25th May 2023

A Week in the Life: Joe Hainstock, Zing Developer

In a series of blog posts, we’re peeking behind the curtain and following Zingers as they go about their day-to-day work.

Here, we look at a week in the life of...

Joe, Zing Developer.


🕘 In the office today. Starting the day with work for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

🕙 Refinement for phase 3 of the NRC work went well, and we make a ‘30 points estimate’. Point estimates are a determination of how much work will be needed. The higher the points, the longer/harder the work is expected to be. Operating this way helps ensure a realistic amount of work for each sprint.

🕚 Catch-up with other devs about a new way to store lots of smaller projects in one large repository.

🕛 Talk with team about a prototype project sending out supermarket vouchers to beneficiaries in Ukraine (NRC).

🕐 Lunch

🕒 Fixed SMS issue for Redline (which is a Twilio Flex solution built specifically for the Red Cross). Go live is tomorrow so it’s high priority for assistance.

🕔 Call with a client where we discuss a bug, and talk about a requirement for phase 3.


Pictured At Zing's London Paddington HQ


🕘 Working from home, the day starts with the standup where, as a team, we catch-up on everything from yesterday, and discuss what we’re doing today.

🕙 Straight onto a call with senior dev Alexander to discuss a solution to a customer requirement. Update Jira (issues and project tracking software) for the ‘phase 3’ sprint next week.

🕛 A little review and retrospective following the call with Alexander. Update the ‘Mad, Sad, Glad, Proud’ board with Morgan and fellow devs, Badal, Akash and Krunal. The board is a great way of reflecting and figuring out if there’s anything we need to improve upon.

🕐 Lunch

🕐 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) discovery in the afternoon. A discovery is a session that involves listening to a client’s requirements, gathering information and understanding project objectives. This information is used to create a product backlog, which is a list of all the work that needs to be done to complete the project.

We work out a broad range of approaches that could work for this project.

🕓 Spend some ‘ZingCoin’ on some new trainers. The recognition system enables Zingers to give each other coins as a pat on the back for good work. Decide to treat myself.

Zing coin


🕘 Sprint planning with team to lay out the testing week. Decent amount of work completed already so should be good.

🕙 Project operations meeting with head of dev Dan and program manager Morgan. Discuss the end of phase 2 of the NRC project (all seems good). Moving on with Phase 3.

READ: A week in the life: Morgan Holmes, Zing Program Manager

🕛 Lunch

🕐 Meeting with Morgan to go over the Demo we have at 2pm. We have a good plan of action, which involves showing the chatbot and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capability. Some other areas have not yet been fully deployed so we have screenshots to show.

🕒 Demo goes really well and the feedback is positive. We meet a new member of the Red Cross team, who works on User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). We’re looking forward to deploying the work to staging.

🕓 Reviewing final PRs to merge in for staging. PR stands for Pull Request in dev speak. Before work gets approved, it needs to be reviewed by the project lead, or another developer. The review process tries to find potential bugs or issues in the code itself, and leaves comments or suggestions on how it could be improved.

Once I approve the PRs, I merge the code in, and move it into the customer's "staging" environment. Before work moves into production, it goes through a process of testing, done by the customer, in this environment first.

🕔 Help fellow dev Zaakir fix an issue with a Viber Middleware Issue. In order to do Viber through Twilio we developed middleware that sits in-between Twilio and the Viber API. Because I helped with the project when it was first developed, the support ticket found its way to me.


🕘In the office bright and early with the hope that my new laptop is delivered today (it is not 🥹).

🕙 Worked with Zaakir to solve another challenge; being in the office means we get to talk to placement dev, Wei who worked on the project and is helpful. We also pull in another placement, Hamzah. I give access to the production chatbot that wasn’t working, which helps us get to the bottom of the problem.

🕚 Big clean up day for the PRs waiting to be merged into Redline. Managed to get the remaining code change requests reviewed and "merged" in with the existing code.

With the new sprint started, devs tend to want to move onto new work over going back to look at feedback, but it’s important to the project that we can merge in the work at a high quality, so feedback / reworks are equally important.

🕛 Some good discussions occurs in our project slack channel. Putting questions about a project in the channel is good because people chip in and help each other out.

🕐 Lunch

🕒 Schedule a call with Alexander. I’m away on holiday next week so it’s best to semi hand-over anything that might need his attention. All is well right now, and we are looking as though we can push over the code from where we’ve been developing it to staging tomorrow. This will be the stage where customers can test it in their own environment.

🕔 Being in the office means helping with any bits and bobs the placements / junior devs have. Some interesting work they’re doing involves video chat through Twilio Flex, which I haven’t seen before. Some are also on support fixing bugs with NRC projects, which is great as it helps me focus on the Redline project.


🕘 Back in the office. Take 2 on picking up/sorting out the new laptop (success!) Very happy with the upgrade, and luckily the setup is quick.

Up and running with the various systems that we use here at zing.

🕙 Have meeting with the team to go over some ideas for an upcoming project. The project is very early in the pipeline, and it ends up being too early for me to properly help.

🕛 Working on getting work out across to the Red Cross staging account, and fully deploying to their staging account so that they can test it next week. Merged in the final reviewed PRs and pushed to their GitHub

🕐 Lunch

🕒 Meeting with Red Cross team to provide updates on how all of the projects are going and to confirm the deployment and getting approval to merge the work in.

🕔 Another meeting later in the day going over functionality for a requirement upcoming in phase 3 that should start next week. The team at Red Cross have figured out a lot of user stories and flows of how they want the item to work, and we tell them how it could / couldn’t work from a technical point of view.


Overall, a good week. A lot of good collaboration and a great job from the team to get work across the line for the push to staging. Any issues that might come back will go through the UAT process. Go-live at the beginning of the week also went well, with a few messages already going back. 👍

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