I survived my first day of work as a software engineer. Other than missing my bus on the way home from work, the day went quite well actually.

I arrived at work at 10am just like I was instructed to. The receptionist introduced herself to me and I was immediately handed off to the head IT person for an “IT overview”. This consisted of sitting down at my computer, logging in, and her showing me the various network drives and what they were for. I was also told about virus scanning procedures. Here’s a little bit of trivia, my computer used to belong to a recently departed employee of the company. She had been on the job for only two weeks and then accepted another job offer.

I was also told that I won’t have access to my company e-mail account for at least several days. Apparently the guy in charge of setting up accounts is away on a family matter and won’t be back anytime soon. Until then, I’ll have to be updated on project details by word of mouth.

After the computer stuff, I was handed back to the receptionist who brought me into the boardroom. I was given a whole stack of papers. There were several forms to fill out having to do with taxes, benefits, and non-disclosure agreements. One of the forms was this “get-to-know-you” type of deal where my answers would be sent out to the company, along with my picture. Of course, without an e-mail address, I never did get that e-mail today.

I was also given a company t-shirt, in my size no less. I think this speaks volumes about a company when they have t-shirts in many sizes and not just XL.

I then was given a tour of the place. I was shown where the printers and scanners were located. I was told that groceries are delivered every Tuesday and that the food is available for anyone in the company, this includes things like pop. Free munchies!

The security and access procedures were also described to me. Arriving early in the morning and leaving late can be problematic because of the various alarms you can set off. Things will be made a little bit easier next week when some of the areas will be transferred over to keycard access.

After the tour, I returned to my desk where I did some customizing of my computer. I checked out what was underneath the hood of my computer. It’s pretty decent, it’s fast and has a ton of RAM. I then started to read the design doc for the game I’m working on. For a game, the design doc is the most definitive source of information. It describes the game in great detail from game play mechanics, to characters, and conceptual artwork. This design doc was a huge Word document, well in excess of 200 pages.

I was only several pages in when the producer for our game came over to invite me to lunch. Two other guys joined us. One of them seemed familiar and it turned out we had both worked at EA before. I had a good lunch with the boys and the producer picked up the tab. What a nice gesture!

After lunch, I continued to read over the design doc, skipping pages whenever I could. As my eyes were just about to glaze over, the lead programmer for our project came over to see how I was doing. He also showed me the game in its current state. He went over various gameplay features and explained the stuff that still had to be done. I was also told that I hadn’t looked at the technical design doc which another huge file. There are a lot of dev tools that still need to be installed on my machine before I can start being productive, but that will happen tomorrow.

For the rest of the day I just read more of the design doc and managed to finish it before quitting time.

From just the first day, I got the impression that it’s a pretty cool place to be working at. The people are really nice and I’m being slowly eased into my job, which I appreciate. My body, however, is still getting used to waking up early. I am tired.

Well, I better finish here and get some rest.

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