Rabbit HQ has (probably) never been louder, unless of course some kind of party or event is happening. With 37 new rabbits (just barely) occupying the main room I think it’s safe to say that things are slightly chaotic. And I’m loving (almost) every minute of it. Working at Retro this last month has been quite an adjustment for everyone. For the “old” rabbits (named so as they no longer fall under the new bunny category and has nothing to do with actual age I promise) it’s being bombarded by new faces, names and #NotStupidQuestions, it’s being chased out of the main room because there’s just no space anymore or even just getting used to the “always full” vending machine being empty. For the graduates it’s learning, well, everything. The first and most important thing you learn is how to make coffee. 6 HEAPED spoons. Counting to six hasn’t been this important since I was actually six but trust me one thing you should never do is lose count while making coffee. They will know you put in one spoon too little and they will never let you forget it.

The second thing to do is talk to people. You’d be surprised how cool the people you work with actually are. They’re the ones who understand best what you’re going through, they’re the ones who can help, And they’re the ones who will laugh at you for making a mistake even you know was stupid. The culture is such an important role at Retro and the people embody that culture through and through. There hasn’t been a Friday that I haven’t stayed late just chatting to people and all round having a good time.

To work at Retro Rabbit is to #BeBetter. If you haven’t heard this phrase before then I’m not sure you’ve actually been working at Retro Rabbit. You’ll hear this a lot especially if you’re new. Be better. Whatever you do just be better. It’s a pretty ambiguous phrase when you first hear it, how does one be better? Well luckily there’s a whole guidebook to being better and how you can be better for yourself, your community, your family, your society; the list is endless. The one that stuck out most for me was to be better for yourself. Starting a new job, in particular your first official job, is a daunting task in and of itself but having a company and their employees striving to be better in every aspect is a great motivator. You want to be better than yesterday, you want to do more, learn more and having friends to join you along the journey will only help.

In this last month I’ve experienced so many new and different things, I’ve stayed at work till 4 in the morning to get something done. I’ve laughed at my own stupidity, I’ve learnt a million and one different things, I’ve made friends with so many people and remembered so many names. I’ve started drinking coffee and liked it, got used to Pretoria weather and have picked up great googling skills. But I’d say the most important things I’ve learned so far would have to be the following 8 things:

  1. Coffee is the most important life elixir known to man or Rabbits in this case.
  2. #BeBetter know the phrase, love the phrase, be the phrase.
  3. Each person’s coffee cup is unique, labelled and sacred. Seriously, don’t be that guy to use someone else’s cup – it’s weird.
  4. Git is a godsend. Whether it be git extensions or git bash (warning: use the latter at your own risk), get it and know how to use it. It saves lives – and code.
  5. “Jack of all trades” is a life motto here, you will learn so many different languages, frameworks and technologies that it will make your head spin. And believe me your head never stops spinning but at the end of the day you know so many different things that implementing anything new is a breeze (well maybe more like a strong gust of wind but it’s definitely not a hurricane)
  6. Have an opinion but be prepared to defend it – or take some flack for it. So you like a certain technology better than the rest? You’re convinced it’s the best? Well at Rabbit HQ alone I can show you at least two people who will disagree with you, have fun arguing with you about this and joke about how wrong you are. It’s okay. You know you’re right, right?
  7. You will feel “stupid” for the rest of your life. It’s a good thing. No one will ever know everything there is to know about IT. And just when you think you do. Bam! They release a new technology that disregards everything you thought you knew.
  8. And last but most certainly not least and put here again just to make sure you truly understand: COFFEE IS LIFE! We really do worship coffee and our most precious coffee machines, so much so we even have a designated blog post about it.

All in all it’s been a crazy ride, the kind you laugh and joke about for many years to come. It’s an experience that I don’t think anyone will forget anytime soon and one that has shaped and changed many lives at Retro. I’m sure I speak for all the graduates when I say we’re excited for the changes and to see where this remarkable (somewhat insane) journey is going to take us.