Week 1 at FullStory is in the books. Here are some sundry thoughts about the first week in the new gig.
Commuting in Atlanta is awful. There's really no way for it not to suck. That being said, I've been able to shift my expectations a bit and just accept that driving over an hour one way isn't great but let's make the most of it.
The first couple days, I tried working from home starting really early, then getting to the office a bit later and leaving early to try to avoid traffic. The last two days I tried to simply work two complete days in the office at more or less normal hours, traffic be damned.
I actually preferred the latter two days. I was in the office longer and so could settle in a bit more. Perhaps it was just because I had settled into work more by the end of the week, but either way, I think I might prefer just getting to the office.
To make the most of the drive, I'm listening to a lot of podcasts. I'll probably try audiobooks pretty soon since I'm in the car for 10 hours per week.
I should add that FullStory is moving to a new office soon-ish which should have a nice positive effect on my commute. It will be about 10 minutes shorter in each direction and also have a shower. A shower? Yes, that's important. It means I can go from the gym straight to work, which will add somewhere between 30-60 minutes to my day while still allowing me to exercise.
FullStory uses Chrome Pixels (Chromebooks) whenever they can. They challenged me to try to make it work but promised I could get a Macbook if I really was blocked. I really struggled for the first few days, but by the end of the week I started to warm up to it.
This might sound dumb, but I almost threw in the towel because I couldn't settle into a workflow to quickly take and post screenshots. I still haven't completely nailed it, but I'm a lot further along than I was at the beginning of the week.
As far as a piece of hardware goes, the Chrome Pixel is really quite amazing. It's blazingly fast and gets the basics of a solid keyboard and trackpad, which is crucial to actually wanting to use the machine. It also has a touchscreen.
I didn't really settle in until I got a Microsoft Sculpt keyboard and external monitor, which made a big difference in how productive I felt. The keyboard layout for the Sculpt keyboard on the Pixel, while not perfect, is surprisingly workable.
One of my original blockers with the Pixel was how I was going to write code. Most of my code falls into the category of "hacky script to apply leverage", so I really don't need much more than a terminal, text editor, and Python, but that's not included on a machine where everything is a web app. (Did I mention that everything on a Chromebook is a web app?)
To work around the Pixel limitations around writing code, I started a trial of Cloud9. I'm oversimplifying, but it's basically a development environment in the cloud. You get a great web text editor, an integrated terminal window, and the ability to store data "locally" in the cloud workspace. Aside from having to ramp up to a new way of working, I really can't find a fault with it so far.
The company and people are great. It was a struggle to feel unproductive as I'm getting started, but by the end of the week I had a clear direction for where I want to go. That's an amazing feeling.
There's so much more that I want to write, but I also want to be done with this blog post, so that's all for now.