- 29th May 2019
- Dave Hillier - Development Director, Guestline
At Guestline Labs we want new hires to have a great onboarding experience. I’ve seen first-hand many times the huge positive difference that investing in new hires makes to the long term success of that employee
This post describes what you might expect as a new developer joining the team. Internally, we are just starting consistently applying this process. With consistency, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on how the process itself is performing in a controlled way and therefore improve it.
As a new employee, the activities of the onboarding process should:
- Help you make connections, across the teams within Labs and the wider business
- Give you clarity of vision by understanding our culture, the products, our tech stack, and target architecture.
- Build your confidence to work both independently, in your team and contribute to other code bases
First Three Months Checklists
These are intended to be high level, not too prescriptive. For example, we have separate instructions for how to set up a developer’s machine.
In your first week you will:
- Deal with the basics, such as payroll/HR.
- Have set up a development environment.
- Get a product demo and your own accounts to log in to them
- Ship some code into production; a small feature or bugfix.
- Introduce yourself at the Team Leads meeting and get a feeling for what the other teams are working on.
In your first six weeks or sooner you will:
- Work as a member of other teams across different products
- Learned about the architecture of our systems
In your first three months you will:
- Visit Shrewsbury and London offices. Importantly, this should include lunch with the team you’re visiting.
- Meet with Product Team members to gain a deeper understanding of how our products are used and the vision for the future.
- Made at least one improvement to the onboarding process, such as a simplification to setup, improved documentation or increased automation.
Optionally, you will:
- Host a Brown Bag peer learning session. Even if it is a short one, we’re all keen to learn new things! This wasn’t something we asked for, but all our recent hires have taken the initiative and it’s great to keep this going.
- Show a feature you have developed to the rest of Labs in the regular fortnightly Demo
- See recruitment from the other side
At the end of the process, you will review your progress with your manager. This review should contain no surprises, as during onboarding you should be having regular catch ups with your manager. The review will be an opportunity to discuss your achievements and next steps for growth.
Finally, most of the development team don’t run through the setup process on a regular basis. As we develop the products, the process itself will evolve and knowledge gets stale. This means that recent experience is invaluable. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to help with the onboarding of the next person. They’ll be following in your footsteps!