My First Week at Givey

As some of you may know I recently left my position at Performance Horizon to take on a Senior Developer role with Givey. This is a quick post I'm writing to clear up the many questions people have had on why I chose to move and what my first week was like at this growing North East based start up.

Over the past year with PHG my skill set has largely grown, but also diverged quite a lot from what I was previously doing. When I joined the company I had quite a lot of experience with full stack development and optimisation, ranging from linux server administration to making website animations smoother when transitioning pages. Givey is doing something amazing with their product and hopefully changing the world which is why this position was so appealing. On top of that I would also get to go back into the world of full stack and use my skills to the full to drive them forward in their mission.

Now that you have a bit of background on why I joined, I'd love to share my experience on what it's actually been like for the first five days. One thing I noticed is the fast pace of an early startup. There's constant code being merged and shipped, lively discussions and real-time feedback on what's happening around the office; Both in person and on-line via the many tools that are integrated into our workflow. This works so well because of the very small but highly organised and family-like atmosphere.

After just one week I already have lots of code waiting to be deployed into production at the end of the sprint thanks to Github Flow. I was also able to design, build and test a new database infrastructure which will be integrated at the end of this sprint also which should bring huge performance enhancements coupled with various code changes.

One of the biggest challenges I found was going from a PHP-driven history into the scary world of Ruby on Rails. The code itself is quite straight forward, it's the workflow, environment and culture around the tools that fascinate me. There seems to be a gem for everything and Gemfiles stacked to the brim with goodies. Testing is so elegant thanks to the story-like structure and how easy it easy to analyse and debug complex issues in a codebase that spans various repositories.

Lastly, my morning routine and working location have largely changed. Instead of a short drive to a secluded office building I now work in the Ignite Loft which is a city centre based tech incubator. The place feels alive and I've found I actually work better with sounds of the city and sirens blazing past the window every 5 minutes. I'm also lucky enough to share the early morning commute with the lovely metro-dwellers of Tyne and Wear, which is always a fun experience.

All in all this week has been busy, exciting and enlightening. I'm really looking forward to my continued work here and contributions to an amazing product that will change the world in years to come. On a final note, I've made it my new mission in life to beat @pootsbook at Ping Pong before the end of the year which will mean a few more hours on the office ping pong table!

If you're feeling generous, head over to my page on Givey and see what's it's all about: https://givey.com/marcqualie