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Nick Taylor (he/him)
Nick Taylor (he/him)

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at iamdeveloper.com

What is your on-boarding process at your company?

Where I'm currently at, like most companies, we're always looking to improve our on-boarding process for new developers. When I started working there, I tried to document anything that was missing in regards to the on-boarding I received.

Documenting things is so important and for someone new coming on to a team, this is invaluable.

Aside from that, we have some scripting to get tooling set up for a dev, and since we use bots as a medium for conversational marketing, part of the on-boarding is to create your own 🤖.

One thing we're still working on is automating the setup of a complete local dev environment. My awesome co-worker, @magellol has been working on this, and I'm looking forward to us having this in our on-boarding toolbelt.

I'm curious about the on-boarding process that exists at the companies you work at. I don't think on-boarding processes at any company are perfect, but it'd be interesting to know what you do so that others could potentially improve their own on-boarding processes.

Discussion (10)

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adammckerlie profile image
Adam McKerlie

We have a Trello board we use that outlines all of the tasks we need to go through to onboard a new developer. The goal of the board is to layout all of the tasks the new staff, the hiring manager and the hiring team so each onboarding is standard.

The board is broken into 7 lanes:

Before the first day

This lane is used to remind the hiring manager of all of the things they need to confirm prior to the new staff starting. Adding the staff's start date to the calendar, confirming laptop, onboarding onto any systems that aren't automated, etc...

First Day

This lays out the first day for the new staff. It includes things like a checkin with the hiring manager. Setting up their local machine (done with a "team buddy"). Going over the system basics and introduction to the team. An office tour and finally an end of day checkin with the hiring manager.

First Week

In this lane there's a bunch of cards that the hiring manager and new staff go through on the first week. This includes introducing the new member to the department, onboarding them onto the various systems, going over HR stuff, coding standards, etc... We also do a team lunch in the first week as a kind of ice breaker. At the end of the first week the hiring manger will also sit down and go over the goals with the new staff, set up 1:1's set performance goals and set out expectations.

First Month

In the first month we'll go over goals, learn about all of the various programs available, set up learning programs with the other teams in Technology. We try to spread out learning over the first month as much as possible to avoid overwhelming the new staff.

First Three Months

In this lane there's more longer term things to complete. There's training on how the company does business, developing within your role, meeting with your VP, shadowing relevant departments. The goal of this lane is to set them up for success to complete their probation.

First Year

There's only a couple of cards in this lane but the goal is to help the new staff connect with others, development themselves as leaders and continue to learn about the business.

Good to know...

There's a number of informational cards in this lane. Where to get food, what sports team you can join, a note about our yearly conference and offsites, who to contact for stationary, etc...

We've gone through a number of iterations of this board but I'm pretty proud of it so far. We've onboarded 10-15 staff using it so far and the rest of the company has started to adopt it.

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

Great idea. Thanks for sharing Adam!

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

@jess set up an awesome task board to work through. We haven't onboarded anyone new in a while but in the future we'll have a "starter project" in Rails just to make sure there are no big blind spots before they get contributing.

We'll also have this type of process available for our open source project once we get there.

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Alex Lohr

It starts with acquiring hardware, software, authentication tokens and getting to know their mentor and all the people they need to know in their daily work, then help them prepare their first code contribution within the first 7 workdays.

The first month, they get to feel at home around the code while their mentor identifies training needs and find conferences they might find useful. Three month-goals include pair programming, having seen multiple PRs on both sides, and a few feedback sessions with their mentor and manager.

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Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

Thanks for sharing Alex.

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darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

I'm just shy of a month into a new job, after having 10+ years at my previous role, so this has been quite the experience for me!

They keep telling me that this has been the easiest onboarding experience they've had with anyone, while I'm often in the "eh, what do I do now..?" feeling. At least, that was the first week or so.

They handed me a Google Doc outlining "day one" activities, which really meant "week one" - They left 95% of the computer config to myself, so I could customize it however the hell I liked. Policy was great: "install whatever you want, as long as its legal", so I'm using all the tools I'm most familiar with and can work the fastest with.

There were instructions for things like setting up SSH keys, VPN access for remote work, 2FA, and other more complex tasks. It helps that in my previous role, I was pretty much software engineer, system admin, network admin, dba, and any other tech role all rolled into one due to the small size of the company. Now coming into a larger company and only doing "one" of those roles, I just breezed right through all the additional technical related onboarding tasks.

Some huge takeaways from my personal experience.

1) They foolishly gave me access to their internal wiki. This means I'm documenting EVERYTHING they teach me about their internal tools! Plus improving all of their existing docs (mostly just linking one doc to another when referencing it, because I was highly confused by internal terminology not realizing that was just documented "elsewhere")

2) They foolishly told me they had a #RANDOM channel on Slack on day 1... where I've started showing off how much of a wicked memelord I am in my day life.

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Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

Nice!

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alahmadiq8 profile image
Mohammad Alahmadi

I joined Procore Technologies last august. the on boarding process was five days.

Day 1 to 4 is for all new hires from all departments where we are taught about company culture, fundamental stuff about construction, and other misc stuff.

Day 5 is where every employee goes to her department and follows their department specific on-boarding.

For R&D, we also have detailed on-boarding process on setting up local environment, guidelines, FAQs, important slack channels to join, etc. Also we have an onboarding checklist to follow and expected to complete.

I found on-boarding to be smooth and all readme documents were up to date and was able to follow instructions with minimal issues.

We also have an on-boarding slack channel for any questions we had.

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Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

Thanks for sharing Mohammad. I like the idea of an on-boarding Slack channel.

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Andre Rubin

I found this to be a great article to give to new hires on their first day, in order to put them on the right frame of mind: randsinrepose.com/archives/ninety-...