How to Make the Onboarding Developers Process More Effective?

Async Labs
  • Date Published
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Organizations with an intense onboarding process improve new employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

When welcoming a new developer to your team, there’s a lot to introduce them to. But, the real question is how to provide and achieve an excellent onboarding process when most developers want to start coding from day one?

Adopting strong onboarding practices will help you easily integrate your new developer as a productive and competent team member as well as a satisfied employee.

In this article, we share how the onboarding developers process looks like at Async Labs and present you with the best practices for successful onboarding.

What is the onboarding process?

Onboarding integrates new employees with the company and its culture, helping them communicate within the team and providing tools and information needed to achieve productivity.

The onboarding process has a powerful and significant impact on the quality of employee integration. When people feel accepted and welcomed in a new environment, they are more connected and engaged.

Organizations with an intense onboarding process improve new employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Statistics show that 88% of new employees don’t believe their organization does an excellent onboarding process, and only 12% of employees agree they had quality onboarding during employment.

Employee surveys can be a great indicator of improving things and providing an effective onboarding process.

A successful onboarding process is essential to improving employee retention and can help employers crystallize the scope of the roles for each employee.

Set expectations and responsibilities from day one and encourage communication within the team.

Questions to ask yourself before the first day of the onboarding process:

  • What does a developer need before starting?
  • What information, hardware, software, etc., to provide a developer with?
  • How long will onboarding take?
  • What impression should the new employees get at the end of the first day?
  • How to set goals for a new developer in a team?
  • What developer needs to know about the company culture and work environment?

Addressing and answering these questions is one of the best ways to successfully integrate a new team member.

How to make the first day at work a positive experience?

We all know that first impressions are the most important. Here are some effective ways to make an onboarding developers process successful for your employee and yourself as an employer.

  1. Clean space for your employee. Prepare everything an employee needs to start a day. This includes a clean and organized desk with essential supplies.
  2. Office tour. Show your employee where people eat together, have meetings, or a chill zone. This way, they will better adapt to their new environment.
  3. Introduce the developer to everyone in the company (including remote members)
  4. Introduce the developer to daily meetings or scrums.
  5. Assign the mentor. The new employees have to know who their mentor is, who to ask questions, and who they are responsible for the tasks and work.
  6. Give a welcome gift. Welcome gifts can be company swag like a water bottle, t-shirt, coffee mug, notebook, or pen. Even a small one, gifting is always a good idea.
  7. Give your new employee something small to do. Continue with a light workload the first week to make them feel like they accomplished something.
  8. Be patient and friendly. The first few days are usually quite stressful and full of information. Find time to support new employees, and help them with their questions.

Bonus tips for mentors

  • Get started early with planning, prepare documentation, and code reviews
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Do regular pair coding exercises
  • Help them learn from their mistakes
  • Encourage independent learning with recommended reading
  • Don’t solve
  • Don’t overwhelm new employees with too much information.

What does the onboarding developers process look like at Async Labs?

At Async, we have developed a process that is working great for our company. It is based on several days of introduction “classes” revolving around getting to know our process and team.

We start with an introduction to the whole team and tour around the office. After a coffee or tea, new developers get their welcome pack, equipment, and a mentor. We introduce them to company culture, other departments, company history, and important information they have to know.

People responsible for the education part:

  • CEO, COO: Company history
  • Head of Dev: Development department structure and rules; Domain-Driven Design
  • Project Manage: Clocking, time logging, and task organization
  • Any developer: Git flow @ Async
  • Any team member: Life @ Async

Our new developers usually don’t get any tasks for the first week. They follow their mentor or a colleague for a day or two to see how the work looks like daily.

In the end, we introduce them to repeatable tasks so that they can apply everything they’ve learned in the previous week. After a few weeks, we ask for feedback about the onboarding process, adapt accordingly.

It is unrealistic to expect perfect performance from a new developer in the first few weeks. The average employee takes approximately six months to become fully competent in their role.

This article doesn’t necessarily represent a template to be followed. Instead, use it as a formula and adjust it for your team and specific project.

For best onboarding practices, check our full article on Onboarding Developers Process and find out how to make it more effective.