[Diary] Engineer’s Days in MindCoord

An Engineer’s day at MindCoord

This week, we’re excited to be featuring Steve. Steve is a 3D engine technical team lead at MindCoord where he works on the engineering architecture for our front-end product. He shares his daily log during our development cycle, looks like he mentioned are a lot of “secrets” about how we work in MC.

This Sunday is the first day of the new development cycle. The product design team has released the new versions PRD, and we, the Engineering team, have roughly one month to finish it. Even though the duration of the development cycle varies a lot from version to version, we’d always like to set a relatively challenging deadline for ourselves. Pushing forward could save some time to make up potential mistakes or accidents. And you know, it is critical to develop and respond fast to survive in such a competitive market.

The new development cycle has started a few days, we have broken down our milestones and adding issues on GitLab’s DevOps system. The DevOps took me some time to fully understand, after getting familiar with the development system, I realized the development and communication efficiency improves a lot. Today is the day I’m going to start to do a new function. So first, I need to read the pre-research doc my colleague wrote, going through what is the design concept behind every button and function.

Sometimes a single meeting and a PRD is not enough to understand every detail. New functions might lead to conflicts with other parts of the project. In that case, a meeting among Engineering Team or Product Team is required. We will need to discuss how to solve the conflicts, find an alternative solution, or change the design in the worst case. Luckily, everything works fine this time so that I can follow the instructions and start my work.

It’s 7:30 AM. Time for morning stand-up meeting with global teammates. The morning meeting helps me having a much healthier lifestyle than many my friends do. Since we have a time lag, if anyone misses a daily meeting, the recording will always be available on our team video channel. In this way, MindCoord’s global team across different time zone will always keep updated with the progress.

Besides the daily meeting, we also have weekly meetings on Friday. It is for us to summarize what we achieved in the past week and find problems or any potential issues we may encounter in the future.

We tried different methods to improve our communication, improving our meeting efficiency. For example, I record my weekly progress PPT videos and post them in the weekly log one day before the meeting, so my colleagues can check the video before the meeting. As coming to our meeting time, we will focus on the problem or progress only. This method not only significantly reduces the meeting time but also helps us keep tracking of everyone’s work.

Oh right, my favorite part of the weekly meetings is always the Gaming time! After our busy week, we will have a game to play. The game is different every week. We used to play The Werewolves of Millers Hollow, VRchat, COD, LOL…. We also have a MindCoord VRchat world (LOL) But it is always a headache to decide what to play.

An early coffee gives me a good boost all day, an annoying bug can also destroy the good mood that day.

As the development goes on, we gradually move to the testing & debug phase. First-round software testing is conducted by the Engineering team. I mainly test the 3D creation module in our app. We have a full list of testing functions, logic, and report them in the Engineering testing report. Once we find a bug, we will write it down and assign it to the corresponding person to debug it right after.

I don’t hate bugs, because in most cases, you are their “creator” of them, but I will never enjoy them, especially when the bug doesn’t tell you what causes it. (yeah human, of course)

We are heading there soon, writing code is an art, no solution is putting in front of you, In most cases, you must search for solutions on the Internet. If you couldn’t find a solution, what would you do? I will say, change a language or use another way of expression at least. In most cases, this will work. It reminds me of how my Boston University professor taught me how to paraphrase a sentence. (Yap, the paraphrase is also an art, trust me)

Alright, this is not that interesting, only a helpful tip.

The product testing phase has started, the product team will test if all UIs achieve the design goals and make a checklist before launch. This part involves marketing, product teams together. Usually, this will also be the busiest time. All kinds of trivial works come one after another, but it won’t last long because the deadline is coming.

TADA. Congratulations! Mission Accomplished. Our test users have received the new version, we receive some good feedback now, but there is some more function we need to improve again.

The next development cycle is waiting. Please be prepared. 😎

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