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A day in the Life of a GoodNotes Developer

Vivien Ko

28 Sep 2021

28 September 2021

3 min read

A day in the Life of a GoodNotes Developer
  • SwiftUI
  • Machine Learning Engineering
  • TypeScript
  • Go
  • Swift

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at GoodNotes?

Bret has been working on the iOS development side at GoodNotes for around two and a half years, and we thought he’d be the perfect team member to show you what a day at GoodNotes looks like.

Here’s what Bret gets up to on an average Tuesday when he’s working out of our Tsim Sha Tsui office!

10am

I get to work at 10am, get settled in, and prepare for our daily sync-up meeting with the team.

10:15am

Each morning starts with a face-to-face meeting with the production team, consisting of our iOS (me), web, QA, design, and customer support team members. (For any of our colleagues working from home, they’ll join through video call!) We also recently started including our customer support team in the morning sync-up, so that if there are any urgent bugs that the team should work on, we know first thing. We go around giving a brief update on our work, and generally make sure the team is all on the same page as we start our day.

After the production team sync-up, the 6 of us on the iOS/Mac team specifically also meets separately, where we can get a bit more granular.

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10:40am

Now, I really get started for the day. In my role, I focus on the inner workings (a.k.a. the backend) of the GoodNotes app. Currently I work mostly on data synchronisation, and improving the way different users collaborate on the same notes (stay tuned!).

12pm

Our lunchtime at GoodNotes is 12pm, and we like to take it together as a team. With our office located right in the middle of Tsim Sha Tsui there are an endless amount of food options. Today, we got takeaway from 8 Izakaya Yakitori!

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Also, since it’s Tuesday, today we’re taking a longer lunch for our weekly jam session. We actually have a dedicated Slack channel for song requests, called # jam.

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A snapshot from one of our jam sessions, with David on the ukulele, Sunny on the piano, Bret on the bass, and Stephanie on vocals!

I think the GoodNotes team has always been a musical bunch. Even when we were working in a tiny office as a small team, people have always seemed to enjoy keeping their guitars at work. When Marco, our resident research mathematician, brought in his piano, he started playing it occasionally during lunchtime. In that special way music draws a crowd, a bunch of us naturally started joining him with the (many) other instruments in the office. Now it’s turned into a fun and unique weekly team tradition we have.

2pm

If we need to work out requirements for certain features or do other brainstorming, I might have meetings with our designer and product person, but I mostly work meeting-free during the afternoon, since we have a sync-up every morning anyway.

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For collaboration, the product team uses Quip, which is an online tool that allows us to work on documents and spreadsheets together. For example, if there’s a technical issue or feature to be implemented, we’ll write up the problem and proposed solutions, and discuss there. It replaces the need for a lot of meetings.

4pm(ish)

Sometimes, in the afternoon I’ll make myself a cup of tea (my go-to is the Earl Grey Tea from T2, in case you’re interested).

6pm

Here, we don’t work late. We don’t encourage overtime, and instead promote the idea of working smarter, not harder. All of us, including our senior management, really stop working at lunchtime, and also when 6 o’clock rolls around.

So my day comes to an end at 6pm, and that’s when I get to go home to my family.

Can you picture yourself spending a day at work like this?

We’re hiring! If you think you’d enjoy working at GoodNotes like Bret, see our openings here.

Did you like this article?

Vivien Ko

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