the bus back home. After another walk with the dog I spent another 30 minutes on our roof terrace to send the code quality assessments to developers and managers of our customer.

This closed my work day and I decided to watch the sundown during a 15km run in the fields around my hometown. During the run I realized how I enjoyed this day. Being able to manage time as you like is a great benefit—especially on such a sunny day with an extended lunch break and ice cream.


Martin Pöhlmann

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