Guy Wilcox

Confessions of a New Starter in COVID times

New Starter

Confessions of a New Starter in COVID times

This is the story of my first three months as a new starter, my probation period, a try before you buy for employers, it’s been the most unique start to a new job that I think anyone could imagine, there are around forty of us here at Unipro and I’ve met just the founders and the IT chap face to face in person. I’d recently finished an 18-month stint working within the charity sector, call it my tech-for-good staycation, rewarding yes, well paid no but I made it work! My brother had once told me that he thought the agency life suited me, lots of rapid change, plenty of creativity with the power to change the way you work for the better. I think of agencies like a hired S.W.A.T team of experts who flex their skills like muscles in a cross-fit gym, it’s true that it’s not for the faint hearted or for the coasters and serial slackers of this world, it’s a team effort, tightly co-ordinated application of minds working towards a common goal, in Unipro’s case that goal is most definitely problem solving!

It all started with a five-part interview over lock down, I don’t think this is the standard process but the role that Unipro were looking at me for was crucial for the development of the agency, retrospectively I can now see why, no agency is perfect and Unipro were looking to strategically advance with the experience I have in abundance, how to go to market, master the strategic consultancy sell and work with businesses to plan and create a software project that truly solves their business’s problems. Unipro were perfect for me too, an agency that had strengths in engineering and forward-thinking tech stacks, trained like ninjas in agile (scrum) methodology and have a quality assurance team that simply makes any client facing exec  sleep well at night. So, the match was made and towards the end of June while the nation was still in lockdown, Unipro made me an offer, happy days, I was thrilled.

Homework was the first task to get going on, at school I was one of those students who always got his homework done but needed the pressure of a looming deadline to do it. Sam the Head of HR at Unipro introduced me to TRACTION by Gino Wickman, which is a business methodology that helps SME’s turn their vision into reality by applying techniques and disciplines that help everyone remain focused, a methodology which pulls a team together, encourages  accountability and fosters interdependence, you haven’t had a proper business meeting until you’ve had a traction meeting. It’s safe to say that the business self-help geek in me absolutely loved it.  

Having done my homework and six weeks after Unipro’s offer I started work. I then entered a six-week induction tunnel, I had introduction meetings, to my new teammates, accounts and new processes. Wow so many teams calls! At this point I’d like to thank coffee; you’ve been a friend to me my entire professional life, thank you! But what made it all ok was that each and every person I met, I liked, all of the directors, managers, subject matter experts and supporting team members, simply lovely people who share a passion for problem solving and really cool tech.

Low-Code is absolutely jaw dropping by the way, imagine packaging up the skill and potential of a super smart development team into a pill which only takes you around six to eight weeks to swallow. Developing in a Low-Code environment opens up a world of opportunity, software projects are at least five times faster right from the get go, and once you've build the foundations of integrations and microservices new apps can be built up to ten times faster. If you are like me and understand business along with the application of technology but can’t code, you'll see how this amazing platform can empower creativity and really help businesses mobilise their teams to do lots more in way less time.  

Tech evangelist geek-out over! Back to the story in hand…. As I learned about Unipro the challenge in front of me became clear, my goals and responsibilities were evident, looking back on the last six to eight weeks, they seem a bit of a blur, I’m starting to develop some friendships, the team gels well and I’m grateful for all the support and guidance given.

I can honestly say that I love going to work every day, all be it in my front room with my trusty stead of a MacBook, is it strange? a bit yes, is it the #thenewnormal? Yes probably, could I get used to this? most definitely! I do hope that my Probation review goes well today, as I’ve found a home with these fearless, kind and truly genuine geeks.


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