My First Day as a Professional

Well, my first day at work was actually kind of boring, but that’s a good thing, and it was fully expected. After leaving a job where they had to replace me with two people that are doing about half the work I was expected to do, it’s a nice change of pace to be a little bored during the day.

I arrived at work to find that the IT department had not yet set up my username or my computer, so I spent the first few hours pouring through two large manilla folders full of paperwork they had been filing for the “future webmaster” for over a year. The folders were full of great articles on various design tips, etc., as well as correspondences, notes, etc.

Once the IT guys got my new computer set up, I had a few meetings, so I didn’t get to do much at that point. Then, when I finished with all of my meetings, I hopped onto the computer, looked through all of the emails that had been sent to the “webmaster” email account, and started fixing things on the site.

I found out yesterday that I should be spending about 20-30% of my time working on keeping the existing web site up, running and current. I also found out that they have hired an outside firm to re-write and proofread the entire content of the web site, and they have hired an outside firm to develop a content management system. So, the majority of my time, once I’m finished with all of my various meetings, orientations, etc., will be spent on the following tasks:

  • Developing a “plan of action”, detailing all the steps that need to be taken in order to develop the new site, all the tools and training I will need in order to get it done, how much each thing might cost, and how long it should take me to get the stuff done.
  • Developing new tools to be added to the existing site, and to be easily carried over to the new site
  • Migrating the site, which is currently made up of over 35,000 separate HTML and CSS files, into a database-driven application.
  • Implementing the new design, which will be prepared by our graphic designer.

I really think I’m going to enjoy this job. It will be so much easier to prioritize my tasks in this environment. Of course, I’ll still have quite a few people all clamoring for their projects to get done first, and I will have to balance quite a bit, but it will be so much easier. Rather than switching between 20 or 30 different tasks, all requiring different parts of my brain, I’ll simply be switching between various tasks that all require the same skillset. I won’t have to “switch gears” nearly as much, which will make me a great deal more efficient.

Yesterday morning, they set up a brand new computer for me. I have the entire Adobe Creative Suite installed (v2), as well as the entire Macromedia development suite (Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). With the current state of the web site, it looks as though DreamWeaver will be an invaluable tool for me to use. While I love writing my own code by hand, it can be a real pain to try to pick through someone else’s code in a text editor, especially when the only thing you want to do is fix a typo.

Obviously, I’ll probably use my own code editing tools, along with whatever’s included in the new CMS, once I start working on the new site, but, for now, Dreamweaver is great.

It’s kind of strange, though, as I’m sitting at home right now with nowhere to go, since the inclement weather has caused the college to close for the day. My second day of work, and I’ve already got a snow day! I’m so used to being in situations where, no matter what the weather was, we were required to be at work. Heck in one of my previous jobs, they would encourage you to either spend the night at work, or walk to work if there was inclement weather.

One Response

  • Allen

    Great overview Curtiss – Really detailed. The first few days can always be tough because everyone will see you as superman and that you can fix everything in 10 minutes or less.

    so you got a snow day already – that’s awesome :)

    it will be interesting to watch your journey as you grow in this new role and learn and so forth.

    congrats again!