It’s easy to get lost and/or detached in big companies. Ther are so many projects going on in many different ares, that it may seem that you and your project is insignificant.
Really, its just hard to stay connected.
It’s challenging to stay in the loop, and know whats going on outside your project bubble. You have to try to stay connected, and activly network.
Booz Allen Hamiltion/Working From Home
At Booz Allen, I worked from home and was part of a pretty tight night team. This worked really well for the projects I was a part of, and I was able to great work. The first week, I participated in a week long orientation seminar. I learned about the history, culture and process of BAH. I met many people, and really felt a part of the company. Then, over the next three years, I became much closer to my working team, and further away to the company as a whole. I tried some things to help stay connected:
- Join the Yammer Group
- Play in the intramural sports leagues
- Attend holiday parties
- Tried to hotel in the office
But really, the best way I felt conencted was to meet with bosses and coworkers in person. It happened every two weeks or so, and they were always a good time. We chat about work, life and the company. Just that little face time helped.
National Public Radio/ In the office
At NPR, I am in an office five days a week. I am extremly connected to my team, and it is awesome to spectate, comment and collaborate on pretty much all the projects. But within the company, I don’t really have any clue what is going on. Every once in a while, I see the cool outcome of a project, but I never hear how it’s made or even who collaborated on it.
For the past month, I have been taking a few hours of some days to work somewhere else around the building. NPR recently moved into a new building, and the architects built in a lot of seating and group work spaces.
Here are a few places I have visited:
- NPM Team ( [National Public Media]
- Reporters and Jorunalists
- Tell Me More Area
- And just a random nook
Each of these places, I have met some cool people, and even discussed some fun collaborations. With the MPM team, we talked about some cool native ads and other ways to do some fun things to sell.
Of course, I have my perminient desk where I do most of my real work. I love my set up and am definitely most productive here. But, some times, I don’t need to be the most productive. Times where I do code reviews, and respond to lots of emails, I like to step away from my desk and explore new places. It’s genuinely refreshing. Then, when I come back to my desk, I can get back to some heads down work.
Overall, I would really recommend this approach if you can. I’m pretty lucky at NPR to have ample places to work, nice people to talk to, and other projects to spectact. It’s nice that I take an hour every now and then and explore them, instead of being stuck to my desk.
Being a developer in a large company can be hard, but I have found ways to be connected and feel more integrated with my company. By moving around, you meet new people and see the many other projects. So get up, try something new, and do work in some place you haven’t before. I promise you’ll see something new.