Craig Kempson


Developer Blogs

A Trial By Fire, Or A Gentle Water Birth?

I started at Codeweavers in September 2023, being fortunate enough to be already friends with some existing members of the team, which offered me an insight into what I could expect.

I'd just been made redundant from my previous role and was desperate to hit the ground running in my new one. I was very conscious that I'd never been onboarded to a new role remotely before; my last role started before COVID when we worked in offices by default - remember those times?

Coupled with the apprehension of remote onboarding was another concern: friends had said starting at Codeweavers was a definite trial-by-fire process where they were dropped into their new teams. It was very much a sink-or-swim situation for them.

As eager as I was to start, I can't deny that there was a definite nervousness surrounding it.

I'm writing this after nearly completing week eight of my Codeweavers employment. Although that timeframe has been short, I can safely say that my concerns have been proven completely unfounded.

Firstly, remote onboarding here has been really easy! I confess that I went into the office on day one, but this was my choice and wasn't mandated - I'd already had my laptop delivered to home, for example. I could have started day one at home if I chose to, but there was something personal about seeing the office, greeting new colleagues in person, etc., that felt like an in-person attendance made sense. Anyone nervous about the social situation could easily have remained remote.

Since day one, it's firmly been a case of working from the comfort and familiarity of my home office. There's been no issue here; I was genuinely concerned with nothing. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming, and access to the various resources has usually been arranged before needing it and, when not, has been sorted out speedily when required. I joined a workforce that is already well-adapted to having remote staff.

The second, more significant concern was the potential sink-or-swim behaviour, and this one is where things are dramatically different to expectations.

I started with six other new recruits, and the seven of us have been part of the first formal induction programme operated by the Codeweavers Academy. Starting on day one, we've been attending sessions each day to provide those new to the company with the required domain knowledge needed to succeed and the technical abilities to perform. There's certainly been a wide variation in what we've been learning:

  • from covering industry-standard arrangements like SAF
  • to courses on Extreme Programming and software delivery
  • to feedback workshops
  • to technical sessions - such as the finer workings of unit testing

... and more. There's been a real drive by the company to see that those trial-by-fire days are left in the past. Instead, there's a much gentler process, a water birth if you will, intended to integrate each new starter into their respective teams more slowly.

There's been an obvious investment in people at Codeweavers, from the number of new starters to the new approach to bringing them into the fold from day one. It's not lip service when the company states:

We invested our time in finding the most brilliant, innovative people in the industry to help make our dream a reality

This investment is evident when you realise that each Friday afternoon is a dedicated Kaizen time block, where staff are encouraged to pursue projects that better themselves.

Likewise, that investment offers you a choice when you start - a PC or a Mac? Then, would you like to use Visual Studio with Resharper or Rider? Staff are encouraged to find the way they are most effective.

I've been delighted with my start here at Codeweavers and would eagerly say to anyone considering applying to go for it. From the remote-first way of working to the welcoming nature of colleagues to the things you will learn, my experience has been fantastic, and I look forward to a long career here.


Craig Kempson

Read more by Craig Kempson

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