I kept a weekly journal on Google docs to record some company-related stuffs. Some contents are operational/business related and can be sensitive to the potential competitors, thus they are saved as private journals.
Techinally, there are quite a few good gains to note down.
1.I started to use unit testing in the project development. It turns out to be a very good practice to keep the codes a good standard.
2.One colleague and I discussed a sub part of the system and wrote the design document done before coding, which turns out to be a very cost efficient approach.
3.We used pivotal tracker to divide big projects into small parts. That is pretty useful for project management. I used trello in the past, however not as efficient for intensive collaborative working.
4. I designed and currently implmenting a sub system in a project. That's a very good way to learn things from high level architecturing to actual implementation.
It is true that people get less personal time after working. The case should be worse for startups. However, it was not that bad for my first month, mostly because the company's major projects will start next month. Another important reason is that I wasn't assigned very heavy tasks. The mentor would love to give me some time adapting to the company's development environment. Personally, I also didn't do extra work besides the assigned tasks. Indeed, I chose to go off work on time to do have some personal stuffs.
The bad thing is that I didn't read enough tech books. Indeed, I only encountered two cases where the tech books are useful: one is to use Enum instead of static integers, another is to use Hibenate and JDA to access the data layer.
Most of the time, I feel excited reading project management related books.
For instance, this book-Remote, which is written by 37signals and translated as Rework2 in China, really excited me. It's about mobile officing. It is really happening. Indeed, I also experience the same thing working on remote projects in github over Skype.