A Day in the Engineering Development Group
By Luiz, EDG
By Luiz, EDG
Members of the Engineering Development Group (EDG) at MathWorks are empowered to find their own path within the program in both support and project cycles. I was interested in a leadership position, so once I got some tenure in the program, I jumped at the opportunity to become one of the operations leads for one of our support teams. Here’s a typical day leading the MATLAB/Math support team.
8:00 a.m. Arrive at the Lakeside Campus in Natick and head straight to the cafeteria. I grab a latte and some free breakfast. I sit down with a friend, and we chat about work and our plans for the coming weekend.
8:15 a.m. I head back to my office and log in to my computer. I begin setting up my windows for the day, which usually involves having Teams and Outlook on one screen and our case management software and MATLAB on the other. Part of the operations lead’s responsibilities involve collecting key case metrics at the beginning of the support shift. After I finish collecting these metrics, I set up group chats in Teams that the engineers on my team will use to ask the tech coaches and operations leads both technical and procedural questions.
8:30 a.m. The tech coaches—other tenured EDG members who focus on answering technical questions about cases—start rolling in and we begin sorting through the cases that came in overnight. This involves making sure the cases assigned to us belong to our support team, along with adding notes to the cases with what we think are appropriate first steps in resolving the case. If a case that should belong to another technical support team or to the customer service and install team comes to us incorrectly, we reassign it.
9:30 a.m. Prepare for scrum. Every EDG support team has a daily scrum that lasts 15–30 minutes depending on the announcements and questions asked. I discuss with the tech coaches what we’re going to present during today’s scrum. These announcements can range from explaining certain cases’ procedures or notes left in a case to sharing interesting cases we’ve had in the past.
10:00 a.m. During scrum, I present the strategy for the day along with some reminders regarding case procedures. The tech coaches then discuss the general workflows and initial steps for some of the cases without owners. We then open the floor to the other engineers so they can ask for help with the cases they are currently working on or share an interesting case they have worked on in the past. Today, a fellow engineer shares the workflow they followed for an App Designer performance case.
10:30 a.m. Scrum ends, and I spend the next hour and a half interacting with engineers who asked procedure questions in the Teams post I created earlier today and sorting the cases that were not assigned to a specific support team.
12:00 p.m. I head outside for lunch since it is grilling day! I grab a lobster grilled cheese, some fruit salad, and a bag of chips. I am also an “intern buddy,” so I sit with my manager’s group of interns. We spend lunch talking about things to do in Boston since most of them are new to the area. We also spend a considerable amount of time debating our answers to the question: “If you had to give one up, would you give up rice or bread?” I personally love burgers too much, so I chose to give up rice.
12:20 p.m. After we wrap up lunch, we spend the rest of our hour break playing yard games! Some of the interns are having a competitive Apple Hill vs. Lakeside game of spike ball, while I play a significantly less competitive game of cornhole with the remaining interns.
1:00 p.m. I grab some coconut-flavored water to rehydrate on my way back to my office. I check my email and Teams chats to see if any questions or concerns from the team came in during lunch. I spend the next two hours sorting the cases assigned to our team and calling other engineers to answer the questions they posted on Teams. These procedure questions can range from understanding how to manage expectations with our customers to general case management.
3:00 p.m. A case comes in regarding calculating the optical eigenmodes of a multicore fiber. I add case notes describing the level of support we would provide for this type of case along with initial steps in troubleshooting the issue the customer is experiencing.
3:30 p.m. As things begin to slow down, I decide to spend some time expanding my skills by starting the Object-Oriented Programming Onramp, an online, self-paced course available from MathWorks Training Services. I spend the next hour and a half working on the course while keeping an eye out for cases coming in.
5:00 p.m. I take a break from working on the course and walk down to the cafeteria to get a latte macchiato.
5:05 p.m. I do a final check for last-minute questions and start collecting some end-of-day metrics regarding case and call volume.
5:30 p.m. Finally, I thank the tech coaches for all their support today and head out.
One of the main perks of EDG in my opinion is how different each day can look. Whether you are on support or working on a project, rarely are two days the same. Even though I shared a typical day as operations lead, the day could have gone several different directions depending on the complexity of the cases that came in or if we had a large cohort of new hires starting. The variety of opportunities makes EDG a remarkable program.