Mathieu - A PHP developer's first three months

A little bit about me

Like most Computing students I used Java and PHP. My dissertation was building a simple vehicle maintenance tracking website using different frameworks and benchmarking them (I won’t bore you with that too much). I’ve worked in agency environments for a total of six years - all of them PHP.

Stepping into a role at n-Coders was a little different for me than most other jobs. I’d worked with the company and Mark in a professional capacity previously. I’d seen it go through various points in its development, from moments of important staff turnover to incredibly fast project turnaround.
I was approached by Mark at a point in time that I’d been considering my future and career progression, he hit the nail on the head offering an opportunity for my perfect PHP developer role.

The first month

I settled in quickly. The first day was full of paperwork, setting up my machine and environments, and learning about the clients and processes. The internal support was fantastic. The nerves of a new job probably didn’t help, but it didn’t feel like the smoothest first week. I started working on a project with no prior knowledge, but surprisingly the company agile processes, including peer reviewing, allowed for this to work. The learning curve at this time was rather dramatic. For the rest of the month, I was paired with another developer and able to tackle some larger issues until I’d settled in and was able to utilise the development process in full.

What’s different at n-Coders?

The biggest thing for me is definitely the agile process. I’ve used it before, but not in this way. It’s nothing short of a revelation for my focus and ability to develop properly, although, this can be a difficult thing for some people. The agile environment here - the sprint planning, cards, and the three amigos sessions with clients are really fantastic, helping developers plan their time effectively.
One of the most surprising things was how much of a team the colleagues here are. Frequent lunchtime walks in the nearby Heartlands gardens, company bbqs, and the odd ‘pizza Friday’ thrown in for increased waist measurements, really help to develop the culture (none of which are compulsory by the way), contributing greatly to the team ethos.

What would I change?

For now, truthfully, very little. I’m genuinely enjoying it here (and that’s not just because this is on the company blog).
One of the biggest issues was the onboarding. It was smooth in terms of paperwork and finding my place in the team, but I initially didn’t have a machine, a login, or a chair. Easy problems to fix, but a peculiar experience at the time, and perhaps a test! All said and done, this has been focussed upon and fixed recently. New machines are ready for the newly starting staff, along with all paperwork and a settling process. This in itself is something that shines as an example of how the management team, and the employees, are all working towards making the company a great place to be employee.

I’ve definitely had worse experiences! What are yours?