How I learned to join an engineering team that is larger than my previous team

Going from lone-coder to team player can be a struggle. I kept — and continue to — keep these things in mind:

  • Working with people is different than working by yourself.
  • Cultural and engineering influence grows with time. Be slow to speak and quick to listen while gaining context for both the code and the people.
  • The best way is not always your way. It’s the way that solves the problem and cultivates a culture of joy and productivity, for everyone, not just you.
  • Aim to understand as much of the why before recommending that things should change.
  • Every team already has a process. It could be good or bad. It could be documented or assumed. Learn that process before recommending change.
  • The team’s current process is not only influenced by the product and the technology, but also the people and their time. Get to know the people and work around them. Don’t make them work around you.
  • Be ok with losing the battles. Aim for what’s right, not for being right.
  • Technology isn’t the answer to every pain you feel while coding.

There are many more, but these are the things that I struggle with the most. Hopefully they can be helpful to you.

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