Last week I started as a Frontend Engineer at WeTransfer. That made me think. What should I do in my first week? I remember slightly what I did on my first week at my previous jobs and I remember it took some time for me to feel comfortable around everything. I wanted that to shortens and start contributing right away but, it didn't happen and here it is why I think that is ok.
There are tons of information to gather in the first couple of days about everything you need to know. I noticed it was not in detail but it was a lot. That is good enough because the idea of this kind of onboarding has to be to know who to ask or where to look. Still, there were a couple of meetings that made it good.
You need to get to know the people you are going to work with. Every day I had a chat with a new colleague and got to know a little bit about the company as well. In my head, 20-30 mins were gonna be enough but I was wrong and I had to adjust it later on.
These were casual conversations where I was mostly interested in the persona rather than the company. We didn't have a "problem"/"issue" to talk about so it's quite common to de-rail from whatever we were talking about. It was fun, I enjoyed it and I think I can easily talk back to them when needed.
Information overload is what I had. I was reading and reading docs because there is so much useful and relevant information (at least that's what I thought). When you don't know anything about something, everything seems important and although I had really good guidelines still the guideline was broad enough I had to decide for myself: Thing that I failed.
In an ideal world, you would open your laptop and start working on the feature/fix/app that you should right away. In the real world that was never the case for me, setting up environments is something that happens regularly and I wish went smoothly with what I had but it was not the case. I had the development environment by the end of the week but it was already too late for anything else.
Overall, I was quite happy with the onboarding and how the first week went. We are getting to know each other with the team and we are in the phase of assessing how we are gonna work together. I am looking forward to what is coming and discover which are the challenges I can contribute to solving.