Most of my days are not spent writing HTML. As a Webmaster, I have a lot of various duties, not the least of which is getting out of meetings.
If you're a Web Developer, why not share with us what a day is like for you. Do you spend most of your day doing HTML? Programming CGIs? Answering email? Going to meetings? Let us know!
This is what I did on Monday, April 6th, 1998
I come into the office around 8am. I am not a morning person, but my husband is, so we wake up early.
I work on a Sparc 4 workstation, so I have to login and usually I have to reopen windows for machines that have auto-logout. (Auto-logout is one of those things that sysadmins love because it forces people off their machines, and developers hate because if you stop typing for a microsecond you lose your window and all your work -- it's a FEATURE!.)
Checking the Site
Once I'm logged in and all my windows are open (I usually have two windows to our development machine, one to each of our Web servers, one to email, one to our ticketing system, a Netscape window, and sometimes additional ones to other machines at our company, so my screen is quite full.), I go and check our main pages. While the site has several thousand pages, there are about 4 that are vital to our company and must be up at all times. I check these first thing.
Not only am I a Webmaster, but I am also a release engineer. We do all our development on a test machine that is behind our company firewall. Then, when we are convinced that there are no problems with the HTML we set it up to be pushed to the Web servers. I make sure that that push happens every day, and that everything we meant to release was released and so on.
Email and Voicemail
After all that is done, I check my email. On a typical day, I get about 10 messages overnight in my inbox. I have a filtering system (procmail) running on my mailbox which removes most of the stuff I don't want to see immediately into other folders. If it all came into my inbox I would get about 1000 pieces of mail a day (and this is my personal box, not the Webmaster mailbox). Some of the stuff I filter is automated reports, Spam, and mailing lists. I usually look at those folders once or twice a week.
As I'm reading my email I check my voicemail. I don't like to talk on the phone, so most people don't call me. When that little red light on the phone starts blinking, I get worried. Phone calls are usually bad news.
I like to start out the day doing some cleanup work on the site. We have a ticketing system so that any employee who finds a problem with the site can report it and have it fixed in one to two days. I like to check the tickets first thing in the morning to get an idea of what the day will be like. There are usually no more than three or four tickets in the box in the morning.
There weren't too many tickets outstanding so I took a look at my schedule of meetings for the day. I knew I had one at 10, one at 11, and one at 1, but I wanted to be sure. Whoops! good thing I have an organizer (ha!) because my 11 o'clock meeting was at 9, and it was 9:15! Quick lock of my screen and a grab for the folder as I run up to the meeting room.
I was meeting with a director of one of our departments that would like to have a Web presence. I needed to find out what her goals were for her site, and how it would fit in with the rest of the site. I also needed to set her expectations that some of the whiz-bang nifty stuff she wanted wasn't going to happen over night. The meeting went really well, and I think we both came out of it with a good idea of how the site would work after that.
The second project meeting was at 10 and I was early (to make up for being late to my 9 o'clock?). This meeting was for a company wide project of which there would be Web announcements and possibly a page or two, but no real presence. I needed to attend to find out the scope of the project, so that I could outline how I would handle their needs. However, I probably won't need to attend anymore until the project is nearly complete and I need to put up the announcements.
At 11, I remembered that I hadn't finalized my class notes for today, and so I prepared what I would be talking about in more depth. Then I went to lunch.