Describe your First Year Experience in one or two words: Empowering and Collaborative
I’d love to hear about your career journey. Can you talk about what led you here and your decision to join Thoughtworks?
I actually spent the bulk of my career before Thoughtworks in the defense industry. It was in these roles that I really started to love the craft. On the technical side of things, my career was going great. However, happiness at work is more than just the technical side of things.
Thoughtworks reached out to me during my job search - thank you for the ego boost! If my career up to now has taught me anything, it’s that I need to have both engaging work on the technical side and a culture I feel comfortable in to thrive. I interviewed with a number of companies, and it was obvious that Thoughtworks stood out above the rest. The ability to work with clients and technologies across a huge spectrum of industries means that the technical work should never be boring - or at least never boring for long. It also quickly became clear to me that the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion are heartfelt by Thoughtworkers and not just corporate mandated buzzwords.
So yeah, it was actually a very easy decision once the offer from Thoughtworks came through!
Ok take me back to your first day at Thoughtworks. Your first week. Your first month. How has your onboarding and First Year Experience differed from previous onboarding at other companies?
I was part of a cohort with ~30 other people, so we all shared the same initial new hire orientation. It was actually really cool to get to go through the experience with so many people! We were added to both a cohort specific and a general First Year Experience chat room, so there were great spaces for us to ask further questions and get any help we might need on what to do next. Finally, and this is a big differentiator for me, I was introduced to my First Year Experience Mentor who has been an awesome person to have to reach out to about questions and thoughts during my first year at Thoughtworks.
Onboarding is actually a pretty cool process too, as you do a casual interview with some people on the account to learn what the engagement will look like, the technologies involved, and other details to ensure the engagement is a good fit for you. I don’t think I fully appreciated how much yes/no power I had here! But by the end of the first month I was adjusting to the new ways of working and contributing to my first client engagement at Thoughtworks.
Thoughtworks has far and away the best first year experience that I’ve ever had in my career. My previous experiences are usually something like: get your badge, meet your manager, meet your desk, meet your coworkers, and sit around awkwardly until someone can figure out what to do with you. So yeah, having an actual organized plan, and mentors, and specific spaces designated for us was a huge relief and made the experience so much better than I’ve seen elsewhere.
What has been your favorite part of your Thoughtworks career to date? Any milestones? “Ah-ha” moments?
My favorite Thoughtworks experience so far has been my team’s get together in Chicago. We had been working remotely together for months, and so it was really cool to meet everyone in person! We had a lot of fun connecting outside of work in ways that are difficult to do when you only see each other via video. It was also fantastic to meet people outside of the team at the Thoughtworks Chicago office!
Beyond the technical achievements, I’ve really come to value the trust and transparency that Thoughtworks shares with its employees. I’ve worked in large hierarchical and bureaucratic companies where no matter your individual or team’s contributions, you can’t help but feel like a tiny cog in a massive machine. The fact that it doesn’t feel this way at a company as large as Thoughtworks speaks highly to the strength of the company's culture and the value they place in their employees.
Finally, and slightly off tangent, but 3 of the 4 devs on our team are women! How often does that happen?
What advice would you give to someone who is starting their first day at Thoughtworks?
I think the best advice I can offer is to lean on the people around you! Even now I am sometimes intimidated by how smart everyone is around me, but literally every person I’ve talked to has been kind and more than happy to help answer any questions I have had. Collaboration is a huge part of the Thoughtworks culture and you should definitely embrace it!