What to expect in your first week as a developer at Aftenposten?
Your first week at a new job is always going to be a mix of things: excitement, chaos, information overload. At a big company like Schibsted, you’re going to meet many new faces, and probably forget half of them, and that’s okay. There’s going to be acronyms to memorize and organizational charts that not even current employees are aware of.
Let’s take a look at some of the solutions we take to prevent this being a problem
It can often be confusing on knowing who or where to ask questions. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking a question in a Slack channel with hundreds of users. Our solution to that is to give you a onboarding buddy who you will spend your first days together with. They’ll help you get your laptop set up, make sure you’re in the relevant channels, provide context to our codebase, and guide you towards your first commit. Depending on your preferred working style, you might spend a lot of time pairing with them. Covid restrictions allowing, they’ll at least show you around the office on your first day and make sure you get a security badge and computer equipment. They’ll also have a checklist of accounts you need access to, like Github and Figma.
Meet and greet
One of your first meetings will be a sync with the rest of the product & tech team to get to know everyone. We’ll prep you beforehand with a presentation where each team member has filled out some fun facts, so that you don’t go into the meeting feeling completely lost. Think of the meet and greet as your time to let people know some more details about you, like your interests or background. Don’t feel too stressed about seeming interesting. It’s known that these meetings can be seem like a lot, and you’ll have plenty of other times to get to know our team, whether it’s over lunch or in the pub. We mostly just want to welcome you to the team and help you get started.
This is a bit specific to a big company, but when you reach the size of Schibsted, there’s organizations within organizations within organizations. Typically as a developer at Aftenposten, you only need to know our own team, our parent organization, and some of the sibling teams. You don’t need to know what’s going on in the data organization, for example. To help you understand this, we’ll probably give you a chart, some reading, and a walkthrough of how we work with other teams. This will usually be done by your buddy, but could also be done by the tech lead/engineering manager/product.
Your first commit
As a developer, your main tools are going to be Github, git, and our tech stack. Your onboarding buddy will find an issue that specifically doesn’t require much additional context or legacy, and pair with you on completing it. You’ll get a working local copy of our repos, you’ll get introduced to our issue tracker, you’ll see our codebase, and you’ll get to know your buddy a bit better. Nobody expects you to know independently how to start working on features, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s no such thing as too many questions.
Your onboarding buddy will provide you with a bunch of documents and links to read, to get some background information. Don’t be afraid to take out a few hours just to read them and come back with questions. Also don’t be afraid to skim them and return to them later in the process: but be sure to refer back to them when you have a question. And if you find that something is missing, add it! Our onboarding documentation is now yours too, so if something’s wrong, double check with your buddy then make the relevant changes.
Meetings and social events
We’ll try to include you in our weekly routine, even before you get your laptop setup. So you’ll join our sync meetings on Mondays, you’ll join our daily coffee chat calls, and we’ll invite you to any workshops we have.
Finally, we’ll also go for beer to welcome you. If you don’t drink beer, Pepsi Max is a solid choice. We might also go for food. There is no pressure here, so just take the time to chat and get to know each other.