Ever wondered what a day in the life of one of our consultants is like? This series will give you all the details! Our “Day in the Life” subject is Brock Dulaney, a Senior Data Consultant located in Richmond, Virginia. Here’s what a typical day looks like for Brock.
My mornings typically start by taking my kids to school and heading over to UDig’s Richmond office, which is also UDig’s HQ. Once I have arrived at the office, I start my day by making some coffee. I used to be really into pour overs, I made those a lot, but more recently I’ve switched over to drinking the Cometeer coffee that is stocked at the office.
I really enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose to go into the office or work from home. I tend to choose going into the office over working from home because I enjoy the culture here at UDig along with the great office space. I try to take advantage of coming in and utilizing the office space as much as possible.
Right now, my days begin with a team standup for my current project. Our standup begins at 10 am and usually covers anything from operations updates to new tickets on the current project we are running. I really enjoy these standups because they are more operations based rather than fully project oriented.
I tend to focus better in the mornings most days, I really enjoy getting to the office early so I can hit the ground running. I find that I’m most productive when I’m able to get a kickstart on my projects before others start to file into the office.
I try to get lunch with my teammates as much as possible, I think it’s valuable to work in some ‘out of the office’ team building as much as I can. I’ve found that we’ve become closer as a team and are even more productive when it comes to working on projects together. I like to think that we are all the exact same kind of nerd with slight variations, plus, it’s always fun to try out a new spot for food!
A team favorite is Buzz and Ned’s. Their dining room is finally open again, so the data team has made some plans to get BBQ there. Another go-to is Taste, which is also in the same area as Jack Brown’s, so that’s very convenient. We also tend to hit Jersey Mikes a good bit, and always try to go after our weekly kettlebell class on Wednesdays!
Lately in the afternoons I’ve been planning meetings, working on proposals, or diving into project work. I’ve also found that this is the time where I make the most progress on the deliverables aspect of work.
For my current project, my team and I have been spending a lot of time conducting interviews with clients to try and understand the way that data moves within their organization. We like to talk through the client’s processes with them, then we take some time to document everything, which helps us create a roadmap for understanding how their code interacts with their data. After analyzing their processes, we’ll work through a series of recommendations we’ve created in order to mitigate their risks and support business continuity. Additionally, we’ll highlight some best practices that they would benefit from implementing, as we have found that it is better to have these practices in place as more people begin to work for the company and with the information at hand.
If I find myself overwhelmed or in need of a breather, I’ll take some time to get out of the office and walk a lap or two to think through some work. One of my favorite spots is Cheswick Park.
If I’m not too swamped, I’ll listen to some music or a podcast while I’m working. I tend to listen to music more because podcasts are hard to listen to when I really need to focus but every once in a while, I’ll have a comedy or true crime podcast playing in the background.
After a day at the office, I’ll pick up my kids from school and head home. I just got a new smoker, so recently I’ve been into trying a lot of new things with that. So far, I’ve made pulled pork, smoked chicken, and brisket flat – I’m trying to work my way up to smoking a full brisket, so we’ll see how that goes. I always have a lot of fun making food for my family, my kids are pretty open to trying new things which is awesome, plus it’s great for meal prep!
Aside from trying new recipes on my smoker, I love taking some time to hang with my dog, Archer. He’s around 10 years old now so he’s more chilled out these days but he loves hanging out with the kids. He’s a 110-pound Chesapeake-mastiff mix, so he’s got some water dog in him. My wife and I rescued him when we lived in Alaska, and up there he would be off leash most of the time. That’s a little harder to do now, for sure.
If we’re not playing with Archer or preoccupied by the kids, one of my wife and I’s favorite evening activities is playing World of Warcraft. We play in a twice a week raiding group of about 10 to 20 people. Together, we’ll work through content over a period of time. We’ve been playing with this group for about 4 years and it’s one of our favorite ways to unwind.