What would an ideal onboarding situation look like?

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It always fascinates me how much focus the recruitment process receives, while the actual onboarding process that employees go through sometimes ends up resembling a trial by fire event.

This discussion can be agnostic of experience level, remote/on-site, and specific role. (Or, you can segment it out by all these various aspects.)

Or here's some other prompts:

  • What's one area most companies fall short for onboarding new employees?
  • What's an experience that exceeded your expectations and made you feel part of the team from the beginning?
  • Do you know of any tools that have improved onboarding at your company?
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Onboarding is a pretty broad topic, and it's so particular to each individual organization. I'm a developer, and I mostly care about working with the other developers on my team, so I'll ignore larger company-wide issues like getting email or payroll set up, except to say that it's also important.

But, what do I want from my dev team? I expect as a baseline that I'll have access to source control, artifact repositories, project tracking tools, build systems, and any other development tool the team uses on day 1. A step up from there would be having an achievable and ready to work task for me to do as soon as I'm set up to be able to do it. Ideally they understand their own process well enough that they can anticipate what I'll need and guide me through it as I work on that first task (and the next few, for that matter). Gold star for having enough ownership over their own process that they turn difficulties I have with learning it into tasks for the rest of the team to improve the process or its documentation.

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