PML#000: Get ready for the launch

TL;DR - Preparing to start at Postman. My plans for week one, which mostly consist of learning the ropes. Much excitement! πŸ˜ƒ

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Welcome to the first of my Postmanaut Mission Logs, a weekly series that I'll be posting (usually every Friday) to share a bit about my working life at Postman, focusing on my personal challenges and setting myself some goals for the week to come.

I've optimistically gone for three digits in the episode numbering; if I only went for two digits, I'd run out of numbers in under two years, which certainly isn't in keeping with my career plan. Three digits gives me 999 weeks, which is almost twenty years - I'll be nearly sixty by then, and honestly I'm hoping I'll have been able to retire by that point.

This week, I don't have that much to share, as I don't start til Monday, which is why I've opted for calling this "episode zero". While I've had a lot of great communication with the Postman team in the three months since accepting the role, and the job spec gives me a good idea of my general role and responsibilities, my day-to-day is still mostly an unknown.

Each week I plan to share my plans for the upcoming week, as openly as possible, bearing in mind that I might occasionally have to omit or be vague about specifics if I'm working on unannounced features. But for week one, this is going to be very straightforward: because I don't know what I'm going to be working on yet, my goals are all basic onboarding tasks. Hopefully this will allow me to start this series by achieving 100% of my goals for the week!

Why am I doing this? πŸ€”

I've always been a fan of keeping track of my own achievements. It's great for giving myself a sense of accomplishment, and it can come in handy for things like performance reviews (no more "I can't remember what I've done this quarter") and for future job interviews too.

I want to start sharing my personal objectives in public, as I think this will help to keep me focused on achieving those goals, and thereby increase my chance of completing them.

It's something of an experiment, and I reserve the right to give up on the idea completely, or maybe codify it further by aligning it with my personal rewards system. I certainly have ideas which would help to take this to the next level, including possibly building a webapp (or an API!) for storing and retrieving these achievements.

Week 1 Goals βœ…

  1. ⬜ Setup my new MacBook. New recruits are given pretty much free reign over selecting their choice of kit, and having already recently bought a high-spec Dell XPS 17 laptop for my personal use, it made sense to pair this with a Postman-provided MacBook for my day-to-day development work. It arrived nice and early, and is currently waiting for me to unbox it - there's no chance that I'll be able to wait until Monday.

  2. ⬜ Get to know my new colleagues. Difficult to measure, but this boils down to general onboarding protocols: meeting my manager, fellow testers, HR folks and maybe more besides. Learning more about them, and helping them to learn more about me; my communications readme should come in handy here.

  3. ⬜ Update all of my socials/profiles to reflect new status. I'm so excited to formally announce my job change that I'll probably have already done this by the time I press publish on this article! It's a little more complicated than a find/replace of company name; I'll certainly want to write more on LinkedIn about my excitement. If you're reading this because of that post, then it's done its job!

  4. ⬜ Raise my first pull request. Broad, and potentially out of my control (depending on account access, review processes and the projects that I'm working on), but it's always felt like a satisfying first-week goal. Worst-case scenario, there's a lot of documentation and public Postman collections which I could make a small change to, without rocking the boat too much.

  5. ⬜ Book my two days' August holiday. One of the employee perks at Postman is that we are able to take unlimited paid time off, subject to approval and our workload. There are mixed thoughts about unlimited PTO policies (I know how I currently feel about it, but I'm excited to find out how it works for me in practice), but I'm going to begin learning about it by booking two days' leave for when we have visitors coming to stay next month.

  6. ⬜ Develop my new daily routine. I don't just mean what time I start and finish work each day; I've also got much to learn about how my current extra-curricular dependencies fit into my day. For instance, I take my son to/from nursery on three days a week, and I've yet to re-establish a regular gym schedule since lockdowns began easing. As I begin to learn whether I'm going to be working primarily with our Bangalore or San Francisco squads (or, erk, both!) then it will help me to align my expectations of what my new routine will look like.

  7. ⬜ Understand and enumerate a list of all available employee perks. I've already received information about most of this, but some of the details are in different documents, different systems, or they're in US-centric guides with UK-specific overrides. As someone who tries to practice "use it or lose it" when it comes to benefits, I want to make sure I know exactly what's available to me, so that I can make the most of it.

So… there we go! I'm all prepared for week one, right?! Strangely, I definitely don't have any first-day nerves; it's excitement all the way. Tune into next Friday's Mission Log to find out how I got on, and to see what objectives I set myself when I actually know what I'm doing!

For anyone not old enough or European enough to get the reference from the episode title…