Prior to joining Chalkboard, just over three months ago, I had worked for an international Fintech provider, and a university in the UK. Both of these provided a noticeably different experience to that which life at Chalkboard offers.
On your first day, there’s no office tour (unless a swanky, shared office space in Manchester is more your style!), just a fanfare of ‘Welcome!'s and 👋s and 🥳s via Slack after the announcement of you joining the team. Though a remote onboarding may sound intimidating, you’re immediately made to feel part of the team and any member is more than happy to hop on a get-to-know-you call.
The day-to-day culture is counter to what you might expect on hearing that most of the work is done remotely. Stand-ups are done via a Twist thread and meetings are kept to necessary only. This doesn’t come at the cost of collaboration or communication though! From feature specifications to UI designs, all aspects of product development are enabled with the use of tools such as Figma, Twist and, of course, Slack.
Another change for me was joining a startup vs a well-established organisation. Historically, I’d worked on projects that were years old and full of legacy code. If you’re looking to make your mark on a project that employs the latest technology, then joining the team at Chalkboard is a great way to do that. Here, all developers are encouraged to be part of the conversation in everything from code reviews to architectural decisions.
There's also the challenges that come with building a consumer-facing app. Bugs are more of a priority and continuous delivery is an integral part of the development lifecycle here. Time frames are a lot shorter with prioritisation focused on getting the features to the customer. I do think that there’s a certain excitement in the process though. It’s a great feeling to get real-time feedback and see the product’s user base grow.
Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few months here at Chalkboard, and look forward to seeing what challenges the next few bring.
Words by: Matt Gear - Backend Engineer at Chalkboard