A user guide to working with me

Posted on Sunday, December 16th, 2018

I recently started as a frontend developer at Energieloft (a cool startup in the Aachen area with the really neat mission of enabling networking among companies to create innovative products) and I thought this could be a good occasion to write down something like a user guide to working with me.

I got the idea about this user guide from these posts by Cassie Robinson and Pete Vowles, which should be credited.

The most important thing about me

Let me introduce this user guide by saying the most important thingfirst: I really like pragmatic and constructive discussion, so whatever the problem is, let's just discuss it with an open mind. It's easy for me to change my mind if the other idea has merits, I am attached to my beliefs as long as I think they have value; I value the success of my team over my own views, every time.

What makes me happy

  • Attention to detail.
  • Caring for the users.
  • Caring for my colleagues.
  • Good, obvious, common sense choices.
  • Documentation
  • Simple and pragmatic solutions.
  • Enthusiastic people.
  • Winning (personally and as a team).
  • Improvement.
  • Sharing knowledge without being smug about it.

What makes me sad

  • Lack of responsibility.
  • Lack of empathy for the colleagues.
  • Lack of care for the product.
  • Lack of empathy for the user.
  • Lack of direction.
  • Boredom.
  • Inconsistencies.
  • Blaming.

What I need

  • I need time to think. I am often not useful in situations where fast response time is needed and immediate answers are required. I generally cannot come up with immediate answers that are also good, unless I am really confident with the topic (which means I had time to think about it, by the way). I will usually come up with a good idea an hour, or a day, later.
  • I am very bad with remembering names, a picture in your chat profile helps greatly.
  • To understand the direction the company is moving, and why.
  • Understanding what others are working on, to get the full picture.
  • Feedback especially when I do something that hurts other people's feelings. Technical feedback is also great, with examples it's even better.

Contacting each other

  • I don't check my email more than 2 or 3 times a day. If something is really urgent, chat me or just tell me.
  • My favourite communication method is chat, since I am a bit of an introvert. This for some reason does not apply to technical matters though, as I am always up to discuss those in person.

What are my quirks

  • Oftentimes I like to go for a long walk instead of being social and having lunch with colleagues. I still love you all despite this.
  • I hate unfinished business. I would rarely leave a problem hanging without a solution, I can't find peace until it is solved or at least until I know which direction to go.
  • I love creating technical documentation for processes.
  • I don't have a very good memory (that's why I write documentation and notes for stuff) and I always need to look up things. I'm a good Googler.
  • I love sugary things, but I have diabetes (well managed and dealt with through tablet medications, but still) so try not to feed me too much sugar, and if you see me eating sugar too often please stop me, sometimes I get stuck in a sugary loop.

What are my working hours

  • From 8.30 to 17.30 generally. Usually I keep thinking about work-related problems when I am not in the office, so that I am ready to put my ideas into practice the following day. However I will generally not check and answer emails outside those hours. If there is any urgency, please send me a chat or SMS message.
  • When I work from home, I also work between 8.30 and 17.30, with lunch break around 13.

A few more words

I hope all of the above makes sense, and that it was a good idea writing it all down. I will try to update it as things inevitably change and evolve. Hopefully this will make it easier for my colleagues to understand me, I surely wrote it with the best of intentions and a open mind and heart.

Photo by Rafa Prada on Unsplash