Day in the life of a Cloud Engineer at Social Security Scotland

Mar 27, 2024
hackajob Staff

Ever wondered what it's like to work for an organisation making a difference in one of Scotland’s largest and most complex IT and digital change programmes since devolution? Hear from Abigail, Cloud Engineer at Social Security Scotland, as we dive into a day in her life. From morning coffee to wrap-up, you'll get an insider’s view of the tasks, challenges, and triumphs in her day.

With an annual budget of over £300m, Social Security Scotland is creating a service based on dignity, fairness and respect. The new social security system will positively impact the lives of Scotland's people for decades to come. Abigail is at the heart of it all – let’s get into her day!

Meet Abigail!


9:00 AM. The Kick-Off

Monday morning! Instead of diving headfirst into the deep end, I kick off my day by sending some messages to my colleagues on Slack. We share our weekend adventures (despite the rain, I managed to try that new restaurant everyone's been raving about) over a quick cup of coffee. 

9:05 AM. The Calm Before the Storm

We don’t usually have early morning meetings, so I've got a solid hour before my daily standup. This is when we get our heads together and talk about our tasks, any roadblocks we've encountered, and what our team leader can do to help. I've got two tasks up my sleeve and I'm raring to go.

I open our ticket board to check my ongoing tasks. I had started writing an update for one of them on Friday, so I finish it off this morning and move the ticket into code review. I also check if the Security team has granted the additional access I requested for my other ticket (they have!). With a good chunk of uninterrupted time, I get into the zone and start working.

10:00 AM. The Stand Up Sesh

Standup time. Before remote working, we'd all be on our feet for this meeting – the idea was to keep it short and sweet. Now, I just dial in from my desk at home when I am not in the office. We have adopted hybrid working so are in the office two days a week. I let everyone know that one of my tasks is ready for review. We're a small team, so we all chip in when it comes to code reviews. I love this part – it helps me level up my skills. 

10:15 AM. Post-Meeting Thoughts

The meeting ran over time, but we covered a lot. I've got a new task – to create a proof of concept for a new feature. I'm pretty stoked about this one, but I'll need to do some digging before I can dive in. I've pinged a colleague who can help me out, and we've got a chat lined up for later. For the time being, I get back to focusing on my current task.

12:00 PM. Review and Wrap-Up

As I wrap up my tasks, a team member asks me to review their ticket. Our reviews typically involve looking over the merge request for the code. The merge request contains all the changes the developer made on a new branch of the code repository. We use automated testing to vet these changes, but it's also crucial for someone familiar with the codebase to review it. I provide feedback on a few confusing variable names and then merge the code once the changes have been made.

12:30 PM. Lunch Break!

Time for a well-deserved break. I switch my status to lunch on Slack, then it's off to raid the fridge and catch up on an episode of Taskmaster.

13:15 PM. Back to the Grind

Refreshed and refuelled, I'm back at my desk. As a Scottish Government employee, I get to use the Flexible Working Hours system, which means I can split my weekly hours however I like (within reason!). So, I took a slightly longer lunch break today to help me ease back into the week. I catch up on some admin work while waiting for my scheduled chat.

13:30 PM. Time for a meeting

I have a call with my colleague to discuss my new task. He fills in many of the blanks, and I feel ready to start on the ticket.

15:40 PM. Support Duty

Part of my day is spent on our support channel, where users can request new features or report issues. The product my team is developing is an automation pipeline that can be used to automate the deployment of a wide range of applications across our AWS Cloud estate. A user has used the channel to report an error when running the pipeline and has sent a link to a Jenkins job, so I take a break from my task to investigate.

16:15 PM. Problem Solved

The reported issue turns out to be a bug in our pipeline. I've raised a ticket for our team to fix it and provided the user with a temporary workaround. Problem solved, back to the task at hand!

17:15 PM. Wrapping Up

I like to find a natural stopping point in my work, so I stick around for an extra 15 minutes. Then, it's time to log off and take a breather. A friend is waiting for a catch-up, and the weather has cleared up enough for a walk. Time for some fresh air!

Want to join Social Security Scotland?

If you’d like to join the team at Social Security Scotland, then create a profile on the hackajob platform, where they’re currently hiring for a variety of roles or log in to your profile here. Follow what they are up to on their hackajob profile.

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