Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Engine Works Blog

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-to's.

8:05 am - As soon as I get to the Alteryx office I drop my backpack at my desk and head into the kitchen for the main event-coffee. The espresso machine is going full blast and I snag a mug from the cabinet and take my place in line. I see some coworkers from one of the Enterprise development teams, we chat a bit about which JavaScript framework is the best (like React), luckily the coffee machine frees up before the conversation gets too heated. People from other teams start to show up for their morning caffeine fix, it's a good time to connect and catch up on what some of the other teams are doing. I head back to my desk to tune into Spotify get started on some work.




The Alteryx Broomfield Office Entrance


8:20 am - Yesterday I finished the feature that I was working on, so I'm in need of a new task for the day. I open up the Kanban board in Rally to see what is in our backlog list, this gives me a view of all the work items that are ready for development eyes. It looks like there is a high priority defect that one of the other development teams found in our code so I assign it to myself and start reading up on the situation. I am having trouble recreating the issue so I walk over to the team that logged it to to find more information.


9:30 am - Standup time with the team. Our engineering organization follows the Agile methodology so we end up meeting as a team a few times a week for stand up, story grooming, and retros. Our Scrum master leads us through the rounds, I talk about some questions I need answered to continue on the story that I am working on. The rest of the engineers on give their status as well, this is the time we use to identify any blocking issues or dependencies. After we finish our Quality Engineer gives us the update on what has passed test validation from the Kanban board, and to close out our Product Manager, Katie gives us an update on how our latest features were received in the Beta. It's a pretty quick meeting, but important to keeping the flow of information going.


9:40 am - Coding time. As part of the Tool Experience team, my work is all about the customer interaction with Alteryx. Our team works on things like tool updates, refreshes, and other changes to the interface that can make the experience of the Alteryx user better. I end up discovering that the defect I am working on can be resolved two different ways, and could have larger implications on the code base depending on which one I go with. This decision should really be made with more information, so I enlist the help of some of the other developers that I work with, @AlexK and @CaleighC. We head to the whiteboard to talk about the implications of the two solutions and eventually end up choosing the right implementation, which will be more maintainable in the long run. 



@AlexK and @CaleighC working through a problem


11:00 am - I make my way to a meeting with the user experience team. Recently they have been conducting usability testing around one of the big features that my team is working on. Based on user feedback, they show us some updated designs, we will break down the work for the updates later this week during grooming (where we all discuss level of effort as well as acceptance criteria.) I have to agree that the suggested changes are going to greatly improve the user experience-our UI/UX team is pretty awesome at their job.


12:15 pm - Back to the kitchen to get my lunch from the fridge. I run into a group playing a lunchtime game of Magic the Gathering, this game has been pretty popular with our engineers lately, I haven't learned yet. There is another group of people eating lunch in the kitchen so I pull up a seat with them to enjoy a break time-always good for the creative processes. 


1:55 pm - Time to head into Space Invaders, our large meeting area complete with stadium style seating, foosball tucked into the corner, and pretty good views of the Rocky Mountains for our bi-weekly demo session. I snag a drink from the fridge and grab a seat next to some guys from the Alteryx Designer development team. The demo is kind of like show and tell for the engineers at Alteryx. We all submit what items we have been working on and want to share with the crowd so that we can be placed on the agenda. The Agile team gets the meeting started, and the entire office is welcome to join. We hear about new features being worked on by teams across the department directly from the engineers who developed them. This session includes updates to the Gallery, modified data connectors, updated interfaces, and my teammate @DavidS demos some of the improvements he made to the formula tool recently. 


Space Invaders.jpg


Alteryx Developers and Product Managers in Space Invaders


3:00 pm - I head back to my work, still thinking about some of the innovative work that I saw in the demo. One of the guys from the Enterprise team also mentioned a new plugin for Atom, the text editor that some of the devs use, I install that and keep working. After a little pseudocode, a few tweaks, and one or two trips to Google I am pleased with the solution to the defect. I run all of the tests and proceed to check in my work and mark the defect as ready to be tested. Before I pick up my next work item, one of the developers on my team wants to talk out a problem in the code, or "rubber duck", so we spend some time investigating what he is working on-our engineering environment is pretty collaborative. I end up grabbing a new story to work on, and get started coding.  


3:20 pm - More coffee.




5:15 pm - As the end of the day approaches, I find myself going down a few different paths for the way I want to implement the feature that I picked up, but I'm not entirely sure of the right choice yet. Before leaving I write down exactly where I am with the issue, ideas that I have to solve it, and questions I need answered, this will help me get ramped up more quickly when I pick up the problem the next day. I head over to my Product Manager @KatieH to see if she needs any help finishing things up before we head out to the rock climbing gym. 


What is your day like? How much time do you spend working with Alteryx, or looking at the Community for solutions to your problems? We would love to hear from you!


Tasha Alfano

As Product Manager for Developer Tools at Alteryx, Tasha enjoys working on everything for Alteryx platform extensibility. If you are building cool things with Alteryx-let her know! When she isn't at work in the Broomfield office she enjoys backpacking and climbing in sunny Colorado. @Tasha_Alfano

As Product Manager for Developer Tools at Alteryx, Tasha enjoys working on everything for Alteryx platform extensibility. If you are building cool things with Alteryx-let her know! When she isn't at work in the Broomfield office she enjoys backpacking and climbing in sunny Colorado. @Tasha_Alfano