A Developer’s Ideal Starting Day

The first day at a new company is one of the first impressions a developer gets when starting a new job.  Yes, he or she interviewed (most likely on-site, but not necessarily) and got to know people/details about the job.  However, the first day says a lot about a company.

Start

Unfortunately, a lot of places I’ve seen make a terrible first impression:

  • The new hire does not have a location to work (no desk)
  • There is not a computer/laptop ready to go
  • No access to source control

All these things can be addressed before the new-hire comes on, but the company/team does not prepare properly before that date.  This leaves a bad first impression…

  • Did they not really need me?
  • Are they not excited about me joining the team?
  • Was I not important enough to setup a few things before hand?

I can’t remember where I read it, but some companies go the extra mile to make sure developers are ready to go right from the start.  I’ve heard the following:

  • Developer was called before the start date asking which OS they wanted on his or her computer (obviously not applicable to jobs where a certain OS is required)
  • Access to source control was ready when they started.  Username and a temporary password was ready for them.
  • Good documentation was available to teach them everything they need to know.
  • Test frameworks are in place so that their first commit is unlikely to break stuff.  But even before it goes through, code reviews are done on all the code.

Imagine how fast a company is when they have all this infrastructure in place.  A new developer can make changes to the codebase that goes into production perhaps even before their first month is over.  Maybe even in the first couple of days!

That kind of starting experience sets a great introduction to a company.  That gives the impression that the company cares about new hires, and it is agile.  Agile and ready to solve and test solutions quickly.  New hires don’t waste time waiting for equipment to be setup that should have been done before they arrived.

If you are hiring someone new to your team, what would their first impression be?  Do you know?

Office

If you don’t, perhaps you should work towards getting a better environment for new people to come on board.  Even if you aren’t planning on hiring, having that type of environment makes everybody on the existing team faster and more productive.

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