A Day in the Life of a Developer

Cathy Thomas is a Developer in our Cambridge office and joined the company in July 2021.

What did you do before joining Costello Medical?

I came to programming later in my career, taking a fifteen-year detour working in corporate meetings and events before retraining as a Web Developer in early 2021. In my previous roles, my clients had all been pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which made my career change a little smoother. I have had a long-held passion for coding and website creation that I’d always wanted to turn into my profession. It took a little time, but I got there eventually!

What do you like best about your role as a Developer at Costello Medical?

I joined Costello Medical as a Developer and have had to learn a lot of skills from the ground up. I have had amazing support from colleagues who are always willing to listen to my ideas, as well as sharing their expertise on areas I am less confident in. Working in a small, growing team means that I have also been given a lot of autonomy to make the role my own.

I am actively encouraged to use soft skills, developed before moving into a technical role, when producing new ideas and designs for apps as well as shaping my own career progression by taking the initiative to learn and develop new technical skills. It’s fantastic working for a team where individual ideas and suggestions are not only accepted but encouraged, so much so that they regularly shape and develop what we do.

It is also an amazing feeling seeing the apps that we develop and maintain being used by colleagues throughout the company to improve the efficiency of their working processes and aiding in the successful delivery of projects for our clients in the healthcare industry.

How would you describe a typical day in the life of a Developer at Costello Medical?


After fuelling up with some caffeine, the day will often start with a ‘stand-up’. This is a brief meeting with other members of the team, either face-to-face or via Microsoft Teams, to discuss what we’ll be working on that day. This encourages us to share feedback and thoughts with the wider team. These sessions are generally only 15 minutes long, and very informal, but it’s good to start the day with some friendly faces.


I’m usually working on a couple of projects simultaneously, with my day often split between developing in-house productivity apps and assisting the Design team with development of client-based projects.

This morning, following an internal review, the Design team have sent me a list of suggested changes to make to a web app I have been developing for them. This web app is a new dashboard template for showcasing client data within interactive charts. I’ll create tasks as new issues to be completed on our Jira platform and then go through each one, giving the Design team a timeline of when I should be finished. Some tasks can be very simple 5-minute jobs, others can be more involved and require additional support, which I’ll factor into my day.


After lunch (and another coffee!), I’ll go back to any longer-term projects I have been working on. This week, it is an updated front-end for an internal application which will be used as a centralised system for managing our client contracts. I’ll check my Jira task list and see which components I need to work on today. Depending on where I am in the project, this could be anything from wire-framing and creating a components map, to setting up themes, building a chart or table filter, or creating methods to fetch external data for an API.


Next, I check in with another department who have some ideas about a new app they’d like to develop. This will be a kick-off meeting to brainstorm how the app might look and how it would help increase their productivity. It looks like a really useful project, so we’ll take the information gained in the meeting to create a scope of work and initial timelines.


When working on a project, I will often come across an area where I can improve my skills. Therefore, later in the afternoon, I might spend some time trying to solve an issue by learning from online tutorials and videos. There is a wealth of instructional material out there for programmers. Whilst most of it is free, the company will fund external training that supports me in my role. Learning new things is a nice way to break up the day. The programming world moves so quickly that as a developer you never really stop learning!


The end of the day always rolls around pretty quickly! I’ll commit all my changes with Git, and push to our remote repository, before heading off home.