Imagine, you hired a new engineer to help with your software products, or you are an engineer who just got hired. What would be your expectation? Being productive, as soon as possible, right?

I am an engineer, worked in different software company for last 10 years, conducted tons of interviews, helped company hire and onboard new-hires. Here are some notes on good and bad onboarding ideas.

Good Ideas:

  • Business Analyst / Product Owner talk about the products.
  • Architect / Developer talks about architecture, explain how different parts of the product are connected.
  • Set a ‘buddy’ for the new-hire.
    • A dedicated person to help the new-hire.
    • This will prevent bouncing from person-to-person to get simple things done.
    • A ‘buddy’ is not a mentor.
  • Duties of a ‘buddy’:
    • Answer/help with anything new-hire might need.
    • Help with getting access to Code Repository / Artifact Repository / Build System / AWS etc.
    • Setup meetings with different people who can explain things to new-hire.
    • Show the codebase.
    • Explain how CI/CD process works in the company.
    • Help to run project on the local machine.
    • Help to pick up small ticket, help the new-hire as much possible. Merge the code and test! This might seems hand holding, but trust me it works.
  • Tips for the person who play to the ‘buddy’ role:
    • Try to write down the overview of different talks. Send the overview as a chat message after the talk.
    • List all links, e.g. codebase, Sonar, Jenkins, Artifactory.

Bad Ideas:

  • Week long boring training session.
  • “Just read the code, you’ll figure it out. It’s just code.”
  • Ask to Read the Fu**ing Manual (RTFM), aka Confluence / Wiki / readme pages.


Live long and prosper!