Changing teams - the good, the bad and the ... future

Changing teams - the good, the bad and the ... future

So, you decided that it's time to change teams, and by that I mean you decided to either leave your current job and pursue another one or within the same company you're switching teams.

Whatever maybe the case, you'll be faced with some decisions and things that you'll need to deal with. If you've done this before then you know what I'm talking about and maybe you'll want to continue reading about my experience. If, on the other hand, this is the first time you're doing this then I'll try to explain what challenges you'll face and what things to watch out for, from my own experience.

As was my case, I had to part ways with a team that I've worked with, for the past few years.

So what are the things that you'll face when you're switching teams?

The good

The best part of changing teams is that you'll start working on new and exciting things, as part of your new team. You'll have a fresh start on how you think, implement things and communicate with others.

As part of the transition process you'll have a short window (maybe more) to review all the things that you've built with your old team. Why is this a good thing? Self analysis is always a good way to improve your abilities and to improve yourself.

During my transition period, I reflected on all the great things that I achieved during the years working with the former team. From establishing development workflows, to learning how to maintain certain systems, to introducing new technologies and apps into the flow of things. I had a feeling of pride in all the work that I did. If doesn't matter what things you achieved or didn't with your former team, as long as you have respect for what you did.

Another great thing to look forward to, is you'll get to work on exciting new things, this of course may include working with new, up to date, technologies, that you haven't worked with before.
I'm mentioning this because from my own experience, during my time with my previous team, I worked with outdated technologies, that in most cases weren't the best way to implement things, but I made the best of it and adapted to the situation.

The bad

As with all things in life, there are aspects that you can't avoid and you'll need to deal with before you can move on.

For example, I was in charge of certain workflows and systems within my old company. One of the downsides that I faced when I switched teams was that the transition process involved a lot of knowledge exchange. Of course this can be a good thing because it will give you an opportunity to review all that you know. Keep in mind that this process can and will be very time consuming.

Make sure that if you were in charge of certain workflows, when you leave, your team can handle it.

But this raises another question, are you expandable? Should you be? Well it's a two bladed discussion, because if you're expandable then the transition process will be much easier, if you're not then it's a whole different cup of tea and you're going to reach the above, time consuming process of exchanging knowledge.

The ... future

When if comes to the future of things then my suggestion would be to always leave a door open for future endeavours. If you've formed strong bonds with your former teammates then be confident that they can handle it when you leave. Of course this applies only if you were a non expandable part of the team.

Always look forward to what comes in store, for you, next. Whether it's just a small project that lasts only a couple of months or a full time position at a new startup, make sure you have a clear head when you start a new project.

So in order to wrap this up, I will only leave you with this: be confident in your abilities and your knowledge, don't worry to much on how you'll adapt within your new team, just do your job and things will fall into place. Also keep in mind that your former team will have to overcome your absence in one way or another.

Until next time, code long and prosper!


Image credit: Guillaume Kurkdjian