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A Day in the Life of a Night Owl Working an Unconventional Schedule: Meet Jacky

As a distributed team with people working all over the world, Shield is made up of an incredibly diverse set of people with their own backgrounds, perspectives, and schedules. Through our A Day in the Life series, we hope to showcase some of the exceptional individuals that make our team great and share a little more about them than your average bio. 

This month we’re profiling Jacky, our Salesforce Developer based in Sydney, Australia. 

Meet Jacky 

Jacky started working for Shield in 2015 as a research intern while he was still studying at university. He then transitioned to a full-time role in 2017, starting in operations before finding his place in the Tech team a year later. 

“Shield’s operations weren’t in a very efficient or scalable state,” Jacky says. 

“Back then, it was like the Wild West. 80% of the company worked out of Excel spreadsheets, and emails, and Word documents. There were no formal communication channels. There was no long-term plan. It was just solving problems like two or three months in the future and just trying to get through that period.” 

Jacky was trying to clean up processes and set up standards in the operations role, but he soon realized the limitations of his knowledge and technology. 

“There was a bit of technology involved [in my role], but it was mostly just making sure we had processes in place. And then, at some point, it got to a situation where I couldn’t really improve anything further unless I improved the technology.”

With a commerce and economics background, Jacky didn’t have much prior knowledge to draw from but spent time researching improvements, and much of the early developments were self-taught. 

“Funnily enough, my first semester, I was actually doing computer science. But after that first class, I had such a hard time that I just dropped it completely,” he says. “I just didn’t see how what I was learning could be used to build things. I was just learning how to do things, but I didn’t really know what I was doing it for.”

Jacky at the Gateway of India in Mumbai

In many ways, Jacky feels learning on the job in a startup environment gave him the context he would never have learned at school. 

“I remember in the first two or three years of working at Shield, I was sitting next to Tim. And basically every day, I would see how he would make decisions good and bad to develop the company,” he says. “While I was upskilling myself in technology, that really helped me understand what the business was facing and what sort of role would help scale this company up or make things more efficient. I think Shield was the perfect role for me to get started and to transition into Tech.”

He doesn’t regret studying something seemingly unrelated to his career either. 

“Commerce and economics have given me so much insight into the world. So that’s also been valuable,” Jacky says. “I have such different perspectives of the business from the finance, economic side that I’m not sure really gets taught to you during the computer science program.”

Grocery shopping for dinner

Over the years, Jacky has continued upskilling and studying to improve his grasp on development. 

“Right now, I’m doing data architecture and management certification, and that directly impacts my current work,” he says. 

And as Jacky has grown and developed, so too has the team he’s worked in. 

“Now, it’s completely different. There’s much more strategic direction, and there’s so much more efficiency built into the system now. The teams are quite mature because we’ve just been through so much, we’ve been through so many trials. This company has grown quite organically into something that’s, you know, that’s very powerful.”

A day in the life of Jacky

10:30 am

Wake up, roll out of bed and wash up. Spend some time to acclimatize to the harsh sunlight.

11:00 am

Catch up on work emails, respond to tickets, plan the day.

1:00 pm

Make breakfast (if it’s quick and contains milk and cereal) or lunch (if it’s anything else). Also, do some quick life admin.

2:00 pm

Take dev team calls, update the team on other channels.

3:00 pm

Work throughout the afternoon. I’ll “plug in” at this point with some music.

5:00 pm

If the weather’s good and my partner is also working from home, we take a leisurely stroll to the veggie & fruit shop to get groceries for dinner. On rare occasions in summer, we take a short walk to the beach 5 minutes away.

5:30 pm

Continue working, work up an appetite.

7:00 pm

Usually we make dinner at home and it can be quite elaborate. Otherwise, we’ll grab dinner with friends once or twice a week if allowed, or head back to my parent’s place for dinner.

8:00 pm

Relax at home or hang out with friends/family/dogs.

9:00 pm

Around 3 days a week I play tennis with a friend or partner if the weather’s good. Otherwise, I jump online with the squad and play some games.

10:00 pm

Shower.

10:30 pm

Continue working. I get super focused and productive around midnight.

12:30 am

Close my computer and wind down.

1:00 am

Actually wind down.

2:00 am

Sleep.

Working an unconventional schedule

When Jacky first started at Shield, he came into our Sydney office every day working fairly standard hours of 10 am – 6 pm. Over time he started working from home more regularly, and since the 2020 lockdown, when we closed our offices permanently, he has worked from his home full-time. 

Jacky’s dogs Kori and Koda

This has also meant his working hours have shifted quite dramatically. These days he starts work around 11 am. 

“I usually do most of my work in the afternoon. That’s where I’m going to plug in some music and just focus,” Jacky says. 

He’ll then pause for dinner, play with his dogs, or hang out with his partner and family before jumping back online late at night. 

“This is something that I tried not to do before, but I feel like it works best for me,” Jacky says. 

Jacky with his Uncle tending to the farm

“If you told me to wake up at 7 am and start working at eight, then I probably could do it. But you know, if I work from 10 pm to midnight, my brain’s so much faster. I can’t explain it. So, I’m just embracing my life as a night owl now.”

It also means he has time to embrace his hobbies like playing tennis, which he tries to do as much as possible. 

“I play tennis at 9 o’clock, so I play quite late. But there’s a sweet spot when the courts are free, and the lights are still on. So that 1-2 hours is where we try to get some value, right?” Jacky says. “I try to go as many days as I can, just because if I don’t go, then I feel like I haven’t done anything physically enriching.”

As a serial restaurant diner, working from home has meant more time for cooking. 

“When I went into the office, I only had really half an hour, one hour to make dinner. But now I can start something at around 3 pm like a slow braise or something like soup that takes a long time to get going.”

“Working from home really gives me the flexibility.”


— Bree Caggiati 

Want to know more about Jacky? Read about him on Our Team page!

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