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Inside Spacemaker: A day in the life of a software engineer

Team
March 11, 2021

Jørgen Aars Braseth joined Spacemaker in October 2019 as a Software Engineer at the Oslo office, and is now also a Tech Lead.


What is a typical day like for Jørgen? The truth is, it is hard to describe one! Undeterred, we sat down with Jørgen to dig deep into his routines and reflect on his journey so far as a Software Engineer in Spacemaker.


Before we begin, I just want to point out that we are currently looking for more Software Engineers to join our team! You can find out more here.


What does your work day start with?

We have an asynchronous stand up (short status meeting) with the squad on Slack every morning. All team members write what they have and will be working on and I skim through to see if anything important came up that might affect my day. I use the stand up to gather my thoughts and summarize what I plan to get done. After that, it is up to me what the day looks like!


Tell me more about the projects you work on right now?

I work in a squad (team) called Surroundings and, not surprisingly, we focus on the design of a site’s surroundings. In Spacemaker it is quite easy to iterate on buildings on the site, but our team wants to make it much simpler and faster to iterate on the rest of the surroundings, such as vegetation or roads. 


After the recent acquisition with Autodesk there are many opportunities ahead and I hope to work on many of these.The immediate challenges are to prepare Spacemaker to become a more integral element of the entire Autodesk ecosystem and to ramp up global availability of our software. 


We celebrate our wins in a collective All-hands session each Friday. What’s been your favorite win so far?

That’s a good question! It is very hard to think of one specific win. But the wins I appreciate the most are the ones which get strong reactions from the Commercial or Customer Success team. It’s so much fun to surprise them by presenting a new feature where they say “wow, I know a customer who would love this!”.


What are you passionate about and how does that relate to Spacemaker?

I have always been interested in building things that are close to the users, like front-end development or computer games (which is also my hobby). In a professional setting, tasks like that are often boilerplate tasks, and it is the back-end that’s more complex. However, in Spacemaker we do a lot of advanced front-end and 3D programming, and I can dive into those tasks and still feel connected to the users. I have never had that opportunity before and I love it.


How do you wind down in the evening?

I don’t get to wind down right away. The kids come home, we have dinner, and I put them to bed. My personal evening begins at 8-9 o'clock. As I'm a gamer, I play computer games online and lately I’ve been playing Valheim with friends from my hometown. Me and my wife are also watching WandaVision on Disney+. These are my “Corona” evenings though. When the summer comes I hope I can spend more evenings with my friends in the sun, or grab a few beers in the pub together. 


What’s your favorite moment at Spacemaker so far?

Before lockdown we had a squad gathering at my colleague’s house. We had a “Miracle fruit party”. Miracle fruits look like small red berries and after eating it all sour and bitter foods taste sweet! We ate tons of unripe strawberries and lemon slices and had a great laugh about it.


Another moment I will always remember is when we announced the acquisition of Spacemaker by Autodesk on Zoom internally. Since I am a Tech Lead I was one of those who knew a bit earlier and was aware of the breaking news that was coming. My colleagues' reactions to the breaking news was priceless. I will always remember the wall of jaw-dropping faces on Zoom! 


Why did you start at Spacemaker?

There are so many reasons. My background is 12 years as a consultant before I switched to a start-up, and then I switched to Spacemaker. The reason I switched to Spacemaker was that I enjoyed the dynamic and attitude of a start-up company, which was a great contrast to where I worked before. However, in the first start-up I was not able to work on the tasks that I wanted the most. At that point I knew a few people who worked in Spacemaker and they told me a bit about the product and the technical work, all of which seemed cool. I was still not sure if I wanted to change my job, so I invited two friends in Spacemaker for a beer and asked them to prepare 5 reasons why I should not start in Spacemaker. I concluded that all the reasons they managed to come up with were insignificant things that I felt were more like "that's how it is to run a business". To me, that was a sign of quality and I finally applied for the job.


Anyway, thats my personal story. On a more general note I want to point out that Spacemaker has such a flat hierarchy, and everyone can and will be heard. Even though we have grown fast and become more than 100 employees, there is no one that does not have the opportunity to point out a mistake or an idea that will not be considered. It is extremely rewarding to know that if there is something you want to do, you can do it. I am aware of how spoiled I have become with the opportunity to influence the company's direction, choose technology and prioritize tasks.


How have you experienced professional growth at Spacemaker? 

This is a very interesting question. Professional growth can mean a lot. Often you mean climbing the career ladder in the direction of the management. That is a type of growth that I did not specifically seek, which is something I figured out a while ago. What gets me really involved is identifying technical problems and solving them. In Spacemaker, I have acquired new skills when it comes to programming of graphics and 3D, and this is exactly what I want to build more competence on. 


In addition to performing programming tasks, I like to participate in the decision making process. That’s also why I am very happy where I am right now as a Tech Lead that can be even more involved in discussions about technical matters.


To summarize, professional growth for me is to be better at software development, including coding and thinking how to build it. I have been able to grow exactly like that in Spacemaker and I appreciate the possibility to combine the two roles. 


We’re looking for Software Engineers to join our team! You can find out more here.


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