My First Fortnight in the Technical AcademyPosted by Paul Shannon on October 4th, 2012 – 1 Comment
I have joined 7digital as part of the Technical Academy about two weeks ago and I started working in the API team. This is an appropriate stage to write down my first impressions here.
Setting up my work machine was not always straightforward, mostly with regards to networking and graphics. This is probably because I am working from a laptop, unlike most other Devs who work on desktops. I have made notes on the issues I encountered and will post them on the internal wiki so that new starters don’t have to go through the same difficulties I did. This would be in the spirit of continuous improvement at 7digital.
The main difference between the Technical Academy and a normal junior software development role is the inclusion of classroom sessions on the tools (such as C# and ReSharper) and development methods (such as TDD and Kanban) used at 7digital. The best point with these classes is how they are always relevant to the work performed. For example the class introducing mocking happened just after my pair programming partner of the day used it in code we were working on.
Open to different solutions and helpful environment
The team I got assigned to just started making a new internal website. We started to build it using a web framework none of us were very familiar with but was used by some other teams. Unfortunately it proved too difficult to use so we restarted with more familiar technology. Currently I feel like I have gotten up to speed with this project. This is due to the helpfulness of more senior members and the solid tests present in the codebase which allow us to easily verify changes. Through the rotation of pair programming doubles, I find it interesting to see the small differences in the way people code with the two invariants being rigorous TDD and willingness to help.
In another project my team released, we didn’t perform testing as thoroughly as we should have. This broke some of our client’s apps and required a late night rollback. Most of the following day my team worked a retrospective of the rollback. This retrospective involved finding out what caused the issues leading to the rollback and how similar issues could be avoided in the future. I found it great that the focus was on problem solving and improvement and not shifting blame.
The general workplace atmosphere is important and in that aspect 7digital does very well. Everyone is friendly and approachable and most interactions are informal. Furthermore the pace is set to be sustainable so working long hours is discouraged (but it doesn’t mean we don’t work hard).