I'm just coming to the end of my first week at Yoomee. Starting at a new place is always tough, so I thought I'd share a few things that contributed to me having a really positive first week, in the hope that anyone else out there in the same situation might benefit. These are pretty much developer-focussed, but hopefully might be relevant for others too.
- Go for the right place. I've been building websites for over ten years now and have been lucky to work with some great people and organisations. I realised a while ago that organisations have their own character and personality, and it's really important to choose somewhere you feel comfortable. Everyone at Yoomee has been friendly, knowledgeable and helpful right from the interview onwards.
- Make notes and listen. My first day at Yoomee was a big introduction to everything: projects, ways of working, people and a new city. The best thing I did was write everything down. Later on when you have more context these notes will be invaluable. I used Quip and 1Password to make sure nothing escaped me.
- Don't hog the sound system. I was grateful for my two hours as office DJ. This is more than enough for a first week.
- Find the good food. I got a guided tour of Sheffield on my first day, which was vital: good sandwich shops, coffee and places to spend lunchtime are really important when you start out. It's tempting just to work through every day, but you need some downtime too.
- Do something you believe in. Working on projects that make a real difference to people's lives is something that gives you more personal satisfaction and purpose.
- Use a black pen to fill in forms, not a blue one. I don't want to talk about this. Just read the instructions when filling in DBS forms.
- Match your way of working. One of the most appealing things about Yoomee for me was their approach to Lean and Agile, and the tools they use. It was interesting to read Dave Thomas's 'Agile is dead' post the same week I started somewhere that really is committed to individuals, customer collaboration and frequent releases. I am also a huge fan of Trello and Rails. Using tools you love and are familiar with means you settle in a lot quicker.
- Learn. In just a few days I already feel like I have learned a load of new things about delivering great software. Everything from new Ruby idioms to approaches to regular deployment. On my second day I was committing and deploying code.
- Enjoy yourself. Starting somewhere might seem tough, but in a way it's something of a honeymoon period too. Enjoy it, ask questions and don't stress over things you don't get straight away.
- Communicate. I'll be working both in the Sheffield office and remotely from York, where I live. There's other people in the team who aren't in the office 100% of the time. We're experimenting with the best way to make remote working work for all of us. It is early days but Slack seems to be really helping, as does a read of REMOTE.