Recovered log from a corporate engineer’s onboarding journey

For the first time ever, we’ve learned about the harrowing journey that many know yet few dare speak of: corporate onboarding.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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This post was transcribed from a small journal smuggled out of a Treasure 100 company
This post was transcribed from a small journal smuggled out of a Treasure 100 company

Day 1 09:45

This new job is going to be great! I’m excited to start using my full-stack skills to really make an impact here. I’m a little worried about some of the tech I’ve heard they use since I don’t know all the enterprise software. Wait, it’s “we” now. Tech “we” use. Like I said, excited to be part of the team.

As soon as this “first-day guide” gets the VGA-to-DVI-to-Coax-to-smoke-signal adapter working, we could knock out these onboarding videos and get to work…

Day 1 12:00

I wish my company login was working properly. I’ve written down, I don’t know, maybe 50 acronyms and tool names so far? And that’s just the HR list. I really just want to know who decided to call it “X77ProjectTrackerExtraLongName” because that’s a lot of typing.

Speaking of, I wonder if there’s an internal search to help me with this stuff.

Day 1 13:00

Note to self: bring food or eat out more. The cafeteria is OK but…

Day 1 17:00

Still no email access, but my laptop’s working. Met my team and started learning about my work. People here really love two things: confusing names and buzzwords. I just read this sentence:

“ApplicationConfusingName runs on Java 1.6 hosted on servers ZZTOP001 and ZZTOP002 in an AP mode with a DR TTR of 2 hours since it’s a CICNGD app.”


Day 2 14:00

Email is finally working, but now I’m stuck catching up on training that was assigned when I wasn’t even employed. Weird.

On the bright side, I now know what CICNGD means!

Critically Important CanNot Go Down”

Weird to use that ‘N’ in the middle of the “cannot” but…maybe that’s the opinionated variable-naming engineer in me.

Day 2 17:00

That training was pointless. Do they have training on what all of these different acronyms and phrases mean?

Day 3 10:35

Full stop. I just found out that my project uses:

  • An out-of-date application runtime (2.5 years?!)
  • Has a terrible API that takes 10 seconds to respond to a health check
  • Uses something called “MS SQL Server”? I didn’t know Microsoft made databases…I’ve only used MongoDB, MySQL, Postgres, Redis, HBase, Cassandra, and LevelDB

Not only that, but I’m not sure my boss has programmed in the last 15 years.

On the plus side, we’re being told to build APIs, build web apps, and automate! I can be the one to help get that rolling.

Day 4 14:50

I think everyone here just ignores compiler warnings…

Day 5 10:30

I’m not even sure how this builds.

Did someone say something about using a specific 4-year-old internal dependency?

Day 6 02:30 [weekend]

Why do changes have to happen at 2 in the morning on the weekend?!

Who thinks this is the best way?! Ugh. When do I get to sleep?

And why can’t I reach this support person?

Day 8 09:30 [Monday]

I’m late to submit my “timesheet.” Not sure what that is, but I’m being told to:

“Search IntranetWeb for ‘TSSystemSupreme’ and then find the right task using the task search and then fill in your hours and submit”

But the search on IntranetWeb is broken…

Day 10 11:20

Why do we have like 5 different time-tracking systems? Also, how do I get access to our git repo?

Also, how has it only been 10 days and we’re going through a second reorg?

Day 11 16:00

Finally, starting to getting into coding. I’m trying to do a prototype of what our API could look like using Java 8. Not only is it faster, but it will help us do automated testing and increase security!

Day 11 16:25

Prototype idea rejected.

Manager: “Stakeholders are focused on the current scope of business priorities that was defined during the budget meeting #73 two years ago with Nadeen, Sally, Dimitri, Luisa, and Lisbeth. Plus we’re an Agile project and we can’t just start doing prototypes left and right! That’ll mess up the project plan.”

Did I learn agile wrong…?

Day 15 14:30 [Monday]

That was a four-hour meeting. With 30 people. About how people disagreed.

I’m not even sure I remember any of it now. Did someone take notes?

No? OK…

Day 17 03:08

Someone unplugged a switch and half of our applications went down. How is that even a thing?!


Day 17 03:45


Day 17 04:19

I’m so tired.

Day 19 16:30

This has been just a long week. I just want to get work done. Why is that so hard?

Day 23 11:15

I was just told that the BNWL document provided by BPDPWT people doesn’t match our SULC guidelines. Which means I need to create an ETNSP document that the CTO’s DPA needs to approve.

  • BNWL = Business Nonsensical Wish List
  • BPDPWT = Business Product Development or PowerPoint Wrangling Team
  • SULC = Software Undevelopment Life Cycle
  • ETNSP = Exception To Normal SULC Process
  • CTO = Chief Technology Officer
  • DPA = Designated Paperwork Acceptor

Day 25 14:00

I don’t know if I’m going to make it…

If you haven’t realized by now, this was not a real corporate experience. But for many people, it’s pretty darn close.

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