Programmer onboarding

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The usual

Most developers know the typical onboarding story. It goes something like this:

  • Get introduced to your new team
  • Get introduced to their workflow
  • Get introduced to their current work
  • Get a breakdown of what you could be working on

While this is already great, there is something that completes a programming onboarding. And that is your first contribution on your first day.

For some this contribution is force pushing an empty repository onto remote, and causing a policy change. But for most, it is tiny like fixing a typo. Because even though it tiny, it is still a change that has to go through all the systems the other members use daily.

Own experience

Recently, I went through an onboarding that went just like this. During the onboarding presentation, presentors might touch on an annoyance that is still in the codebase. It is often something so small they refuse to go through the hassle of fixing it. But guess who would benefit from it; you, you fixing that.

So that is exactly what I did during that onboarding, as it:

  • required making a commit
  • that was on a published branched according to their naming scheme
  • that was following templates, coherent with the addressed issues
  • that followed their task-schedule for the coming weeks

Still small things to learn, but already more than what first meets the eye. this all comes up along the way, whilst being prompted with a dozen login prompts with seemingly the sole purpose to make you remember your credentials once and for all.