Tuesday, July 14th, day one – I jumped in my car and set off to Liverpool. The drive to Liverpool normally takes roughly 45 minutes, but thanks to a late start I only had to be in for 10:30 so I was able to skip all the traffic. After a hectic 15 minutes of trying to find reasonably priced parking around Liverpool Baltic Triangle, I strolled over to the office and was greeted by Dave and John (everyone else was working from home), then asked to take a seat where I was introduced to Ethan. Like me Ethan had just graduated university and was starting his first developer job. Whilst waiting, me and Ethan took the time to get to know each other and found that we had a lot of similar interests and hobbies. This started a good working relationship and really helped ease my first-day nerves.

The rest of the first week we spent setting up our development environments and looking into documentation for the projects that Damibu work on. As the end of the week came the rest of the team came into the office to have a meeting and this was the first time Ethan and I had met the rest of the team face-to-face. They were all friendly and as a team, we decided that everyone can return to the office and stop working from home.

Once everyone came back, Ethan and I started on our first project. The project was a testing framework for internal use. We started it by sitting down at the meeting table and going over the tasks we thought would be needed. After discussing, we found an efficient split which worked perfectly to our strengths. I would deal with the frontend of the testing framework and Ethan would handle the backend.

At times we would both pair program, help each other and both of our strengths really complemented each other. Luckily if we came across something we both got stuck on, we had Dave’s helping hand to guide us in the right direction. During this project, I didn’t once feel overwhelmed or pressured and really enjoyed the time working with Ethan.

After finishing up the frontend on the testing framework I moved on to working on Damibu Feeds. Here I worked on the site to use a more static layout and refactored some outdated components. I also created a couple of new components for some upcoming features. I really enjoyed working on Feeds as the concept of the project is interesting and the site has a lot of different components to work on.

Later on in the year, the UK got hit with another wave of COVID-19 infections which led to another national lockdown. Dave thought it would be safest for all of us to work from home so I helped Ethan get some of his office equipment home not knowing that would be the last time I physically saw him.

As the lockdown went on I was moved from project to project. This is one of the benefits at working at Damibu: there are multiple projects we develop and I’m always moving from one to another. So far I’ve worked on more than five different projects all with their own technological challenges. This keeps things fresh and gives me plenty of opportunities to learn new things.

Though working at home was a little on the lonely side, it had its positives like no more commutes to and from work; no more super early mornings to get ready; peace and quiet from the bustling life of the city – our office is currently right next to a construction site, though you can’t really hear it in the office. Coming from doing my last year of university from home I was already quite adapt to working from home so this wasn’t anything new to me and I must say it suits me quite well though I do miss the office atmosphere.

As winter approached and the holidays were upon us Damibu arranged a nice virtual get together over a Zoom call. Dave had arranged for us to have a little dinner banquet delivered to each of use and some alcoholic beverages to accompany it. We had lunch and then for the rest of the day we played a fun quiz and had a good laugh together. It was really nice to see everyone and I really enjoyed the afternoon.

As far as first graduate job opportunities go I must say that I’ve really enjoyed the last 6 months and have felt really welcomed into the Damibu team. I’m excited to see what the next year brings, be it at home or in the office.

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