Friday, November 26, 2010

My first day of work

Well, today I finally started work at Cisco.  After days of police station touring I finally got my work permit sorted.

Here's the path that I take from the train station to the R&D building (B).  It snowed lightly today, so just imagine snow covered paths.

I arrived around 9:30ish, which was half an hour later than what I expected.  I'm still in a pretty jet lagged state but if it's anything I want to say it's today went well.  Mona (the director) met me at building B, and she was saying how cold it was and it's not normal for it to be this cold.  Today was -10 C. :)  She introduced me to Gunnar who is the manager of the team.  Gunnar joined Cisco only a couple of months before I did, think he joined in June.  Previously he was working at a Norwegian company and before that he was at HP California for 8 years.  He speaks with a  really strong American accent, so I thought he was American but no, he's Norwegian.

The image below is the route that I walk, Lysaker train station to building B (Well I walked to building A first because I didn't have a pass to get into B)

Anyway I had a quick tour of the floor, met the rest of my team members (Niko and this other guy's name who I can't pronounce, let's call him Mr Black Framed Glasses or Mr BFG), and the rest of the floor.  There's quite a few people so I can't really remember all of them.  I remember my interviewers, of course.  There's people from all over the shop, Americans, Canadians, there was one Australian girl who is leaving to go to Sydney today.  I'm the only Asian on the floor.  Oh wait I did see another Asian lady but she's in the building marked A.  Building B is where all the R&D is done.  A is where the IT department and sales/marketing guys are.

So, had a quick tour of the floor then made my security pass, by that time it was already lunch so all of us walked to the main building which is A.  Lunch was wraps, you could have sausages (pork/chicken) or beef mince.  There's also shredded cheese, different sauces, fried onion, and a lot of salad stuff (mushrooms, capsicum, lettuce, and a whole lot of things that I did not have room for to pile on my plate).  There's also different drinks available, peach tea, apple, orange juice, and some others that I can't remember.  Reminds me a bit of Sizzler.  Lunch was actually good and if I wasn't so jet lagged I would appreciate it more!

After lunch we stayed in building A and took a tour of the existing technology so I can have a better feel of what I'll be working with.  Also went to one of the upper levels to collect my laptop.  After that we went back to building B and within a couple of minutes Niko and Mr BFG gave a short presentation to me, Gunnar, QA girl, the product manager and another person on what they have been working on (which is what I'll be working on) which is integrating Outlook with Cisco TMS.  So, it's pretty much a tech talk.  My brain was trying to absorb it all in but I think my mind went blank at some parts.  Anyway 1:30pm and we had waffles.  Apparently waffles occur at 1:30pm every Friday.  So we all gathered and had.. waffles.  I had it with the crazy brown cheese, it was quite good.

After that I attended a short refactoring session with the TMS team, which was interesting.  I grabbed a drink from their drink fridge (Oh that reminds me they actually also have a freezer with frozen microwavable lasagne and other meals, so if you're hungry you can just grab a few and bring it home if you want).  The session's basically looking at existing code and figuring it out how to make it better, one step at a time.  That session lasted maybe an hour or so.  After that we went back to my desk and tried to set up my machine but it was failing to reach active directory or something like that and IT support had already gone home (this was around 4pm) so I just had a chat with Mr BFG.  He showed me the server room with all the racks and how they actually set it all up themselves.  There's no dedicated person there supporting their servers which I was well, stupendously impressed.  It was basically just them who set up all the virtual machines and hooked up the hardware together, and these are supposed to be just software guys!  Normally you would have a dedicated IT hardware team to do it.  It's crazy :)

Well, come 5pm and I grabbed a lift back to the city with Thomas who was one of my interviewers a few months back.  There's another person in the guy, he's Canadian and he moved to Norway because of his girlfriend, he was in the car too.

That's my day in a couple of paragraphs.  I'm also supposed to be given a company credit card but I don't have my national number yet.  There's a list of other things you get being a Cisco employee but I have to ask about them.  You are able to purchase 40% off every type of Cisco hardware and get discounts for courses and things like that.  And other thingys.

It feels a bit strange to be looking outside and it's dark when you look at your watch and it's only 3pm.  I'm still getting used to that.  Also the freezing cold is making me sneeze blood out and cough blood out which isn't very nice.

If you're interested in finding out I ended up working in Norway, here's the link on how it all started.


  1. You see? Everything went all right! I knew! I'm happy for you! So Friday Waffles? I envy you! haha and frozen lasagna? It seems indeed like a Great place to work!! Enjoy it!! :D

  2. Thanks, it's your confidence that's why my day went ok! Yes Friday waffles, who knew? Frozen lasagne if you want it, they have other meals too but I didn't check. They cook dinner for you on Mon and Wed so you don't need the frozen dinners if you don't want to, think those are for people who live in hotels or are just hungry all the time. :D Actually I was quite tired yesterday but I'm glad I survived.


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