My First Day at Blue Acorn iCi

I read #donutrunbecausehappy as “don’t run because you’re happy” and I was like, ‘that’s the old me’, but then I realized that because I read it that way, I still have part of that mindset.

Blue Acorn iCi’s onboarding officially lasts 60 days, but the initial, intensive learning period is 2 weeks. The first part (after the forms) was a bunch of reading. It then went into videos I had to watch of recordings. I was keenly aware that I was self-onboarding rather than being onboarded by a live person. However, I did have 2 people assigned to me. One was to teach me about the clients I’ll be working with and the other was to teach me how to be a BSA. I later realized I could increase the playback speed of the videos to 2x, which helped.

I realized that a lot of the work has already been templatize’d and checklist’d. The rest are simple rules that are repeated in various situations.

As I learned things and started comparing myself to others, I had to keep telling myself that I am a professional, I know what I’m doing, and it’s easy for me to learn new things. I then proceeded to learn new things very quickly.

It’s occurring to me (even more so) that I’m going to be drawing from almost ALL of my past experience for this role (from client demos and working with developers at GoServicePro to executive stakeholder meetings and change control processes at Marine Credit Union to working with e-commerce and integrations at Skinny & Co to SEO and client work with my own consulting services). Even the call center work at First Merchants may come into play here. Blue Acorn even has credit union clients who they help with online check opening web workflows. A big store you’ve heard of also uses Netsuite and “Celigo” (Netsuite integration software), two applications I recently administered at Skinny & Co.

It’s neat learning about clients they have from websites I’ve previously used. One of the companies that I’ll be working with is owned by one of the companies I worked with at Skinny & Co. This particular client I’m working with has been highlighted in the company newsletter as being a client that is utilizing Blue Acorn in ways it was never used before, which means the consulting range is wider than it’s ever been for this company. My client and another one of Blue Acorn iCi’s clients have competitors that Skinny & Co. have listed as competitors (i.e. True Botanicals and Tata Harper).

They practice Agile Methodologies and the Scrum framework, which means they do 2-week sprints (vs a continuous flow as in Kanban). They use a Fibonacci sequence (ex. 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 13) of numbers to represent sprint points rather than a linear sequence.

From a design perspective, they practice “Atomic Design” which is kind of like DRY (don’t repeat yourself) where things are created once and used in many places. A brand guide is a natural output of this as the design elements almost represents the ‘atoms’ in a 1-1 relationship. They call those elements in the style guide, “Design Tokens” or “style tiles” that when viewed together form a UI pattern library. The design tokens are more rigid while the pattern library can change over time based on use case iterations. They also design in high-fidelity first rather than low fidelity.

There are a LOT of new employees here. People I’m working with have only been here for 2 days to 2 projects.

There are many non-American-born team members. The Indian members are more obvious. The others appear to be Eastern European. In the one sprint meeting I was in, it was about 40% Indian, 20% EE, and 20% American.

Almost all other coworkers were wearing t-shirts. I am choosing to wear a dress shirt everyday.

There are many abbreviations being used everywhere by many different people. I’ve been looking them up and making myself a glossary.

They use JIRA, which I have some experience with from Marine Credit Union, but the interface has changed since then.

And as a side note, today I realized that what I learned from a single Shopify app podcast helped me in an interview to get this job (headless architecture and single page applications). It shows the power of intention as I was diving deep in my craft.

At the end of the day I gave my manager an update on where I was at in the onboarding process. I was late by 4 minutes to a meeting today with her and my peers because I didn’t take my watch to lunch. It was really embarrassing, but I learned from it. I’m headed to the gym now.