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Marcell Lipp
Marcell Lipp

Posted on • Originally published at on

10 Points to make your ramp up faster at your first workplace

Don’t think that you are the best

It can be that you were part of the best students at the university and you could achieve all tasks there. It is also most likely true, that due to you fresh studies you are more up-to-date with the newest technologies than you colleagues. But your colleagues has multiple years experience in the field you are working in. It was always a bit strange for me, but as a student I thought that I’m good and as I started to work I was encountered as a beginner. It’s totally true, I had no experience, so it took me much more time to resolve tasks than for my more experienced colleagues. Luckily it changed with time. That also happened that there was some kind of used practice at the company which seemed to be totally useless for me. I just clarified it with my mentor and I understood their decision.

To summarize this point: you will be encountered as a beginner and you are a beginner in fact, count with this fact and if you are doing well you can change it with time.

Be patient

As you are joining a new company at the beginning you need to wait a lot: wait for your hardware, wait for you licences, wait for your access to the source code and wait until your colleagues find time to clarify topics for you. You need to be simple patient. Your colleagues also have their tasks, most of the cases with a due date, that’s their first prio. You can be sure, they will support you as soon as they can find time.

Pay attention on what your colleagues are doing

You can also use the time, until you are waiting. You can also learn a lot without blocking your colleagues. Simple keep an eye on them and try to understand what and how they are doing. You can also check their commits in the version control system, check what was their task and how they solved it. You can also check what kind of meeting are they attending and what is the scope of these meetings. So that you can learn really a lot without blocking others.

Collect keywords and google them

At the beginning for sure you will hear a lot of keywords, technologies which you have never heard before. If you hear such a keyword just take a not and later if you have free time google it and try to understand what is it about. If it is still not 100% clear you can of course ask someone, but then you can already ask more directed questions. It makes a much better impression. So instead of “but what does MVP stand for?” you can just ask that “I’ve heard that you are using the MVP pattern in your architecture, could you please clarify how is the presenter layer working?”. Sound much better, right? You can reach this point after 10 minutes on Google.

Collect a list of questions

Do not block your colleagues with each and every question. First try to collect a list a questions, make sure that the one has some time for you and go through on all questions in the same time. Take notes about the answers. It is much more effective, than just asking something in every 10 minutes. And it is also much more effective than “please tell me everything about your project”.

Be patient at working on boring tasks

Most likely at the beginning you will get some boring tasks. Do your best on them and so that you can get much better tasks soon. If you are not achieving the boring tasks with good results you will never get more interesting tasks.

Communicate your issues

Let always your team mates, mentor and manager know what are your current issues. For example if you are blocked, because you don’t have access to the code, don’t just sit and wait, but let your manager know that you have this issue and it blocks you at work.

Build connections

For building your career it is really important to know the right people at the company. During your first weeks try to get know as much of your colleagues as possible. The best way if you are doing some short talks in the kitchen, during lunch and so on. Always try to figure out who is the person, what is their role at the company and for which project are their working for. You can also take later on some short notes (but don’t do it during the discussion!).

Do regular feedback to your managers

That’s normal that at the beginning you don’t know your managers, so that you also don’t know their exact expectations. It is a good practice to ask them for a feedback regularly (maybe once a month) in the first period. So that you will be able to see if you are working in the right way or not.

Be hard working

In the first month do really your maximum, to make a good impression.

+1. Pay attention on work-life balance

This is a special point and it is maybe does not really stand for the first months. I just realized that there are a lot of workaholic developers, especially young ones at their first job. This means the one would like to fulfill all the expectations. That’s why he is working a lot, does regular over hours. So that their manager will give them more and more tasks, so they are working more again. And they are starting to cancel or shift their private programs, choosing to work in the evening instead of meeting with their friends and so on. This kind of working style is leading easily to a burn out, so try to avoid it! On the other hand it is also not always the right way to build up a good career. You will considered as the guy, who is overtaking every shitty task and not as the guy who can achieve every difficult task. And it makes a really big difference. Always set up the priorities of your life and keep them always in front of your eyes.

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