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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

How long does it typically take to be productive in a new job?

Top comments (51)

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

It depends on when you receive your laptop!

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor

Can't tell if you're joking, but it took me a month to get my laptop when I worked at McAfee. Air coding lol.

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nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

Took me nearly a week at my first job! 🀷
Current job is the only place I've had a brand new machine... I love it 😍

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dmahely profile image
Doaa Mahely

Or when you get your local environment finally set up

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sumukhesh profile image
Sumukhesh

Cannot agree more.

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ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Most recent customer sent me a laptop to VPN in with. It arrived in the post, I unloaded it and fired it up and I'm like "where's my login information? This thing's bound to your domain and my credentials aren't cached on it".

Had to send it back so they could put it on the network so I could Citrix into it to get my credentials cached. Once that was done, they had to post it back to me.

Did the unbox-and-login dance and discovered, "this has no software on it, I have no access to repositories and, even if I did, I don't have sufficient privs to install any". Called support desk and was told "you'll need to request the software you want and we'll remotely install it". They send me a link to the request system: had to make 15 discrete requests to get each of the packages installed that I sorta just assumed would have been pre-installed to it. Oh... And "remote install" was "guy sends an email, asking for contact info, arranges a time to temp-delegate admin privileges so he can RDP to the laptop over the VPN and install the software via desktop-sharing". Bonus, because each software was its own ticket, did remote install dance 15 different times (more if you count the "uh... what you installed doesn't actually work: fixitplz".

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ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

I should probably note that my primary duties are helping customers automate. So, when I hop on a project, there's either no automation in place or the automation that's in place needs a crap-ton of work. So, a big part of that six months is solving the various bootstrap-problems endemic to their organizations.

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anthonygushu profile image
Anthony Gushu

This sounds like hell

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devanghingu profile image
Devang Hingu

lol.... due to covid situation most of company failed to deliver kind of premises.

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matt profile image
Matt seymour

In my second job I actually got fed up of waiting, went to the local pcworld and bought one, expensing it.

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

Lol, did you get reimbursed?

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matt profile image
Matt seymour

Yeah, I expensed the machine back to the company. They didn't mind doing that, they didn't have a "proper" IT function.

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor

Onboarding documentation can make a huge difference. I had a discussion post about this back in 2018. Lots of good answers in there.

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miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot

I completely agree - one of the reasons I've been writing articles like this and this on DEV is that at Alcumus we need some core (and perhaps less usual) principles to be understood before looking at the real code. I felt I might as well document those things as principles and then share them more widely.

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ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

What is this "documentation" you speak of?

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jgaskins profile image
Jamie Gaskins

If the product is simple and the company is an early-stage startup, a week or two, maybe a month depending on your experience.

If the product is complex in an industry you know little about, you're going to take several months to ramp up no matter your experience level.

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nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

I'd typically say about a month. They need time to settle in, get used to the working processes, get used to the systems in place, etc.

(Unless you're like me and thrown in the deep end day 1 - haha).

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vikramvee profile image
Vikram Chaudhary

If we look from the experienced professional(6+ years of Exp) point of view, it doesn't take more then 1 month to be productive and start contributing.
But there are other factors as well, the individual will not be very comfortable with the processes and practices as well as the design of the system. I believe it takes almost 6 months to comfortable and start adopting to new environment.

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kallmanation profile image
Nathan Kallman

I'd say 2-6 weeks before they're "positive" contributors (i.e. they are contributing more than they take in getting help from others)

But probably 2-6 months before they're at "full speed" (as much of a contributor as they are going to be; excluding personal growth which can make this hard and useless to measure)

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jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby

I've been in the new position for six months. The first three included Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years', and the associated away-time, it was all remote, and I really felt alone.

The current plague forced the issue of creating a home hacking shrine and made some changes with the organization as a whole, so I can say it was 4-5 months before I felt productive here.

I think I felt it earlier in my past jobs but I honestly don't remember.

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devanghingu profile image
Devang Hingu

you know, it's depends on many factors. like your responsibility, workloads, position etc etc.

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dividedbynil profile image
Kane Ong • Edited on

It depends, another perspective is with a terrible client.

I met a client that likes to slot in extra tasks in the middle of a sprint, the productivity definitely affected from time to time. One of the funny examples is he blamed me for a malfunction feature on the brownfield project without any evidence and expected the guilty will bring more productivity. Obviously he didn't know that previously I have taught my superior how to use git blame when a colleague blames on me.

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joehobot profile image
Joe Hobot

It depends on what it is but I would say first 3 months are cluster f... so somewhere between 6-9 months is usually onboarding part where people get comfy with the infrastructure, coworkers and the whole vibe at work.

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aritdeveloper profile image
Arit Developer

For my first dev job, it took me about 2-3 months to feel like I was contributing substantially.

My second (and current) dev job? I think about 2-3 weeks πŸ˜„
(my teammates may disagree though, which I welcome of course πŸ˜‰)

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elasticrash profile image
Stefanos Kouroupis

It depends on the job. In my previous one I was productive after a week ...in my current one it took nearly 3 months, but that is because you need to have an understanding of telco, which not everyone has knowledge of.

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msfjarvis profile image
Harsh Shandilya

I've found it to vary greatly.

My first job was a result of me contributing to the company's OSS projects for about a year, so I was already productive.

I had a very brief stint at a startup where I spent little over a week and got nothing done, because I could never get comfortable with the codebase.

At my current job at Navana Tech, I inherited a working-but-also-broken codebase from someone who was no longer an employee, and hadn't done a particularly good job at making it easy to onboard new people. This cost me 4 days of picking apart things to get a sense of what I am building and how to go about it. Been breezy ever since!

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bernardbaker profile image
Bernard Baker

I think it takes about 2 to 3 months. getting to know the code just like getting to know the people that you work with can take time. Especially if nobody explains anything to you. Or too busy to take time out to spend it with you.

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theeasydev profile image
Uriel Bitton

For me I've been a freelancer for the majority of my web dev career, but the one time i worked for a firm, it took about 1 week to become productive and get a feel of what the company needs and its goals.

I feel like you can only become productive once you understand their needs and goals, otherwise you're working aimlessly.

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