I was accepted in a company as a developer, and they work on cryptography. I signed all the contracts and documents so it's official. But I start two months from now. The only mail between me and the company was one month ago. I feel ashamed for not contacting them more. I don't want them to think that I'm not interested. Even though, I'm very very interested in starting the work.

Is it OK to send an email to the manager and ask him to provide me with documents on the API so that I can like have advance knowledge on their work? Or just a head start on the work that I will be working on?

If you are a manager, would you have a negative view of me, if I didn't contact you during the in between contracts time?

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    How familiar are you with the languages, libraries, frameworks, tools and algorithms they mentioned using in the job spec, on their website or during the interview? If you want to self-study anything ahead of time (but that's a big "if"), that would be a good place to start. Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 4:30
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    I feel the part where they work on cryptography should have an impact on the answers. I'd be surprised by a company handing over potentially security-critical internal documents to someone 2 months prior to their starting date.
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:36
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    Often it takes days or even weeks to get all the access and IT set up and properly working when you start at a new company. It's not uncommon to be spending time twiddling your thumbs...that's the time to read through the documentation. Before that, just rest, relax and unwind mentally before the new job.
    – niemiro
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:46
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    Don’t start working or thinking about work before they start paying you. It sets a bad precedent. Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 21:22
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    @AffableAmbler not only that, it can get the employer in real trouble. I would expect/hope the employer would reject the request out of hand
    – thehole
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 0:33

7 Answers 7


I feel ashamed for not contacting them more. I don't want them to think that i'm not interested. Even though, i'm very very interested in starting the work.

You're way, way over-thinking this - you don't work there (yet), and it sounds though all the hiring paperwork etc is sorted so there's nothing to do until you start. There is no reason whatsoever to feel "ashamed"!

If you are a manager. Would you have a negative view off me, if I didn't contact you during the in between contracts time?

I certainly wouldn't expect a new starter to get in touch in the way you describe. I'd expect them to be busy with their previous role/study or if they had the time free to be relaxing and enjoying themselves. But to be honest I pretty much wouldn't be thinking about what they were or weren't doing - that doesn't really matter until they start working there.

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    Yeah, it wouldnt be wrong to contact them (shows motivation), but is also absolutely not expected anywhere at all
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 9:22

IF you do this, keep it low-key. Send an email such as:

Dear Steve. Any documentation you want me to look over in preparation? Cheers, Bill.

Don't say a word more than that.

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    This is true, but you should elaborate on why. Essentially, if there is some reason they cannot, or do not want to, send you documentation it should be no big deal. If you come across as really keen to read the docs, and they don't want to send them, then they are in the awkward position of needing to justify that. It has a lot in common with asking someone on a date - it's best if they don't feel embarrassed if they say no.
    – Clumsy cat
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:58
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    hi @Clumsycat , you make a good point. I do think phrasing it as a (VERY SHORT) question ... "Any .. ?" is really the most concise way to do that. To follow your analogy! You probably agree that if I ask someone on a date, and then at length explicitly go on about how "but if you don't want to that's perfectly ok and you can say no ..." that is not a win! :) Heh! I think the key to my answer is the first word: IF, that's IF you really really feel compelled to do this, keep it as short as possible!
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 16:38

You're not going to get documentation. Even if you signed some stuff, there's always additional NDAs and similar paperwork at the start of the job. And they aren't likely to send that to someone who isn't on corporate hardware, corporate VPNs, have an account in their system, etc. What might make sense is to ask them what technologies they use (languages, frameworks, etc) to get up to speed on that, as its not likely to be considered a corporate secret and will have public documentation. But even then- you're not getting paid yet, so unless you'll enjoy doing that I wouldn't.

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    Not all companies are this strict. Sometimes there's also some semi-public user documentation which you might not find on your own. I don't think it hurts to ask if there is any documentation they can already share, in addition to asking what technologies they use.
    – kapex
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 9:23
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    @kapex It doesn't hurt to show a bit of awareness, if asking though. If the email says "I understand some materials may not be available due to confidentiality reasons, but if there is anything I could review ahead of time please do let me know", then the responding manager actually has an easier time because they don't have to type up all the explanations of why not - saves them time and that improves the chances of a better response.
    – J...
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 22:27

Bad idea.

Don't burn your bridges until you get to them :)

If you're keen to start, it sounds like you are, then see if you can leave your current job sooner and start your new one sooner.

If you're bored out of your mind currently then my suggestion is to read around the subject or learn a new skill. If you're not sure where to start then by all means ask for suggestions and by all means say you're bored.

Super-enthusiasm isn't a virtue in itself. Applying it to successfully complete goals is. At the moment you don't have any new-company goals. So chill-out.

Here's a thing: When you start then you can focus on, and immerse yourself in whatever exciting stuff has been promised. You'll have to learn to deal with new people and their quirks, methods and foibles as well as head-down programming. That will be plenty to assimilate and confuse you. So between now and then why not take positive steps to relax and do those cool things you won't get time to do when you're in a maelstrom of novelty.

At your new job you should make sure that your enthusiasm doesn't lead you into trying too hard and failing or you'll be regarded as a hot-air merchant. Take lots of small steps and use real-world feedback.

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    Nicely written answer here ...
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 11:13
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    I don't get why asking like OP suggested would qualify as burning bridges?
    – eis
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:16
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    @eis the OP's employer is "working on cryptography". A new recruit who starts by asking if they can become a security problem (by getting uncontrolled access to code and documentation) even before they start work is probably not the sort of person they wanted to hire.
    – alephzero
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:18
  • @alephzero This is on point. A casual-ish tiny startup probably does not mind the enthusiasm. Anyone else probably sees it as a nuisance. A security company will have the reaction you say: but will probably "write it off" since the OP is being hired as a developer not as a security expert. But it does the OP no favors. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 18:31

Congratulations on landing a brand-new job you're excited about!

I'm a manager. I have in the past and in the future will continue to politely decline any such request.

First of all, you don't work for me yet, so I'd be violating all kinds of rules and conventions by sharing materials with you that are internal to the company, department, or team.

Secondly, you don't work for me yet. Just like I wouldn't make you work during evenings or weekends, I wouldn't make you work before or after your employment with us. It's my responsibility to ensure your onboarding from the day you start, and your offboarding until the day you leave.

The company has decided to hire you and has come through with the paperwork. The need to impress anyone has passed (for now), so take care of your other responsibilities (that includes yourself and your mental wellbeing) until you start.


I'm looking forward to starting on x/x

Do you have a public API I can get familiar with before I start?

Is both low key AND not asking for private information, just a public URL. If they have a private URL they will decide if they want to give it to you and how to give you access. But don't be the one asking (security wise).

This approach will also show your initiative for learning without being demanding


Don't work for free!

"Reading documentation on the company's products" is part of working. Even when I'm interested in something work related, I read about it during work hours, because that's part of my work that I am paid to do. I don't work for free. Neither should you.

If you're excited about starting work, and it is possible, you can ask to have your start date happen sooner. If you're unable to start sooner, then you should probably just wrap up whatever it is that's in your way first. There's nothing wrong about taking two months between when you start and when you accept the offer; that's fairly normal and nobody is expecting you to give the new employer any particular attention during this time. Don't feel bad about it.

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