Ask questions, all the time!

I joined the team at Gibe Digital in September 2024 and I can't believe it's 6 months already. 

I've known some of the team for a number of years but knowing people and then working with them are two different things. 

This blog is a note to future self and hopefully for others who are maybe in the process of joining a new team. 

Never be afraid of asking questions.

When you join a new team, you will have to learn so many things and you can't be expected to know it all. No matter what your experience is, what level you are joining the team, there will be stuff you don't know. 

There will be new processes and ways of doing things. Maybe new coding standards, new deployment processes, the list is endless.

But the key is to ask questions and learn from others. 

During my 6 months at Gibe, things that have taken me ages to learn and understand are all of a sudden clicking. I don't know what has changed, maybe just something in my head. Things that I've struggled with are now things I feel more comfortable about. 

Some examples that I've been aware of recently are : 

  • Extending models and how to use them
  • Understanding when to use ViewComponents
  • Using NotificationHandlers to populate fields automatically in the CMS

This stuff might seem "simple" or "basic" and I would maybe agree. The thing is, I've been doing this stuff for years but just by repeating past examples. Now I feel I know what I'm doing, not so much guess work. 

How did I get to this point?

I asked questions. I asked questions when things didn't make sense.

I submitted Pull Requests for my code and the team have made suggestions on better ways of doing things. They have explained things really well and things start to make sense.

I also love the fact that members of the team, of all levels, openly admit when they don't understand something or don't know how to do something. It's empowering. 

Now there is a caveat to my "ask questions" statement. 

It's important to attempt solving problems independently before seeking answers, or alternatively, to understand that answers may not always be definitive. What's the rationale behind this advice? Simply put, if you're handed a solution without engaging in the problem-solving process, are you truly absorbing knowledge? Conversely, if someone offers a suggestion on how to approach a task, it's beneficial to test it out, learn from any mistakes, and if needed, continue asking questions for clarity or refinement. 

I'm going to try and write a couple of blogs on the stuff I've learnt or to be more process, on stuff that I now feel I understand. 

The difficult part is trying to write everything out in a way that makes sense to others and that is easy to read. Maybe I need to ask a question on how to write it. 



Published on : 29 February 2024