To say that my first six months at Damibu were a little unorthodox is a bit of an understatement. Joining a new company during a global pandemic certainly has its challenges, not least finding a suitable Zoom background when you don’t own a fancy bookcase. Whilst the rest of the UK were learning how to do PCR tests, I was learning about regression tests; concerned about computer viruses as well as coronavirus and finding out that planning a sprint doesn’t always mean keeping up with your couch to 5k.

My first week went by in a bit of a blur. Most of my time was spent catching up with the projects everyone was working on and getting myself more familiar with my new job role. On my first day (after a frantic morning of setting up all of my computer gear), to put names to faces we all jumped on a video call to introduce ourselves. Everyone assured me they were only a message away if I needed a hand and after a couple of jokes and icebreakers my mind was more at ease. The silence after that call finished was strange – usually when starting at a new place you shadow someone and get to watch what they’re doing to learn but starting from home meant a new level of independence from day one.

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Still, starting a new job from home does have its benefits – you always know who your first aider is, where to go in case of a fire and there’s no awkward question of “where do I go for lunch?” Everyone was true to their word and happy to answer any questions I had and by week two I had more confidence to add my input to the newest project and the company’s main focus, Damibu Feeds.

 Dave and John kept up to date with me, making sure I was adjusting well and staying on track and alongside working on digital flyers I started to do some coding courses to boost my skills. My one-month review happened in person when we went for lunch, and it was a great informal chat about how I was doing and what I wanted to work on improving in the next few months.

The move back into the office brought a new set of exciting challenges and the chance to work with people in person. Turning up 40 minutes early for the first day when you don’t have any keys isn’t the best idea, but it wasn’t long until help arrived, and I finally got to see the infamous office I’d heard so much about.

No longer working remotely, it was an opportunity to find out everyone’s working styles in person and how we all worked together as a team – especially when finding compromises to windows open or closed debates and whose turn it was to hoover. Brainstorms became a regular thing, listening to tech talk as background noise was a daily occurrence and being able to walk over to someone and ask a question was a luxury I would never take for granted again. As soon as we were able, we had a team lunch so I could introduce myself properly to everyone and finally see what food the Baltic had to offer.

Since starting at Damibu I have learned so much, from HTML to pulling before you push (no, not doors) and now have opinions on topics I never thought I would (for the record – Edge isn’t *as* bad as I was led to believe, but Chrome will always win). The team are amazing to work with and have made me feel very welcome since I started. I can’t wait to see the good that the company will continue to do.

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