Did You Just Hire 3 Developers? Check Out These 7 Tips To Onboard Them

Working as a developer for the first time can be overpowering. What with the immense information there is to understand, the code you need to master, and the new colleagues to work with? In this case, a practical onboarding developers process can be all you need to enhance your productivity.

If you are receiving new web developers in your team, there is lots of orientation you need to take them through. By embracing robust onboarding practices, you are able to incorporate them into an entirely productive, entirely competent, and fulfilled team. Here are some of the best onboarding practices you can adopt.

1.      Hiring Developers

hiring developers

While hiring the developers is not necessarily an onboarding process, it’s a precondition. Getting the hiring process wrong jeopardizes the entire onboarding process. Often, many rewarding hiring processes start with a referral. This way, you get social proof and references through which you can validate a candidate’s credibility. Still, you will need to review your candidate’s past work and portfolios.

You may also want to assess any open source projects they have either contributed to or executed on various repositories such as GitHub. Being aware of their past work helps you understand their technical skills while enabling you to identify the specific projects they are more competent or interested in. Don’t underrate interest. Get developers who are naturally passionate about your business model, use-case, and technology.

This will be critical in keeping them motivated from the beginning until the project is completed. When hiring remote developers, passion and interest are vital considerations to make. Involving your existing employees in the hiring process is a critical idea which many employers seem to ignore.

Incorporating internal employees and project managers in the company’s hiring decisions goes a long way in; promoting team spirit, developing confidence, and carving the way for prosperous onboarding. Often times, current employees may view new talent as a threat. However, transparency in the hiring process puts any anxiety at bay.

What’s more, giving team members the opportunity to meet before onboarding helps them develop the network that will take the new developers through onboarding and support them all the way until they become entirely integrated team members.

2.     Mentorship

mentoring web developers

Mentorship can be a valuable feature both in the team building and onboarding developer process. Just like all the other features of the onboarding process, mentorship should be considered and applied with caution. Before the beginning of the process, you should have a designated team leader who the new developers can contact for assistance.

He should be in a position to introduce the team, answer all the technical questions they may have and familiarize them with the introductory projects. Avoid appointing your senior-most developers for mentor duty positions. This is because they are highly likely to burn out and in the end dislike both the extra burden and the new members.

By assigning the responsibility to junior developers, you; designate them for leadership opportunities,  allow them to exercise their knowledge, and evaluate their competency. Some startups facilitate the transition of new developers within the development workflow by appointing them an easy task such as; updating new features or redeveloping dashboards to complete with GitFlow practices.

This gives the new developers a new form of evolution by taking part in the production as they learn the workflow. Often, tasks are defined during the development process but this should not be the case especially when appointing new developers for introductory tasks. Introductory tasks should be appropriately defined completely with clear scope to put frustration and confusion at bay. Mentors to be can benefit from the following tips.

  • Start the documentation, planning, and SOPs process early
  • Give and accept feedback
  • Encourage individual learning with approved reading such as The Pragmatic Programmer
  • Give new developers the opportunity to establish problems and solve them on their own
  • Assist developers to learn from their mistakes
  • Execute pair coding exercises regularly

3.     Documentation for Onboarding Developers

documentation for web developers

Documentation comes in handy when onboarding new developers, especially those that work remotely. Various chief technology officers are in agreement that information should be automatically distributed by design when the need arises.

In order to supply the team members with the information they require to execute their jobs effectively, employers together with their team leaders should document everything accordingly from organizational charts to tool guides, workplace setup, contact lists, SOPs, common bugs, software tutorials, and everything that needs step by step instructions.

The comprehensive information should be availed in a centralized location, which for instance can be; an internal wiki page, a tutorial or a welcome handbook. All this would need a substantial amount of time investment and planning. However, once it’s well configured, the company would need minimal upkeep and this would go a long way in enhancing long term value.

Developer-specific documentation is a different field and teams should incorporate the new developers within the consistent local development workflow structure and the environment as soon as possible. The structure should be chosen depending on the team’s programming process and projects. Trunk-Based Development, Feature Branch Workflow, and GitFlow are some of the popular options.

Further, repository documentation shouldn’t be disregarded and it should incorporate a wiki indicating the design of the codebase, it’s method of use, core principle policies, and any additional long-form content affiliated with the project. Remember to include a README which should be a fast introduction to the project.

4.     Communication

communication medium for onboarding developers

Prior to the launch of your project, incorporate your new developers in communication channels such as; weekly updates, slack channels, and email chains. Whatever you do, take them one step at a time. Updated your new developers regularly and be ready to address their concerns and answer their questions accordingly.

You can do so infrequent stand-up meetings which should be accompanied by written notes that are accessible to the entire team. You may want to organize one on one meetings regularly to monitor the new developers.

This way, you are able to keep a tab on your new team, answer their questions if they have any, listen to them, as well as give them feedback where the need be. Managers and team leaders should encourage new developers to share their experience and give honest feedback.

5.      Culture

Having consistent performance expectations and communication structures is vital for onboarding developers. Still, incorporating new developers in your company culture can facilitate an opportunity to stay power. Team building activities are an ideal way of assisting your new developer to bond with the team while encouraging spontaneity and creativity.

Some startups match up team members for 10-minute chats where they focus on professional and personal sharing. Teammates get the opportunity to know each other better in a bid to develop robust relationships. Other development teams usually host virtual meetings where each member grabs their favorite drink and chat about designated or even random topics.

While this may sound strange, it’s a method of making online relationships more vibrant. Remember to host ceremonies regularly too. These can include demonstrations of; hack day, buddy coding day, soon to ship features or anything your company is planning to execute. Have the ceremonies well scheduled to allow all members including your remote team to join.

These events give everybody an opportunity to share their recent lessons and talents, as well as the things your team anticipate. A well-balanced combination of team building and ceremonies shall help you improve personal relationships and strengthen team spirit. This is a critical part of assisting new developers to fit well in your team culture, and this will eventually be a vital factor in the event your new developers become part of your long term members of your team.

6.     Web Developers Evaluation

web developers evaluation

One of the methods you can use to assess the efficiency of your new developers is by working on public platforms such as GitHub or Bitbucket where everybody can access the repository, view the changes that were made, and check the pull requests that have been submitted.

Non-coding tasks should be executed in shared platforms such as Google Docs while updates should be made on project management tools such as Trello and Asana. Rather than analyzing tasks on the time spent, you consider the value generated. Remember, monitoring your developers constantly can be tedious and ineffective.

Rather, monitor their tasks and allow them a conducive environment to generate valuable results, you can do so by adhering to a clean code of standards, time-boxed sprints, and code coverage prospects. Utilize a code review process to ensure that new members are complying with code standards and provide suggestions on where they need to improve. Further, discuss existing workflow processes and handle any arising challenges. Measure by quality rather than quantity.

7.     Incorporate Remote Developers

Today, working with remote developers is becoming easy and you can incorporate them into your company as though they were present on site. Mentoring plans, as well as team introductions, should still be considered when you are onboarding remote developers. This can easily be executed online via virtual office tools or video chat.

You should assist remote developers to establish a sense of companionship and purpose. This way, they will be both motivated and loyal, and able to work thoroughly and have robust performance.

Finally

Give developers time to adjust, fit in the company, and finally become competent in what they do. While the average employee requires approximately 6 months to become entirely proficient, you can reduce this time with adequate onboarding.