After nearly 7 years of full-time employment with IFCJ (and five years prior to that of part-time consulting work), I have chosen to move to other opportunities and challenges. This presented itself in the form of an offer from BlueBolt Solutions to join their team as a Senior Solutions Architect. My primary duties will consist of being a technical lead across several projects of varying size, architecting and scaffolding solutions, work with the project managers to ensure timely delivery of the completed project, and mentor junior/mid-level developers as they work on the project.
Day One - Initialization
As I expected, the first day was all about setting up my environment - getting applications installed, accounts initialized, paperwork completed. It has been quite a long time since I have built a work setup from scratch, so I fully expect to have forgotten tools that I used regularly. A (non-exhaustive) list of what I have already put in place:
- Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Ubuntu
- Visual Studio Code, including changing the default terminal to Bash and getting the environment set-up to run Bundler and Jekyll (for writing these posts).
- Visual Studio 2019 Professional
- Edge (Insiders, Chromium)
- LastPass + Browser extensions
- Microsoft Office Products
- Node.js (for future React projects)
Day Two - 8:00 Is Early?
I arrived at the building today at 8:00, only to find that it was locked! Thankfully, a deliver driver and an employee of another office in the building were both walking in just before me, and so I was able to walk in behind them. I’ll have to find out when the building opens up, and how I can get access before then. Additionally, when I came up to the office, the lights were on and the door was unlocked, but there was no one inside. It’s definitely a big change from IFCJ, where people started rolling in at 7:00, and the office was in full business mode by 8:00. I also need to get a key to the office and find out the feasibility of me starting work at 7:00. Will there be awkward moments when I’m leaving at 4:00? I’m sure it’ll all work itself out.
Later in the day, I joked about being all alone in the office. I was given a set of keys, today - which is great. I can now come whenever I need to. I think I’m going to end up really appreciating the quiet in the morning - a chance to really get some dedicated work done.
Day Three, Four, Five - Getting Rolling
It turns out that there are about two other people who roll in before 8:30 - both of which seem to really like keeping a quiet, productive first hour or two. Which works out perfectly for me.
This first project, which fairly straight-forward, has its own set of challenges just getting up to speed. BlueBolt doesn’t really have a formal structure for how projects, work items, branch policies, etc., are configured in Accelo or in Azure DevOps; however, this grants me incredible freedom to template the workflow how I would like it. Especially since the developer that will be doing the work is fresh to the company, there are no preexisting biases that I have to accomodate.
I’m going to keep detailed notes on what I created that worked out well and what needs tweaking for the next project. My long-term hope is to be able to get all of the Architects to converge on a very similar style of rules and structure in Azure DevOps, making it easier for developers to transition between teams.