By Tessa Flores
You might think that, as a digital marketing developer, my workday consists of staring at a screen all day, every day. But you’d be wrong. I stare at two screens all day, every day. On those screens is everything I need in order to troubleshoot, solve bugs, and build things for our clients.
Some of the tasks I encounter include:
- Fixing bugs that are logged by clients or teammates
- Answering development-related questions
- Building out webpage, blog, or email templates
- Training clients on how to use their shiny new templates
- Website launches
And luckily for me, as a digital marketing developer for SmartBug, I get to do all of that from the comfort of my home (or anywhere else). My only “real life” coworker is my cat, who can get pretty chatty sometimes if you let him. My day-to-day routine is pretty much the same. The only differences depend on the types of projects I’m working on that day.
First Things First
On a typical workday, I start my mornings by 9 a.m., though I try to shoot for 8:30 (I’m not a morning person). The first thing I do is check my email and calendar, and then I respond to anything if needed. Once I’ve gotten that out of the way, I figure out what tasks I need to work on throughout the day. I tend to start on the quicker or smaller tasks in order to get those out of the way, unless something else has a higher priority.
Sometime after 10 a.m., I take a break and move around a bit by going to make myself a cup of tea or coffee. I’d suggest you do this too—taking breaks will boost your productivity. If I’m lucky, it will have been a fairly quiet morning, and I won’t be too focused on my work to remember to take a breather.
Occasionally, a website project that I’ve been working on is about to be launched. Those days, my mornings are a bit different. We like to launch new sites early in the day so that we have plenty of time to work out any issues that might pop up after the site is live, so instead of jumping on smaller tasks, I’ll prepare for and work on launching our client’s new site. Sometimes, this fills up my entire morning, and next thing I know, it’s time for lunch.
Once the workday’s half over, I’ll stop for lunch. One of the benefits of working from home is being able to make my lunch every day instead of eating out. While I’m “away,” I usually keep my laptop nearby in case any development-related emergencies pop up during my 30- to 60-minute break. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. A quick dish washing session and then it’s back to work.
At this point, I’ll either start or continue to work on some of the more lengthy tasks or projects on my plate. That usually means a website project for which I’ll spend several days building out new templates and pages. These are fun because I get to create something based on a mock-up and try to build it to match as closely as possible. In the end, that static design will become a fully functional and dynamic website.
Other tasks I may spend parts of my day working on include things like training (either clients or fellow coworkers) on how to use tools in HubSpot—stuff like editing pages or templates. Throughout the day, our QA specialist might send some bugs over to me that need fixing, so I’ll carve out some time to go through those. Or maybe I’ll use a little time to write a blog post or study up on a topic to improve my development skills.
Every now and then, someone on the marketing team will ping me asking for help with something that’s just a little too development-heavy for them to be comfortable with. More often than not, these are quick fixes or explanations that I can handle in no time. This may seem like an interruption to your day that would break your focus on the task you were already working on—but not for me. I really enjoy helping others, and these spur-of-the-moment questions are sometimes highlights of my day, mostly because they’re a chance to chat with someone outside of my team and figure out how to solve a problem that they’ve been struggling with.
At the end of the workday, I’ll usually run through my to-do list to see if there was anything I missed or anything that might need more time to complete. If there is, I’ll make sure to note it as a higher priority task to try to knock out first thing the next morning. I’ll also check my calendar again. Then I make my long commute from my workspace out to my living room or kitchen to relax a bit before dinner.