Over the next few months, we plan to share with you what some of our Roachers are working on for their Flex Friday projects. Our Fridays are given to employees as a day to self manage, where they can decide to come into the office or WFH and to focus on work priorities or a side project. We hope this helps explain the bigger picture of one of our company values: Establish Balance.
-Chelsea Lee, Culture and Office Experience Manager
What is your role at Cockroach Labs?
I am an engineer working on the Bulk IO team. I work mostly on improving IMPORT, which is a high-speed way to get data into CockroachDB.
What do you do day to day at Cockroach Labs?
Most days, I spend the afternoon in the office doing a mix of code reviews, email, in-person collaboration, and some engineering work. I go home around 5:30pm to be with my family, including a toddler. Late evenings are when I get most of my actual work done, since I can work alone when everyone else is asleep.
What does Flex Friday mean to you?
With a child and nanny at home, Friday afternoons turn out to often be a time my wife and I go out together. We have gone to a spa, out for drinks or a slow lunch. I do often also use them for side projects, but having a free day to make an odd schedule is really valuable.
What is your current Flex Friday project?
Currently I’m working on https://sqlfum.pt/, a SQL formatter. All of the code in my life is auto-formatted except for SQL, and this has been a thing I’ve wanted for years. Many of our team members and external users have requested this feature. I used a few Fridays to read some literature about this problem and work on a solution. It has been great to learn some new algorithms, solve an actual problem I had, and also find and fix some bugs along the way.
What else have you done on a Flex Friday?
My previous project was https://hots.dog/, a data analysis tool for a video game I play. I wanted to build a real life application that used CockroachDB. This allowed me to get some practical experience using and running our product, as well as make a site that I still use today. I’ve spent many Flex Fridays working on it so far. It has been fun to get back into web programming and write real SQL queries again. I learned a lot about our product and began fixing some of the definencies I encountered when using it as a normal user. It was a chance to solve a problem I had, learn something, and have some fun.
Describe a typical Flex Friday.
I usually don’t go into the office on Fridays. My schedule is the same, except I work from home. During the afternoons when I go out with my wife instead of working, I meet her in the city somewhere
How does Flex Friday support your long term goals?
I like having dedicated time to work on CockroachDB-adjacent projects or use the time to go out (or even get a babysitter while staying in). I really like working on side projects when I think of a fun one. With a new family, I no longer have time to do so on evenings or weekends. Using Fridays as designated time to pursue related interests is great. It also allows me to remember to focus the other days of the week on customer-related work.
Illustration by Quentin Vijoux