The 2020 New Starter Experience at Surevine 

I was quite nervous making the move with the triple threat:

  • New industry.
  • Never experienced 100% remote.
  • A move from a very product orientated role to a services agency one.

I remember the night before being quite unnerving and lots of “What have I done?!”-style internal monologues. The reality was very different.

The onboarding process at Surevine has had a decent amount of thought and iteration. My week’s schedule was set out, I knew where I needed to be and travel was prearranged with some options given to me. This, for me at least, made the time easier to grasp and left me brain space to settle in with the team.

My first day was met with some degree of familiarity as an old colleague and I were once again reunited under the same house. We met in a shared space in the city we both live in and were joined by my new Team Lead, who, to be blunt, is great. An introduction to basic processes and how the business operates was the general thrust of the day.

WeWork reception complete with DJ deck & skater's half pipe

Day 2 was in London to meet the CEO Stuart and get Surevine’s Vision, Mission and Values. It has been rare where this has been a thing when I have joined a business. The Waterloo WeWork were the London team is based was really cool. Maybe painfully so (the DJ and skateboard ramp inside the building definitely tried to announce as much). As Surevine grows, with its ambitious growth plans, it will be interesting to see how this stage of onboarding grows.

For an engineer one of the most important moments is when you receive your equipment. This is where I had an awesome experience. Not only did I get an up to date Macbook Pro, I was given a budget to buy any other equipment to make me comfortable at home. I asked other people in the business what they had bought with the money, and they even added their setups with photos to the internal wiki. I quickly found out the whole mechanical keyboard subculture has passed me by but an upcoming Techcellence (weekly Friday meeting for an hour where we all dial in to have a break from regular work) about keyboards will sort me out.

The remainder of my week was in Bristol to meet physically with my whole team, who guess what – were also personable, professional people. This is a theme in the personalities at Surevine – everyone is approachable. 

There is an aspect to remote working I did not anticipate – being healthier! I am way more hydrated and the temptation of eating a biscuit or 5 has definitely been removed. I have banked some time under the flexible working and am looking forward to finishing a bit earlier one Friday.

My team having just won the dome at the Crystal Maze!

Finally, you might ask where has my time taken me to now? Well as I write this I am due to attend the legendary Crystal Maze in London with the whole business (that sound you heard was me updating my bucket list). Surevine has a late Christmas Day and following grabbing gold paper from the dome we will be eating at a social enterprise restaurant, Brigade, who inspire people who are at risk of, or have experienced homelessness, to gain meaningful employment.

TLDR – Surevine is a young-ish, security based business, with great people, good tech and and lack of BS and excessive process.