This is what I usually do when joining a new project.

This is what I usually do when joining a new project.

Throughout my years as a professional software developer, I often change teams and projects. In this post, I share my experience on how I try to be more effective when doing so.


  • new projects
  • culture
  • glossary
  • documents (functional)
  • Wiki
  • Board

New Projects

Working on a new project, whether in the same company, the same client or another organisation - it's always challenging - particularly if there are big changes such as different languages including programming. For me personally, I like the novelty rather than being stuck on the same project for several years.


My main objective is to try understand the culture first before proceeding any further. By culture, I mean both development methodologies such as Agile or Lean and the work rules. I prefer a work that promotes work life balance so that you can work your best for long periods of time and stop when required.


I try learning the glossary, that is, the vocabulary or terms used for describing the main concepts. This part is crucial so that you and the rest of the team share the same understanding.

Functional Documents

Once I understand enough, I search and read general documents - particularly more functional parts just to get an idea of the project. These might include descriptions, flowcharts and class diagrams.

As important is the wiki, where useful and relevant information is available such as lessons learnt or FAQs.


Finally I glance at the boards, the backlog, the user stories and bugs to understand the flow that the team uses in particular.