My first 8 weeks at Adaptable
I recently joined Adaptable as an engineer – attracted to apply on the back of seeing the great work produced, the latest development technologies/techniques utilised, the amazing benefits on offer and some brilliant recommendations.
This post is a summary of my experiences in what has been a whirlwind first 8-9 weeks at adaptable, from applying through to becoming part of the team.
The interview process
On the back of submitting my CV and sample portfolio, interviewing took place in three stages, beginning with an informal chat with the co-founder Dan. We exchanged questions (of which I was very grateful for his patience as I basically interviewed him with all of my queries) and I instantly got the feeling that this was a well structured, very well organised business.
Following on from this, a second meeting was arranged between myself, Dan and the technical lead. This provided a great opportunity to really get under the bonnet of how the business functions from a technical perspective, and gain an understanding of how the development team currently work and their plans for the future. This was in keeping with the job specification provided and tallied with the great things I’d heard about the business. It’s always great to chat about all things technology and process related and as with the first meeting – this interview overran slightly time wise as a result of this enthusiasm!
The final stage of the process was a video call early one morning with co-founders Dan and Olly to discuss the finer details of what being an Engineer at adaptable will entail, and to confirm I have been fortunate enough to be offered the role! From this point onwards it was an exciting countdown to my starting date – with regular conversations over email to help pre-onboard where possible and offer training courses and materials that may be helpful for me to hit the ground running provided by the technical lead, which I was very grateful for.
The first week
My first day starts slightly later than usual to allow me to have lots of nervous wee’s and find the studio! I am greeted by Project Manager Faye – who fortunately is a familiar face from previously working together – and I am introduced to the team as a whole, although it feels like I already know most of my new colleagues from the video interviews and email exchanges.
The majority of the first day is structured around meeting representatives from the different departments of the business, what they do, how they work, and how we’ll be collaborating closely together going forward. This really helps me to quickly understand how the business functions on a detailed level as well as what a project looks like end-to-end process wise, and the important part I will play in that process on the forthcoming projects. I am then presented with the company handbook, an amazing digital tool which covers absolutely everything about the company from the history of the company through to the tools used within the development department – and everything in between. I can tell from reading this (metaphorically) cover to cover how much time and attention has gone into preparing the handbook and I feel like I really am fully prepared to get stuck in off the back of this.
On my desk is a branded box containing everything I need tools-wise as well as some nice little touches such as a branded drinks flask with my name on it – who doesn’t love merchandise!? Once my machine is set up I pull down some key projects from our code repository to get up to speed with the inner workings of key client projects as well as beginning to get up to speed with patterns and standards followed when building technical solutions. We finished the day by heading to the Indian Brewery for a pint (of lemonade) and some amazing food; having joined on the back of the lockdown ending this was quite a weird but nice experience to be out and about like “normal”!
The rest of my week involves getting up to speed with pre-existing projects, being given small tasks to help support the rest of the development team and get stuck in, before then being briefed about my upcoming first project from the rest of the team assigned to this build.
The first months
The first couple of months are mainly made up of focusing on programmes of work with pre-existing clients and my first assigned project. The development team are brilliant at supporting me with all of my questions around pre-existing client projects, processes and best approaches for my first project, both virtually and in person (as we currently work three days a week remotely). The web project is developed and tested in line with the crystal clear brief, with regular update calls with the client – who are lovely people by the way – and I am happy to say this project is now live; special props to the design team for creating something both beautiful and functional in equal measure, a great showcase for a first project!
Part of the beginning of my journey at adaptable has surrounded internal training – I have been very kindly provided with courses (and allocated learning time) around new development languages and approaches I had shown an interest in learning in the interview process and already I have already learnt so much as a result; the development team also introduced me to their ongoing projects in these languages and I was able to get stuck in adding functionality to a project which is now in production use (with the support of Product Engineer Dan!); this was a proud moment for me, however small the functionality may be versus the amazing work my colleagues have already completed on the project and the practical experience on a project really helped my understanding of this new development language immeasurably.
I have joined adaptable in the midst of their regular internal tools review, and have been able to lend my knowledge and experiences from previous roles to help shape what the future looks like for how we work and the tools we utilise – I really enjoy working on internal development projects as you can see the benefits if brings to both our clients’ projects being futureproofed and the efficiencies/optimisation to workflows it offers to us as a company. This has been my primary focus ahead of the next project kicking off, that and getting involved in the top tier banter on offer of course! The team have made me feel so welcome and it feels like I’ve already been at the company a long time, so I can’t wait for what the future has in store and getting to spend time away from work with my fellow team members at the company’s delayed annual retreat – thanks Covid!
If you’d like to be part of our engineering team, we’re currently hiring.