Friday May 7, 2004

New Job, First Week

I survived my first week (four days, 34.5 hours) at the new job. I hate the first week of a new job. There's often nothing, really, to do. Exploring and familiarizing only takes so long and gets old rather quickly.

Tuesday morning was a brief orientation with email addresses for IT support. By Tuesday noon I had a computer. Tuesday afternoon I was introduced to an engineer who gave me some specs to look over. Wednesday I read through more specs, wandered the internal web site, found the beta draft of the next version of the Users Guide, read some more.

Thursday was the weekly company lunch,. This was held in the basement, in an unfinished room about 20 by 40', with a linoleum floor, sheetrock walls, and a 20' bare concrete ceiling with ducts. Let me rephrase that — there is no acoustic dampening anywhere in this room. Can you say Reverberation? Now imagine the same room with 150 people, sitting at folding tables, all talking and eating cheap pizza. At least half of the tables are made of hard, reflective, glass and steel. Now, can you say LOUD? (What? I didn't hear what you said.)

This being a meeting, as well as a weekly lunch, there were a few announcements made by the company CEO. He got the attention of the people in the room by slamming a teflon cutting board onto a counter. Wham! That works. The announcements were followed by introductions of new employees (4) and contractors (3). "Hi, I'm Vicki. I'll be working with Lonyhn on internal documentation."

Later that afternoon I was introduced to the Technical Publications department (i.e. the keepr/writer of the User Guide). He'd like some help with the current rev of the user docs (guide and release notes) for the upcoming release. We chatted. Perhaps I'll see him again next week.

Friday morning I succumbed to the smell of onion bagels drifting down the hall from the lunch room. Ooooh. Yum. There went my carbohydrate quota for most of the week. Like many companies, especially smaller ones, this one has a lot of food available on a daily basis. I also had a third of a ham & cheese croissant on Tuesday (but stayed away from the crumb cake and the rest of the pastries). I also managed to ignore the sushi (for a meeting?) on Tuesday, the donuts on Wednesday, and the leftover Mediterranean food from a Friday meeting. I didn't eat any pizza at Thursday's lunch either (no hardship there, as I'm very picky about pizza).

Bagel in hand, I cruised the internal web site some more. I kept abreast of a couple of email threads going through the development group. I was greatly impressed when a CVS problem mentioned first on Thursday afternoon ("we really need to move to the new server") was scheduled by end of day to be addressed at 11:00 am Friday. Neither IT nor Engineering wasted any time noodling about with endless discussions or asking for approval from many people. They saw a problem and solved it.

On Friday, I realized that I should probably have access to the source tree, checked and discovered I didn't, fired off a note to my client/manager who agreed to request said access from IT. So, perhaps on Monday, I can explore the code tree.

I also printed out the most recent changes to the User Guide. Then, just for grins, I printed the entire "Introduction chapter and did a quick review pass, to give the writer a better idea of how I work. If he wants to run screaming in the other direction, we should find out sooner rather than later :-) Then I started working through all of the updates and additions for the next release. That gave me something to do until it was time to leave and... home I went.

First week down.

New Job, First Week ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Fri, 07 May, 22:02 Pacific | «e»