Nick Carroll Software Professional

First Month At ThoughtWorks

UPDATE: I no longer work at ThoughtWorks.

I have just completed my first month at ThoughtWorks, a milestone for me that is worth blogging about. The month has gone by so quickly, mostly because I am thoroughly enjoying the work, the people I work with, and the culture that attracts so many people to ThoughtWorks like a moth to a flame. Since top ten lists are in vogue, I will give a list of reasons why I have enjoyed my first month.

  1. Other ThoughtWorkers: I have had the chance to work with some of the most incredible software developers that I have ever met. These guys and gals really know how to thrash a keyboard around when pumping out quality code. It has to be said that working with really talented individuals makes work very enjoyable. Which goes to show that Roy’s social experiment is still going strong after all these years.

  2. Ruby is such a cool programming language and I am so glad that I am working at a company that has completely embraced it. Ruby has been around in the US and Europe for a while, but it is still relatively new in Australia. I am waiting impatiently for the Aussie tech industry to catch up so that I can finally work on a Ruby project.

    Meanwhile I have been ramping up on my Ruby skills, and there is no better place in Australia for learning Ruby. We have some of the best Ruby developers working in Sydney at the new ThoughtWorks Studios, and they open their doors after work each week for us to work on a Ruby project with them.

  3. Agile is certainly an interesting approach to developing software. I have already been thrown head first into a large agile software development project, and I am already hooked on the agile koolaid. Over the weekend our client deployed the first release in time for a public launch of their system. It is the first large scale project that I have worked on, and it was a success right off the bat. The release was completed on-time, on-budget, and with 5 times less defects than any of their previous projects. Being part of a team that produced a result like this certainly made my first month a memorable one.

  4. Open Communication: I have been amazed with how open the lines of communication are within the company. In the first two weeks I had met Martin Fowler our lead scientist, coffee with Bruce the Australian MD, and beers with Roy Singham the founder of the company. They all made themselves available to talk about agile, corporate strategy, and whatever the next big thing might be. I thought it was cool to be able to hang out with these guys. There aren’t many companies out there that have corporate leaders that like to hang out with their employees and have a general interest in them.

  5. Geek Night is just one of many ThoughtWorks events that helps to facilitate knowledge sharing within the company. It is an after work event where developers head back to the ThoughtWorks office for a night of geeking out in front of a computer. We learn a new programming language whilst downing copious amounts of Coke Zero and rice cracker snacks.

  6. Free food: I have put on a couple of kilos since I started work. It has to do with all the lunches and dinners that the company has put on. They keep a fridge stocked with beers, wine, soft drinks and fruit juice. As well as bowls of fruit and cupboards filled with biscuits, chips, and chocolates. Best of all they have a tab going for free coffee at a local cafe!

  7. Consulting Dojo: There is one catch to the free food, on Fridays lunch is provided to attract all the ThoughtWorkers to the office to listen to one of our colleagues present on a consulting related topic. The presentations have been very interesting, and there is always a good turn out. The dojo is another example of knowledge sharing within the company.

  8. Training and book budgets: Each ThoughtWorker is provided with their own personal budget for training and purchasing books. Essentially we are responsible for our own learning and personal development. So we can choose whatever course or conference we want to attend. There is just so much support for our career development.

  9. Brand new Dell Latitude D620: It isn’t a Mac, but I have been very impressed with this piece of hardware. I really like the widescreen display, Intel Core Duo processor, and the feel of the keyboard. It also doesn’t get that hot from extended usage. It is the first Dell I’ve used, and I’m very happy with it.

  10. Mobile phone and home broadband: This is a nice perk, having your company pay for your mobile phone and home broadband bills. I can finally afford ADSL2!

If this list makes you want to quit your job and work for ThoughtWorks, then you should seriously consider it. ThoughtWorks is on a recruiting rampage as we are experiencing tremendous demand for our services. Although you might want to quit your job after you have received an offer of employment as the recruiting process is quite lengthy, and only the best candidates make it through.