Working at Nava

A day at Nava as a software engineer

Sharon Warner, a software engineer working on the Vermont Integrated Benefits team, describes pair coding and Nava’s culture of acknowledgment and appreciation.

It’s hard to describe what a typical day at Nava is like because no two days are ever the same. Every day brings new projects, challenges, and opportunities. So we’re sharing just a glimpse of what work is actually like for different people at Nava. Here’s what Sharon Warner, Software Engineer has been up to lately.

A picture of software engineer Sharon Warner working on a laptop on a couch in Nava's DC office.

Software engineer Sharon Warner working at Nava’s DC office.

Photo by Eric Chiu

Current projects

Right now I’m working with the Vermont Integrated Benefits team. We’re building an online application that will help people apply for medical benefits. Before this, I was working on a project called Caseflow, which streamlines the appeals process for Veterans applying for benefits.

For the last couple of weeks, my job has been to set up the basic framework of the new application. I created a “Hello World” Node/React application, set up a test framework with Jest, built our test, build, deploy pipelines in Azure, and deployed the new application to our dev, test, and production environments.

While right now it’s just a “Hello World” application, I’m really excited to see it turn into a real application that Vermonters can use to apply for benefits.

On the day-to-day

I do my best coding work in the mornings so I try to get in and just do that. Yesterday, I paired with another developer who set up the infrastructure for our new application in Terraform and Azure. I was working on building the pipeline that will deploy our code to the infrastructure that he’s built. So, we needed to make sure we were both on the same page.

This afternoon, I had an interview with an engineering candidate (we’re hiring!) and was overdue on providing other interview feedback. So I’ve been working on getting all of that done. I’ve also been doing some PR reviews and some one-on-ones.

Favorite part of the day

Everybody has different preferences as to where they work in the office. I almost always work on the couches. About once a day, there will be a group of people working there. Sometimes we share what we’re working on or learning, sometimes we talk about something serious, sometimes not. Yesterday someone shared this viral Philadelphia Eagles fan. Poor Agholor’s not having a great season.

On learning new things

I’m new to using Azure DevOps; other projects I’ve worked on have used AWS. So, I’ve been working closely with Sawyer Hollenshead, a senior designer and front-end developer, to learn about Azure and how it’s similar to and different from AWS.

On team collaboration

Every two weeks, we have a sprint retro. In that meeting, we spend most of our time talking about things that didn’t go well or could have gone better. We also collect all the things that went well: things we accomplished and shout-outs for team members. Our product manager, Domenic Fichera, reads all the good things at the end of the meeting really fast and we all leave feeling good.

Navacados are good at acknowledging other people when they’ve done good work. We’re working on hard problems. It’s nice to know that people appreciate what we’re doing.

PublishedSeptember 21, 2021

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