A day in the life of M1 engineers
Extreme ownership is a core company value at M1. It’s all about having the autonomy to be the CEO of your role and taking pride in your achievements.
Few teams embody extreme ownership more than our engineers. How? By keeping M1 moving forward. This always-growing team has done everything from building M1 into the all-in-one financial platform it is today to implementing features that help people build wealth through long-term investing.
To understand what M1 engineers do all day, we talked to two team members who showcase extreme ownership: Myron Hicks and Bill Rashid. Here’s how the engineers organize their days and collaborate with teammates to keep our platform running smoothly.
What does a typical morning look like for M1 engineers?
Myron Hicks, Senior Software Engineer
Every morning I get the pleasure of taking my kids to school, so my day starts early. Some essentials: coffee, Wordle, and the New York Times Daily Mini Crossword.
8:30-11 am: Catching up on hands-on coding
11 am: Daily stand-up meeting. Our team meets to discuss what we worked on the day before, what we plan on working on today, and if there are any blocking items or pairing opportunities we’d like to discuss with everyone. Immediately following the stand-up, we open the floor up for pairing opportunities.
11:30 am: Team pairing
Pairing is the opportunity to “pair” with team members to collectively figure out a problem or just bounce ideas off each other. These can be with the team at large or in breakout rooms with a smaller, more focused group.
The engineering team works in two-week iterations. At the top of every two weeks, we plan and prioritize the key initiatives and task items we want to accomplish. These can be carried over from a previous iteration or a new set of tasks or features. At the close of the two-week iteration, we’ll hold a retrospective meeting to discuss what went well and what didn’t go so well.
The time spent outside of these core meetings is focused on hands-on keyboard coding.
Bill Rashid, Product Engineer
I start each morning off by making a pot of coffee at home. (Lately, I’ve been on a cold brew kick). Once my coffee is brewing, I’ll take my dog out for a quick walk around the block.
9 am: Day planning
I look at the calendar and make a note of any meetings for the day. After that, I’ll go to GitHub to review any PRs that are awaiting my review. I like to begin each day by checking PRs so that others aren’t waiting for my input to do their own work.
Once that’s done, I’ll see if anyone has reviewed my work and address any feedback as necessary.
10:30am: Team standup
We have this meeting every morning. I’ll spend a few minutes beforehand preparing questions and a jotting down a quick summary of what I did yesterday and what I plan on achieving today.
What does a typical afternoon look like for M1 engineers?
12:30 pm: Orange Theory, if I’m lucky!
I try to work out every day. I have a Peloton tread and bike, so I’ll break away in the afternoon to take a class. If the schedule is especially flexible, I’ll try to sneak in an afternoon Orange Theory class as well.
1 pm: Treadmill workout if I didn’t make Orange Theory
2-3:30 pm: Focused coding work
To get a piece of code shipped to master, we require a review by a team member. So outside of hands-on coding, I spend a few hours reading code written by other team members.
3:30 pm: Pause to pick up kids from school
4 pm: More hands-on coding
My afternoon is usually open, and I’m free to work on the tasks for a given iteration.
12 pm: Lunch walk
Every day over lunch, I’ll make myself a quick bite and then walk my dog for 20-30 minutes. Going outside and playing with him for a bit helps me refocus for the rest of the day.
The rest of the day varies depending on what the pod is up to. A pod is a small group of teammates (with a variety of specialties) who work collaboratively on projects.
- When a big project is ongoing
If I’m focused on a big project, most of my time is spent solving problems related to that project. This is often a collaborative process and can require jumping on a call with other engineers, designers, or product managers.
- When a big project isn’t ongoing
When I’m not working on problems directly, I like to fill my time based on how I can be most helpful for the pod at any moment.
This takes shape in many forms:
- Coaching other engineers
- Being coached myself via pair programming
- Cleaning up Asana boards
- Reviewing designs
- Answering technical questions
- Writing out tasks or documentation
- Brainstorming ways to improve our work processes
What does a typical weeknight look like for you?
For me, working out is a daily task. If I don’t get a chance to work out in the afternoon, I almost always sign up for an Orange Theory class before dinner. After that, I love hanging out with my family.
I love rock climbing. So, after I tire my dog out at the park, I’ll head over to Brooklyn Boulders. If I’m not climbing, I like to lift weights or ride my bike. Exercise helps me unwind and relax so I try to do at least a little bit every day.
What do you enjoy about working at M1?
M1 is an all-around great place to be. I feel like it’s extremely fast-paced but also extremely flexible. On my team, I don’t feel the pressure of needing to work after hours to meet demands from upper management.
I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck at M1, which I truly appreciate because it allows me to spend my time how I deem fit.
The flexible work-life balance is one of my favorite things about working here. I think it’s crucial for people to strike that ideal balance for themselves, so we don’t fall into the trap of overworking.
Building a career at M1
We hope that after reading this post, you have a better sense of our company culture and what an engineering career at M1 looks like.
Interested in learning more? Check out our careers page for open roles, or follow along on Twitter for new job opportunities, product updates, and general financial industry musings.
- Team and Culture