Today is my 10th (working) day at Vend. And I must say – flippin heck I have learned A LOT in such a short period of time – which is amazing.

I’ll be honest with you – starting here I was scared but excited.

Why I was scared

  • I’m the most junior person in the team and will need to ‘prove my worth’ (which I guess shouldn’t be new, as I have had to do this in previous projects when I worked at Assurity, a testing consultancy)
  • I’ll be working in small cross-functional teams – don’t get me wrong! I’m super excited about this. But I’ve never done this before.
  • Being new – while I like meeting people, I need to find my ‘place’ here.

Why I was excited

  • I’ve heard amazing things about this company. I have two friends who are working in the QA team and are seriously passionate about what they do. One of them said: “This is the first job where I’ve been truly happy.”
  • I’ll be working in small cross-functional teams.
  • We get to see the impact of our work. We’ve got a bunch of customers in Newmarket (one of which I visit everyday) – which makes the importance of my job more ‘real’ to me.
  • People can bring their pets (so far always dogs – where are the other pet animals?!) to work. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when a dog excitedly walks towards you for a pat. But it does take some getting used to – sometimes I think someone is playing footsies with me but it’s actually a dog.
  • I’ll have control over how I test – some people in our team opt for test cases; others opt for mind-maps. This facet was particularly appealing to me.
So let’s get into it, below I will cover 3 things
  1. Gaining Insight into the Company as a whole
  2. Learning exactly what Vend is about
  3. Feeling Welcomed

Gaining Insight into the Company as a whole

Different Departments

Part of our induction in the first week is having each Head of Department give us a 30-60min overview of what their department does and then they give us an opportunity to ask questions (which I most certainly did). Through this we also got an idea on how each department’s behaviour affects the others.

For example:
Sales Department seeks to find customers who are well-suited to the Vend POS. If not, then Support is going to have a hard time – trying to make those customers happy. Meanwhile, PET (Product, Engineering and Technology team) work on creating/updating functionality. People and Culture recruit staff who sell, market and build Vend and who help customers who use Vend. And so on and so forth.
I really appreciated having each HOD (who I imagine are already very busy) taking the time to tell us about what they do and answering our questions. 

Working in Support

In our second week, we worked in Support. Basically, when Vend customers have questions, or need help figuring out how to do something, they call/message Support.
We helped answer queries. Let me tell you, this is one very effective way of getting to know the Vend POS. To think of how little I knew of the Vend POS at the beginning of the week and how much I know now – I must say: I am impressed.
Working in this department also gave me a lot of insight – there’s a pattern to what the customers ask. Hopefully when I start working in QA, I can implement what I learned to help make Vend better.

Learning exactly what Vend is about

What keeps being brought up are the 3 Vend core values.

Mel gave us the backstory on how Vend was founded and its core values. It was great to hear about how it began. She also told us two events that really stood out in her mind when she thought of the growth of Vend: Our first investor and our first customer.

Other awesome things have happened in the first week which gives me insight as to what Vend is like to work in:

1. Honesty and Transparency

In my first day, I was told how Vend is a company that is probably a lot more transparent that others. I was kinda skeptical. But then, examples kept appearing on how this is the case. I asked the CFO a few questions about the currencies in which Vend’s finances is stored and he answered. We, as employees, have access to a lot of information regarding how many new retailers we got this month etc. that probably isn’t typical of a lot of other companies.

2. Awesome people

I look around me and the people are not only talented, but also people I would grab coffee/tea/hot chocolate with. Yesterday, I shadowed one of the other Testers as he worked on the new App that is going to come out and was impressed by his problem-solving and deductive reasoning skills. 
I’ve also got to see people from different departments work together to come to a solution (e.g. Today someone from QA working with someone from Support).

3. Don’t leave yourself at the door

We’re encouraged to be ourselves. In our first week, we had Vend friend lunches and in our first one people openly talked about their political views. We can also wear what we want (which for most people is a shirt and jeans). Wearing what we want also includes facial hair – so many guys here have hipster beards.

Feeling Welcomed

One of the key parts of this was the Vend Friend lunches/coffees we had in our first week. For each day of our first week, each newbie (in my intake there were six of us) was assigned a new Vend friend.

I’ve also found people here are happy to help and introduce themselves when they realise you’re one of the new kids on the block.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my first two weeks at Vend. If I were to describe the induction process here, I would say: Comprehensive.  There’s a lot to take in.

But hey I’m here to learn. And to kick ass.

Authors Note: Today I also volunteered to be a Vend Friend for one of the new people who start next week in the Auckland Office.