Your First 30 Days
How to think about impact your first 30 days in a new job.
I was chatting with Diego Prats, the product manager for Dfinity, and we started talking about how new hires can make an impact when joining a new team. His perspective on the topic was so refreshing that I thought I'd share.
Diego's philosophy is that within the first 30 days of starting a new job, you, the new hire, should try to capture as many public wins as possible. It's only through these quick wins that you will earn enough trust, credibility, and team buy-in to start tackling long-term problems.
From Diego's perspective, when new people join a company, they often fall into the trap of wanting to tackle big problems within the organization. Sometimes the motivation to solve a big problem is insatiable; other times, a person may choose to do it to make a name. Either way, Diego suggests you do not do that. Instead, it's better to ask, "What can I do to earn wins within one week?"
Even something as simple as helping another developer with his JSON can help to build credibility fast.
In Diego's words, "I've seen great ideas fall flat when you do not have flow or trust. If I can solve a B-level problem in a week, that can be more impactful than solving an A+ problem in six months."
As I begin developing working on a new project, I've started asking myself daily,
"What can I accomplish in one day? What can I accomplish in one week? What about one month? How about one quarter? Ok, now what can I do in one year?
After spending a few minutes on these questions, I then jot my ideas down, organize them by their respective time horizons (1D, 1W, 1M, 1Q, 1Y), then start tackling way.
The outcomes are impressive.
Firstly, one-day problems are great for building confidence or boosting team morale. For example, one day, I took the time to update the
<meta tags> on this content blog. The task was simple, yet the long-term SEO impact has significant.
Another one-day problem I took care of was updating the icons within an iOS Xcode project. With tools like IconKit, the task is straightforward, yet it's just cumbersome enough that most developers won't do it until the 11th hour. This is Stackoverflow entry (and screenshot below) shows how painful it is to update the icons.
I dislike most about XCode because there are no pixel dimensions to guide you towards finding the right match. It's excruciating.
Little wins lead to big wins. Thank you, Diego!
As I continue exploring Diego's viewpoint, I plan to update this blog entry with a list of ideas. If you have any ideas to contribute, please paste them below in the comments section.
1 Day Wins
- Merge and delete new branches within a Git repo.
- Gather all of the company's brand assets into a single folder and share it with the org. This will ensure that everyone ranging from a React Developer to Biz Dev uses the correct Logo, Color Palletes, Stock Photography, etc.
1 Week Wins
- Implement a resource tagging strategy so that your org can better manage cloud costs as the utilization of cloud services grows (AWS Example).
- Create a comparison chart between different observability frameworks to measure the performance of your serverless lambda functions. Create a presentation and share it with your team. Here are a few services I know of: Dashbird, New Relic, Splunk, Sumo Logic, Honeycomb, Thundra, DataDog.
1 Month Wins
- Create, refine, and share your on-call playbook, 2, with new developers to study as part of their onboarding process.
- Evaluate or validate an idea by crafting an online survey and distributing it through SurveyMonkey.
1 Quarter Wins
- Transition your existing cloud stack to better leverage Ansible and Terraform.