I started writing on this blogpost a while back, after my first day at Greenbyte. However, a lot happened, and I was unable to find the time or energy to finish the post. I’ll save the pandemic details for another post, but for the last 5 weeks we’ve been working from home, my SO and I, while entertaining a 16-month-old (due to allergies he can’t go to kindergarten as the symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms). But, let’s rewind, and go back to my first day.
I can’t believe it had been 4.5 years since I started at Konstrukt as a backend dev. When I started it was meant to be temporary, just to help with a migration to Azure and refactoring the system from an on-prem system to a multitenancy system. I describe that journey in detail in this long Channel 9 interview/ mini doc:
Many years later, and many lines of code and tests- I was still there. It has been a fun and wonderful journey that I’ve shared with you on my blog, Twitter, conference sessions and even written about in my book on migrating to ASP.NET Core. Nonetheless, here we are. I quit late last year after realizing that I miss working in larger teams after our team had scaled back as the product matured. I had spent half a year looking for something that felt right and found Greenbyte- a platform for renewable energy analysis, optimization and more. After many interviews and an assignment, I accepted an offer and spent the last three months at Konstrukt documenting and preparing a good handover for my colleagues at Konstrukt. 10th of February was my first day at Greenbyte.
I remember being nervous, regardless of experience and confidence, I always get nervous in situations like that. The night had been rough, baby Loke was sick, and my partner was at home taking care of him. I had received an email welcoming me the week before, with a link where I filled in some information about myself (dietary preferences, emergency contact etc.) and was introduced to my team. I had already met them, but it was nice with a reminder. My day was to start with an introduction today at 9 AM by one of the leads. At the desk there was a ‘Welcome Iris!’ note with login details, my new laptop, hoodie and a few goodies, and my email contained a checkbox list for setting up my environment and accounts, in addition to some links to our documentation site.
I got a tour of the office and got back to my desk and started installing the software I needed. I had an email with a checklist, and while I went through the points I asked one of my colleagues if I could get an introduction to the system (code perspective) and I asked questions regarding our practices and conventions, branching strategy, versioning, testing and deploys. Daniel, my on-boarding colleague, answered my questions patiently and gave me a detailed walk-through of the system.
Screenshots from our demo site- we love data <3
The team had lunch together and we talked about some upcoming features/rewrites (performance stuff and AWS) and I could ask more questions and get a better understanding for some of the more complex problems the team is facing. The day continued with a couple more info meetings and some time in between that I spent setting up my accounts and suddenly it was past 5PM, my head was metaphorically fried, and I was ready to head home.
I remember being really impressed with how well planned and organized my start had been, without it feeling overwhelming on the first day. I had already met most of the people at the office on several occasions (including a big Christmas party), and there was no awkwardness and I felt right at home.
Honestly, I did get overwhelmed a few days later as the days were intense compared to my previous laze fair workplace (that consisted of a small and mostly remote team with fewer moving pieces). The days consisted of walk throughs, introductions and mob programming to get me up to speed with the system and its inner workings. I’m not going to lie; I was very tired. I had frequent talks with my team lead (he checked in on me on several occasions) and I made sure to share how I felt and ask for breaks, and some time to just read and learn on my own. Greenbyte has the best rest/meditation room I’ve had at a workplace (Swedish law requires companies over certain size to provide a rest room) and I made sure to use it to relax and recover and let my introvert self recharge my batteries.
After 2 weeks things settled a bit. I got into a better flow and felt more relaxed as I got to know my team better- Ben, Tudor, Daniel and Mats, and found a workout buddy for my lunch workouts. I started alternating running and biking to work and bonded with my team over the fact that apparently everybody in my team, like me, uses meal replacement (Queal, Huel etc) for lunch.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of ‘normal weeks’ before COVID-19 hit this corner of the world. At the time of writing it has been two months, and a lot has changed due to the pandemic. Greenbyte has handled the change well, and we have had a smooth transition to remote work that I will share with you later (this week). It has been an eventful year so far, and it was scary, but totally worth it, to leave a place I thrived for so long. It was the right decision, and Konstrukt is doing great. After all, my best friend Jonas and good friends Anders and Johan are there and know how to keep things moving and growing. For me, it was time to move on.