First week on the job

11 Mar 2018

So, how do you set yourself up for success on the first week of the job?

1) Prepare

After you’ve signed the offer and all, email your manager to convey your enthusiasm in joining the team and at the same time, express your interest to read up beforehand in preparation for the job. Cite 3 topics they brought up during the interview, and ask if it is appropriate that you focus on those topics.

Likely your boss will reply confirming those 3 topics or suggesting another 3, and from there, read and prepare before your first day at work!

2) Set up

How does a carpenter build something without his tools? The answer is, he can’t. What are your tools that you require? For me, it was VisualStudioCode (VSC) for coding, Anaconda for Python, RStudio for R, and Github for Git.

The first couple of days were quite painful setting up with the installation taking quite a while (no admin rights = IT team has to do the installation for you instead). What do you do in the meantime? Read up about the business - if your boss has provided you with materials, great; otherwise, ask, if not (as a last resort), google.

3) Learn

Even though I come in with the expectation to code in Python, the team’s been using R so honestly, I need to pick up R as well. All their earlier scripts have been in R, so to actually understand what’s going on, you gotta read it. Not to mention, if anything needs to be changed, you’re not going to re-write everything in python, you’re going to change it in R.

Also, there’ll be a lot of systems to learn, depending on what the team currently uses. I have to pick up JIRA (a project management software).

Oh, and remember I said I use VSC? well, they don’t LOL (they use spyder) so be prepare to learn how to use new IDEs.

And the most painful bit - switching from Mac to Windows… like, I only know bash. How can I use the windows command line??? so far installing Git Bash and using the Anaconda Prompt have been keeping me alive…

I guess I’ll begin to have proper work starting next week, so we’ll see how I survive… fingers crossed!!

in any case, i am already very thankful for my patient boss who has been putting up with my lame questions…gulps.

good luck to everyone who is starting work!!

the thing about life is, even though your problems seem so big, take a step back and be aware of everyone else around you - sometimes you’ll come to realise how fortunate you already are! i don’t mean to settle, but just to keep in mind this realisation.

like, even though my software took a long time to install, i spoke to my friend and she can’t even install Chrome on her computer! that’s crazy. we spoke to another friend, and he can’t even access internet on his computer… insane lol.

i’ll keep a positive mindset and tackle my own problems LOL