Four Things You Should Do When Starting a New (Dev) Job

Your first 30 days with a company can be nerve-wracking. Your boss is watching your performance, trying to decide if he made the right choice. Your co-workers are trying to learn if you’re going to be a helpful member of the team or just dead weight.

All that scrutiny gives you a golden opportunity to make a great impression.

Here’s four ways to make sure they’ll be glad to have you on board:

1) Go in Early

I know a lot of developers are night owls, but for the first 30 days, you should make an exception. Come in earlier than you normally would, but stay as late as everyone else does. You’ll show everyone you’re serious about the job, and aren’t afraid of work.

Even if you shift your schedule back to a normal one after the first 30 days, you’ve gone a long way to reassure your colleagues that you’re here to help them out.

2) Update Documentation

Was the system setup process well documented? If not, fix it. If documentation doesn’t exist yet for something you’re supposed to learn, create it. Your boss will notice, and you’ll be helping future employees get up and running faster.

3) Ask Questions

It’s one thing to learn how a company does things. It’s better to learn why they do them the way they do.

Look for areas where they don’t have any reason to back up how they’re doing something. If you can find a better way of doing it, pitch it to your boss. You’ll show him you care about the quality of your code, and you won’t have to step on anyone’s toes.

4) Stay Calm

You’re learning a lot of new things, and trying to stay productive at the same time. Don’t rush yourself. Most employers don’t expect their employees to start seriously contributing until they’ve put in 90 days. You’re going to be slower than normal, but that’s ok. Take the time to really learn all the nooks and crannies of the system you’ll be working in now, so you can contribute more later.

Ron Toland @mindbat