After a week of working at Highgroove I am impressed at our efforts to provide everything a developer needs to start creating the best software possible through the right hardware, tools, and support. For someone like myself, who had lots of programming experience but knew little about Ruby on Rails, this was invaluable in getting me into the Rails trenches and helping my client.
Although I received lots of cool things on my first day of work nothing stood out like the shiny, new, top of the line Macbook Pro sitting on the table. It put the other work laptops I have received, a Windows XP Dell and a worn out Apple Powerbook, to shame. Our policy on tools also separates Highgroove from the rest of the pack. In other places I would have to do a sales pitch to negotiate my way into the sea of paperwork in order to get permission to use a non-standard tool that might help me get my work done. At Highgroove it is not only encouraged but required that I get whatever I need to do my best. If there is a tool unknown to the team that I think will help, I am required to show it off in case it might help them in their work.
The most powerful tool in getting a new developer up to speed costs nothing but time. I’ve never had an employer that used pair programming, but we encourage and require it. Having someone with more Rails knowledge available to bounce ideas and problems off of gives more insight into the development process than any book or tutorial ever could. Several of the software bugs that caused me to spend too much time banging my head into my desk were quickly resolved through pair programming. No two developers think alike, and having a second thought process in the mix helps avoid lost time and benefits both partners in seeing how the other operates. Now I wouldn’t work anywhere that didn’t encourage it.
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