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Day one as a developer

Day one of the new job: I don’t feel like a real developer yet.

I didn’t write any code today. I did read through a good portion of our documentation; install the development environment on a shared machine (my laptop hasn’t come yet — and actually, getting the shared machine working is a step toward one of the things I want this organization to do, anyway, so it’s good); fill out all but one of my new employee forms; get access to the offices/parking; and add two steps that were missing from the “setup” directions to our docs. But since I had to get help installing the development environment, and since I made a mistake with my commit (forgot to .gitignore some files that the Mac creates), which was caught by my boss, I am feeling less than encouraged, on the development front.

That isn’t to say it was a bad day. I like my coworkers! I learned about a really cool service we just released, which I think will appeal to the librarian crowd. We got the best bagels in town to mark the occasion of my starting and a coworker leaving, plus we all went out for coffee as a goodbye to him. (It’s too bad that he’s going; he’s a fun guy. But he’s got a really cool new job, so good for him!)

Also, I learned why so few people have been on the company’s IRC channel, or their sub-channel for the Dungeons & Dragons game :). They swapped communication channels in the month between when I interviewed and when I started. This place does change well and often. (Another change: the morning stand-up meeting time changed again—luckily, I got that memo.)

Tomorrow I need to track down my boss and find out (negotiate?) what I’m working on, plus learn how to get into my work email. (I’m on all of the mailing lists with my personal email, right now.) I’ve read almost as much of the documentation as I can stand to, without concrete projects to work on and apply what I’m reading.

I know it’s easy to focus on the things we do wrong and not see what we’ve done right. And I know everyone’s lost on their first day of a new job. After five years in the same job, I guess I am out of practice with feeling so lost. :) I feel overwhelmed and outclassed, but I vaguely recall feeling this at UAA, too, and I accomplished a lot there. I’ll get my feet under me soon!

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