Onboarding new developers can be an extremely convoluted task if you don’t have the processes in place to make it easier and more efficient for all involved. In the interests of saving you from awkward conversations punctuated by long pauses, we’ve put our heads together to come up with some sound advice on how to welcome new developers to the team.
Side note: If you’re an iOS or Android developer looking to join a new team, there’s still time to apply to join us.
Celebrate their arrival.
Introduce them to their new team members individually, as well as in a group setting, before taking to your website and social platforms to share the company news with your customers and clients.
Don’t forget to welcome new developers to any remote workers in your team via your instant messaging platform of choice too!
It’s easy to go a bit overboard with the introductions so try not to overwhelm them on the first day but make sure you’ve done a good job in helping them feel more comfortable. You don’t want them to have to initiate awkward and belated introductions with people they’ve been sitting near a few weeks down the line.
Allow for mistakes.
There’s a lot of information to process during the first few weeks on the job. From adopting your working practices to finding their identity within their group, they’ve got a lot on their hands.
Create an open and approachable working environment that allows your developers to find their footing and make a few mistakes along the way.
After all, we often learn more from our failures than our successes.
Invest in their passions.
Take an interest in getting to know more about the things that they enjoy outside of work. Let them know that you are interested in them as a whole person and not just their skill set.
Do they like to stay active? Have they got a hidden talent that could come in handy? Their passions could inspire future work socials or maybe even be of use within the workplace.
You could also host an evening where everyone has the opportunity to teach a new skill or share something that they’re knowledgable about. Invest in who they are as an individual and you’ll reap the rewards.
It’s natural for dynamics to shift a little when there’s a newbie around. Welcome new developers by getting them involved from day one. Set tasks that are appropriate and relatively easy to accomplish before moving on to bigger projects.
Assign them a work buddy for their first few weeks so they’ve got someone specific to turn to when they need guidance, support or further information on the inner workings of the company.
Draw upon the advice we gave you in our post on the benefits of collaboration. For instance, you could host an internal hackathon or take on a new teambuilding challenge to help integrate them even further. Give them a chance to shine!
Participating in discussions and sharing your ideas can feel a little overwhelming when you’re a newbie. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or become the teacher’s pet, right?!
Actively listen to what they have to say and remember that learning is a two-way street. You could learn just as much from them as they could learn from you if you keep an open mind and communicate effectively.
Ask for their feedback so that you can improve your onboarding process for future hires.
Be clear and communicative.
Outline your expectations, clarify their responsibilities and provide them with a clear overview of the work you’d like them to get started on.
Don’t forget to also clue them in on your working practices, company culture and the company values that you all aspire to whilst you’re at it.
It’s easy to presume that these things are obvious. Make sure you’re going the extra mile when you welcome new developers by making all of the above explicit.
Don’t forget to have fun!
Whilst there’s a lot of serious stuff to cover and work to be done, make sure there’s time for more light-hearted antics too.
Be social and have some fun. Get out of the office for some post-work drinks or head out for a leisurely lunch with the whole team. Ban work talk and instead focus on getting to know one another as people.
It can often be easier to get to know someone outside of the workplace as it removes some of the added pressure.
What are your top tips for welcoming new developers to the team? Tweet us your sound advice and we’ll be sure to retweet the responses!
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