Starting a new job is always a troubling and stressful time. You are learning all the new processes; being bombarded with meetings, on-boarding well new information from every direction; and you are trying to get to know everyone, it really is a busy and stressful time and then you factor in working remotely and everything just feels so much more difficult.
Now of course in software development working remotely is nothing new and many people do it full time, that is great and if people enjoy doing it that way then all the more power to them. For me, however working remotely has always been a bit against the way I enjoy doing work, I have worked remotely from time to time over the past few years as and when required and it is generally fine for a day or two but to have months of it is another thing and something that I still struggle with. Don't get me wrong however working from home does have advantages and I often feel that I can be more productive on my work when locked away from the rest of a busy office environment and that is all good when you know what you need to do and everything is working out just fine, I often find the bigger problems come when you are stuck or need some other collaboration.
Of course we live in a highly connected world and all the companies use different remote workspaces such as Slack or Teams and they are great and do help with a lot of things, they however don't make it easy if the person on the other end you are trying to talk to it away or busy with a mountain of other things. I still think there is no better way to collaborate than to be able to just poke the person in the office and get them to sit with you and look over something, this helps everyone and is pretty fast and efficient.
I sadly didn't have much choice in the matter this time I had originally hoped I could look later in the year for a new job but other matters such as the implosion of the company and everything being closed down force me to move much quicker than I would have initially liked. Luckily, I was able to connect with many companies and recruiters and before the month was out I got in some offers and started on a pretty nice salary increase with a pretty interesting bunch of people. I am fortunate that I work in an industry that although impacted by this isn't really slowing in many areas and remote work is kinda part of the deal in many cases so generally it isn't too far outside the norm really.
Starting a new job however is a bit of a challenge everything is done online and when you running into a raft of issues the lack of physical contact really makes it much more challanging to get to the right people as you are still figuring out who the right people are! What makes it a bit more challanging from my side is that half the business is in Sweden so no only is everyone remote half are in a completely different timezone!
I have now been working here for about three weeks although slightly less due to public holidays and such which means I am still getting my bearings a bit. I have already started to contribute to the project and this is something I am pretty happy with in myself as I can see that just after a day I was able to dive into the project and start getting things done, of course asking a lot of questions but overall figuring it out and it has been challanging, enjoyable, and of course frustrating. Starting new in a huge project is always difficult and I dislike how little I know about everything, especially after being at Hooq for almost two years I had a really good understanding of our project and could add new features rapidly, now it is all slowed down as technologies are different, stack is totally different and the workflow is rather, well... different.
The start of any job is always hard to figure out how to benchmark yourself, you look around at what others are doing, some are moving fairly fast others take up smaller areas, generally I enjoy learning and love exploring new things so that always helps, I am a believer in taking the hard route when it makes sense as you learn so much more and I feel I am being more familiar with this monolith of a project.
It is still early days for me here and everything is new exciting and teriffying, luckily the company and people are great! We have a busy few months ahead and hope to be in the office next month, will see how I end up fitting in and being an ever bigger presence in the company.