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Often, there is a need to introduce a new developer to the team for a specific project.
This onboarding process is never easy and sometimes tends to be painful for the new member and frustrating for the team, which has to keep working on the already defined tasks without a significant impact on their productivity.
Of course, this process differs from team to team and is proportional to the seniority level of the new team member, as well as the time they have been working at the company.
I will try to keep the following guide as abstract as possible, to accommodate most cases. Keep in mind, though, to tailor the recommendations to fit your team's needs and post your thoughts in the comments!
This guide assumes a typical 8-hour workday. It is further divided into subsections, with ideas about what to do during each time of the day. Feel free to update it according to the habits and ceremonies of your team, to maximize value.
This is the first day that the new team member will start working along with your team. It is a very special day, of course!
You don't want to stress them or to make them feel lost, even though it is highly likely that they will feel overwhelmed anyway.
Try to be as cool as possible and not throw deadlines and project reports to their face.
Your job is to make them feel welcome and productive.
During this day, the new team member should get cracking with real project tasks. However, this doesn't mean that the learning stops. On the contrary, the learning now has a supplementary role, and it becomes less important as the tasks progress, and the developer feels more comfortable.
At this point, the new developer should already feel comfortable and productive. However, remember that as the difficulty of the tasks increase, they may feel overwhelmed again, and that's usually when the Impostor syndrome occurs.
So, it becomes obvious that the new team member should feel free to ask any questions, no matter how "stupid" or "obvious" they may seem.
After you have read this guide, it's time to get cracking and create your personalized onboarding plan!
Of course, your organization has its own rules and pain points, and the team your a member of may benefit from different situations and habits.
After all, it's your responsibility to create an onboarding guide that best fits and serves your team's needs.
So, go ahead and don't be afraid to spend some time writing down ideas and situations that you and your team found difficult and unsustainable in the past. Then, write how these problems could be alleviated, by applying the 2-day onboarding plan, and ** don't be afraid to try** your plan (we only get better by trial and error!)
To conclude, adding a new member to a software team is not an easy task. Sometimes we forget how important the onboarding process can be, resulting in poor estimates (as the onboarding is hugely underestimated), Impostor syndromes, and confusion for the entire team.
Having a solid and effective onboarding plan is crucial as it ensures both productivity and good morale for the entire team.
If you are busy or lazy it's ok, try our recap and we'll save your time