My first week at GDS

Recently, Alice wrote about her first six months at the Government Digital Service. Reading it made me think back to my own first week.

GDS was my first real job: I’d never worked in an office before. There was about thirty or forty of us in early November 2011.

Until early this year, I kept a journal. I read back through to the things my 17-year-old self wrote at the time. I thought I’d publish them here.

Here’s my first day:

I caught a very early train down to London this morning, and then headed straight to Holborn to Aviation House, where I got an ID card and met with James Stewart. He took me up to the office and I met everyone, and everyone was really friendly!

Mark O'Neil recognised me and gave me a pack of chocolate biscuits :-) and me, richard and james had a chat about the app architecture and things. For lunch a few people asked me to come with them to a vegetarian restaurant in covent garden which was really nice! Had like a jalfrezi meal :-) had a lovely chat with jamie arnold too!

This afternoon I got loads of work done on the calendars, ran into a few bugs though, and left about half 5.

As the week went on, I carried on working on the Calendars app:

Today i expanded the calendars to support other calendar scopes eg daylight saving. Richard was pleased :-)

By Thursday, I started talking with Gareth and Dai:

At work, finished calendars, spoke a lot to Gareth and Dafyydd and they were really nice and helpful! Also got to use the Done stamp :-)

And then Friday finished with a pub lunch:

For lunch, we went to a pub nearby and had ham, egg and chips, with Richard, James, Dave, Dafydd, Paul and a couple more :-)

This afternoon we did a show-and-tell for the end of the sprint, and I showed off my calendars app. It went down really well and I felt really proud :-)

We did a retrospective afterwards, and Josh and Dave put post-it notes up on the wall saying that me joining the team was something that went well this sprint :-) Josh said he likes me! :-)

I headed back to Euston and had a lovely train journey back up north! And got a tweet from the product lead, Tom Loosemore, saying he heard I ‘delivered’ on the project and 'nice job’.

I’ve been at GDS for more than two-and-a-half years now. In that time, we’ve changed a lot. But I’m glad that we still do a lot of the things that we did on my first week, like team lunches, show-and-tell and using the 'Done’ stamp.